F-35 Lightning II vs Dassault Rafale

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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mixelflick

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Unread post01 Apr 2019, 13:53

spazsinbad wrote:"... F-35's total AAM loadout up. Flying with just 2 AMRAAM's would make me a little nervous..." in an LO/VLO airframe?


Yes.

I realize it's never going to be just one F-35, and there may be other assets in the area from which to draw. But personally, I'd want more than 2 shots. Yes, you'd still have the gun in the F-35A but it's not a given in the F-35B/C. You may or may not have the gun pod, depending upon the mission.

Looking at Desert Storm there was more than 1 instance of an F-15 firing considerably more than 2 Sparrows at a target to get a kill. Some just fell off the aircraft. Some guided but the warhead didn't detonate. And some failed to guide altogether. I realize the AMRAAM is step up, but even there (over Bosnia) you had multiple AMRAAM shots where both missed (one of Dozer's engagements).

Don't get me wrong: I realize the F-35's missiles will have a better PK than in the past. But better isn't 100%, and in the event I can't enlist other assets in the fight (they're either out of missiles, under attack or at bingo fuel), I want more missiles. Just my opinion...
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marsavian

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Unread post01 Apr 2019, 14:20

An F-35 APG-81/EOTS/AIM-120D is a more lethal combination than AMRAAM combinations before. The F-35 will guide it all the way to the target with the benefit of the 2 way datalink and F-35 sensor fusion so unless the opposing aircraft evades or outruns the missile it's going to get hit. The F-35 can reduce those chances as well by sneaking up well into the AMRAAM NEZ. On the surface it's the same AMRAAM missile but the delivery platform/missile synergy has jumped a level since Iraq/Serbia.
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wrightwing

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Unread post01 Apr 2019, 17:37

mixelflick wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:"... F-35's total AAM loadout up. Flying with just 2 AMRAAM's would make me a little nervous..." in an LO/VLO airframe?


Yes.

I realize it's never going to be just one F-35, and there may be other assets in the area from which to draw. But personally, I'd want more than 2 shots. Yes, you'd still have the gun in the F-35A but it's not a given in the F-35B/C. You may or may not have the gun pod, depending upon the mission.

Looking at Desert Storm there was more than 1 instance of an F-15 firing considerably more than 2 Sparrows at a target to get a kill. Some just fell off the aircraft. Some guided but the warhead didn't detonate. And some failed to guide altogether. I realize the AMRAAM is step up, but even there (over Bosnia) you had multiple AMRAAM shots where both missed (one of Dozer's engagements).

Don't get me wrong: I realize the F-35's missiles will have a better PK than in the past. But better isn't 100%, and in the event I can't enlist other assets in the fight (they're either out of missiles, under attack or at bingo fuel), I want more missiles. Just my opinion...

You're forgetting that unlike aircraft in the past, the F-35 has the advantage of contempt of engagement. Depending on the threat, they can simply fly around it, and engage only if they feel like it. A flight of 4 will have 8 AIM-120s, by the way (not to mention being able to guide missiles from other friendly aircraft.)
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ricnunes

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Unread post01 Apr 2019, 17:45

wrightwing wrote:A flight of 4 will have 8 AIM-120s, by the way (not to mention being able to guide missiles from other friendly aircraft.)


And that during Air-to-Ground missions. Currently on Air-to-Air missions a flight of 4 F-35's will have 16 AIM-120s (4 per each F-35) and somewhere later during Block 4 a flight of 4 F-35's will have 24 AIM-120s (6 per each F-35) on Air-to-Air missions and all of this "fully stealth". That's no small quantity, IMO that is.
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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wrightwing

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Unread post01 Apr 2019, 20:11

ricnunes wrote:
wrightwing wrote:A flight of 4 will have 8 AIM-120s, by the way (not to mention being able to guide missiles from other friendly aircraft.)


And that during Air-to-Ground missions. Currently on Air-to-Air missions a flight of 4 F-35's will have 16 AIM-120s (4 per each F-35) and somewhere later during Block 4 a flight of 4 F-35's will have 24 AIM-120s (6 per each F-35) on Air-to-Air missions and all of this "fully stealth". That's no small quantity, IMO that is.

Well yes, but I was assuaging his fears about A2G configurations.
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swiss

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Unread post01 Apr 2019, 20:23

ricnunes wrote:And that during Air-to-Ground missions. Currently on Air-to-Air missions a flight of 4 F-35's will have 16 AIM-120s (4 per each F-35) and somewhere later during Block 4 a flight of 4 F-35's will have 24 AIM-120s (6 per each F-35) on Air-to-Air missions and all of this "fully stealth". That's no small quantity, IMO that is.


Didn't you say some time a go the advantage of the SH is to carry so many missiles. Not only 6 per Aircraft. :shock: :wink:

Seriously i fully agree with you. 4/6 AIM-120D/Meteor should be plenty enough in stealth mode. Especially when the F-35 will outnumber any other 4.5/5 gen Model by far. They are even more F-35 out now than Russian Su-30sm, Su-34 and Su-35 combined.
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Unread post01 Apr 2019, 20:47

Don't forget, the F-35 can always go "Beast Mode" but a 4th gen can never go "Stealth Mode" :)
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Unread post01 Apr 2019, 21:09

SpudmanWP wrote:Don't forget, the F-35 can always go "Beast Mode" but a 4th gen can never go "Stealth Mode" :)


True that. :thumb:
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vilters

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Unread post02 Apr 2019, 00:01

These 1 versus the other are so meaningless.

Both are out of aluminum and Russian titanium, but One speaks English and the other speaks le Francais, OK?


And if you absolutely want to compare? Add the combat load to your question.
No fights are won or lost clean.
Unless you can drive the other into the ground as has happened a few times.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post02 Apr 2019, 00:05

ricnunes wrote:
wrightwing wrote:A flight of 4 will have 8 AIM-120s, by the way (not to mention being able to guide missiles from other friendly aircraft.)


And that during Air-to-Ground missions. Currently on Air-to-Air missions a flight of 4 F-35's will have 16 AIM-120s (4 per each F-35) and somewhere later during Block 4 a flight of 4 F-35's will have 24 AIM-120s (6 per each F-35) on Air-to-Air missions and all of this "fully stealth". That's no small quantity, IMO that is.



Plus, you can mix and match weapons depending on the mission. Some seem to think every aircraft would have the same fit. Yet, some maybe equipped with Air to Surface Weapons. While, others strictly Air to Air....
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XanderCrews

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Unread post02 Apr 2019, 06:26

mixelflick wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:"... F-35's total AAM loadout up. Flying with just 2 AMRAAM's would make me a little nervous..." in an LO/VLO airframe?


Yes.

I realize it's never going to be just one F-35, and there may be other assets in the area from which to draw. But personally, I'd want more than 2 shots. Yes, you'd still have the gun in the F-35A but it's not a given in the F-35B/C. You may or may not have the gun pod, depending upon the mission.

Looking at Desert Storm there was more than 1 instance of an F-15 firing considerably more than 2 Sparrows at a target to get a kill. Some just fell off the aircraft. Some guided but the warhead didn't detonate. And some failed to guide altogether. I realize the AMRAAM is step up, but even there (over Bosnia) you had multiple AMRAAM shots where both missed (one of Dozer's engagements).

Don't get me wrong: I realize the F-35's missiles will have a better PK than in the past. But better isn't 100%, and in the event I can't enlist other assets in the fight (they're either out of missiles, under attack or at bingo fuel), I want more missiles. Just my opinion...



The thing is though that none of those multiple misses resulted in allied loss, either tactically or strategically. You'd be shocked how much stuff gets fired in anger in combat and both sides still walk away to try better tomorrow. Its not going to be the first or last time two airplanes meet in combat, and 2 airplanes land later on having failed to achieve victory either way. Its happened throughout aviation history. in world war II tens of thousands of rounds might be fired for no results.

When People talk about the F-15s impressive undefeated record the misses never seem to crop up...
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Unread post02 Apr 2019, 07:00

ricnunes wrote:
wrightwing wrote:A flight of 4 will have 8 AIM-120s, by the way (not to mention being able to guide missiles from other friendly aircraft.)


And that during Air-to-Ground missions. Currently on Air-to-Air missions a flight of 4 F-35's will have 16 AIM-120s (4 per each F-35) and somewhere later during Block 4 a flight of 4 F-35's will have 24 AIM-120s (6 per each F-35) on Air-to-Air missions and all of this "fully stealth". That's no small quantity, IMO that is.

As wrightwing suggested. The USN and USMC also say they have the SM-6 as their wingman. I think there's a significant number stored within a fleet.
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ricnunes

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Unread post02 Apr 2019, 15:29

swiss wrote:Didn't you say some time a go the advantage of the SH is to carry so many missiles. Not only 6 per Aircraft. :shock: :wink:


Stealth my friend, stealth :wink:
It makes all the diference.
Or like others have hinted (yourself included) having stealth is much better than having "extra" air-to-air missiles.

Now in scenarios between aircraft which can't hide that much from each other - which is the case of the SH and Rafale and a tentative confrontation between both - then having "extra" air-to-air missiles could bring an advantage. But again, this doesn't apply much to the F-35 because of stealth (not to mention the ability to "guide" missile from other platforms and so on...).

Moreover, I echo SpudmanWP's words. If there's a need for the F-35 to enter a "top number of air-to-air missiles carried contest" then there's always the F-35's "beast mode" :wink:


swiss wrote:Seriously i fully agree with you. 4/6 AIM-120D/Meteor should be plenty enough in stealth mode. Especially when the F-35 will outnumber any other 4.5/5 gen Model by far. They are even more F-35 out now than Russian Su-30sm, Su-34 and Su-35 combined.


Yes, of course. I also agree with what you said above.
However note that what you mention doesn't apply to the SH and Rafale since the ability for them to hide and evade from those same Russian threats is much, much more limited, if any! As such (and again) in these cases having "extra" missiles could be very important.
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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ricnunes

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Unread post02 Apr 2019, 15:48

Corsair1963 wrote:Plus, you can mix and match weapons depending on the mission. Some seem to think every aircraft would have the same fit. Yet, some maybe equipped with Air to Surface Weapons. While, others strictly Air to Air....


Absolutely!
Such mix would give a flight of F-35 a much bigger mission/operational flexibility than it was ever possible before.

wrightwing wrote:
ricnunes wrote:
wrightwing wrote:A flight of 4 will have 8 AIM-120s, by the way (not to mention being able to guide missiles from other friendly aircraft.)


And that during Air-to-Ground missions. Currently on Air-to-Air missions a flight of 4 F-35's will have 16 AIM-120s (4 per each F-35) and somewhere later during Block 4 a flight of 4 F-35's will have 24 AIM-120s (6 per each F-35) on Air-to-Air missions and all of this "fully stealth". That's no small quantity, IMO that is.


Well yes, but I was assuaging his fears about A2G configurations.


Yes, indeed it crossed my mind that you were referring to Air-to-Ground configurations alone.

Nevertheless and during Air-to-Ground missions and even without the extra "wingmen" missiles such as SM-6 like correctly mentioned by optimist and/or a "more balanced" mix between air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons within a 4 ship flight of F-35s like corrected mentioned by Corsair1963 or resuming, only a 8xAMRAAMs per 4 ship flight of F-35s preforming air-to-ground missions would be available then I would still say that such ordinance (8 AMRAAMs) would be more than enough for either self-defense of that flight and/or enough to engage aerial targets of opportunity and this again, in large part due to the F-35's stealth since the attacking aircraft (F-35s) will dictate if, when and where the engagement will happen and this won't be dictated by enemy interceptors and all of this probably for the first time in the history of military aviation.
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post02 Apr 2019, 21:35

optimist wrote:As wrightwing suggested. The USN and USMC also say they have the SM-6 as their wingman. I think there's a significant number stored within a fleet.


According to Raytheon they delivered over 500 missiles. The combination of the F-35 as guidance system and long range see/land missiles gives indeed new possibilities.

ricnunes wrote:
Now in scenarios between aircraft which can't hide that much from each other - which is the case of the SH and Rafale and a tentative confrontation between both - then having "extra" air-to-air missiles could bring an advantage. But again, this doesn't apply much to the F-35 because of stealth (not to mention the ability to "guide" missile from other platforms and so on...).


[


Agreed. But with 16 AAM you add Drag/weight and possible no/less use of EFT's. Which means, less performance and range for an Air superiority mission. So 6 or 8 AAM seems to be a good compromise.
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