F-35 Lightning II vs Dassault Rafale

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post12 Feb 2019, 13:39

optimist wrote:Anyone would think that only the french have GaN


LOL, it definitely sometimes sounds like only French or Swedish have GaN technology. Fact is that everybody has been and is developing the technology and actual products with it. USA definitely is at the forefront when it comes to that, especially fielding actual products in larger numbers. Not that other Western countries are that far behind.
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wil59

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Unread post12 Feb 2019, 13:45

hornetfinn wrote:
optimist wrote:Anyone would think that only the french have GaN


LOL, it definitely sometimes sounds like only French or Swedish have GaN technology. Fact is that everybody has been and is developing the technology and actual products with it. USA definitely is at the forefront when it comes to that, especially fielding actual products in larger numbers. Not that other Western countries are that far behind.

Who said that? French bashing again and again!
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white_lightning35

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Unread post12 Feb 2019, 14:40

I don't quite understand the hype of GaN in these electronics. Sure, I know about the band gap stuff, blah blah blah. But it's just a means to an end, isn't it? Your radar and jammers having GaN components just means they can radiate more power, wider frequencies, and have other desirable qualities. It's not magic. The APG-81 might not even need a more powerful radar because of how much it puts out already. GaN is nice, but it's not essential to have it just to have it.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post12 Feb 2019, 15:14

wil59 wrote:
hornetfinn wrote:
optimist wrote:Anyone would think that only the french have GaN


LOL, it definitely sometimes sounds like only French or Swedish have GaN technology. Fact is that everybody has been and is developing the technology and actual products with it. USA definitely is at the forefront when it comes to that, especially fielding actual products in larger numbers. Not that other Western countries are that far behind.

Who said that? French bashing again and again!


What? Who bashed French here? Just stating the facts that everybody (including France) is developing the technology but somehow US developments often seem to be forgotten in web discussions when it comes to GaN technology. French companies however have done a lot to develop GaN based radars and EW systems and have some very nice products to offer now.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post12 Feb 2019, 15:25

white_lightning35 wrote:I don't quite understand the hype of GaN in these electronics. Sure, I know about the band gap stuff, blah blah blah. But it's just a means to an end, isn't it? Your radar and jammers having GaN components just means they can radiate more power, wider frequencies, and have other desirable qualities. It's not magic. The APG-81 might not even need a more powerful radar because of how much it puts out already. GaN is nice, but it's not essential to have it just to have it.


That is true and that's also the reason why GaAs technology is still very much used in AESA systems. What is magic in GaN is the immense development potential that exists with the material. But it is not without challenges and problems which means a lot of technological and manufacturing development needs to be done to make it worthwhile. It now seems that the biggest problems have been conquered and actual products are becoming operational. But you are totally correct that just having GaN does not mean much in itself.
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Unread post12 Feb 2019, 17:06

I don't remember who it was, but it was someone on this forum that curbed someone else's suggestions that GaN was already used for avionics in F-35, even though GaN is available for both NG and Raytheon. (Of cource, quite recently news of "new EW system fielded in Lot 11 aircraft" surfaced, as pointed out by @operaaperta from http://www.dote.osd.mil/pub/reports/FY2 ... f35jsf.pdf)

I do not know who is in the lead regarding GaN - USA, France or Sweden - but US sure isn't falling behind, since, as already mentioned, giant GaN-based radars such as SPY-6 AMDR are proof of that. However, it is likely that Rafale/Gripen will have GaN modules before any US fighter.

On the one hand, this is a benefit of the so-called "late entry", euro-AESAs being ready for production good 15 years later than the US ones leaving more time for tech to mature. On the other hand this does not mean GaN based radar is "superior" to GaAs radar per se, since 1) we don't know exact specs so any speculation is quite futile 2) we DO know that more "advanced" base tech does not always mean better end results, as evidenced by Russian P/AESA vs e.g. MSA APG-70.

French-bashing comes from the fact some gaulls were made fun of after their relentless "5th gen is a hoax/active cancellation power" assault.
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optimist

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Unread post13 Feb 2019, 03:08

No French bashing, just sick of the rafale propaganda. The Aussies have a close relationship with the french in defense spending and the French were approved to buy local defense companies. we have just signed a 50B sub contract.

AFAIK, the french doesn't even have a GaN radar in production, FOC. I would be happy to see a link to one.
GaN is an antenna, the back-end is still the important stuff. Do I need to remind that the aesa antenna on the rafale is stuck on the old back-end
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f4u7_corsair

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Unread post13 Feb 2019, 04:09

Thales markets Seafire and NS200 seaborne radars just to name these two with GaN modules.

I heard the latest Ground Masters are GaN too, but can't confirm.

RBE2 backend will be upgraded in F4.
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optimist

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Unread post13 Feb 2019, 04:36

Could you give me a thales link to this. I would like to read it and it must be in french, as a quick google didn't find a lot. A little bit from Janes on early testing in oct 2018.
https://www.janes.com/article/83950/fac ... ti-frigate
"A first Sea Fire antenna panel is undergoing test at Limours."
A blog carried some info on Fr and US use of GaN
http://blogs.plymouth.ac.uk/dcss/2017/1 ... lications/

I hope the rafale back-end isn't just being upgraded, it really needs a completely new tech back-end and software
Last edited by optimist on 13 Feb 2019, 04:52, edited 1 time in total.
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f4u7_corsair

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Unread post13 Feb 2019, 04:49

You got my Janes link, indeed SF is still in testing, planned for the next French Navy frigates (delivery 2023).
This is for the NS200: https://www.thalesgroup.com/fr/monde/pr ... es-navales

Thales also sold GaN CW illuminators, although not radars, it shows they master the technology, at least on seaborne platforms.
https://www.thalesgroup.com/fr/monde/de ... ine-royale

Regarding RBE2, it's hard to keep track of the back-end updates as the avionics and calculators are regularly being updated.i don't doubt that F4 will bring significant software and hardware improvements.
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Unread post13 Feb 2019, 17:19

Theres is also the SMART-L MM/N with GaN Transmitters. It was delivered in 2017 to the Navy of the Nederland.


https://www.thalesgroup.com/sites/defau ... -n-v01.pdf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UG-ybVWjemE
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optimist

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Unread post13 Feb 2019, 23:08

Yes there are some antenna in testing and some thales group, which is a multinational company with firewalled divisions in various countries, including australia. All this doesn't make france the lead nation in GaN. Nor does it mean that Rafale will be the first with a GaN antenna.
A UK list of the top 6 companies
https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/ ... ces-Market
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juretrn

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Unread post14 Feb 2019, 00:03

GaN, LOL.

Except for low rate production that goes into military stuff, where (extremely) high prices are acceptable, GaN remains some sort of a unicorn in the industry that everyone talks about but nobody ever sees. (read: absolutely atrocious yields-at least that's what I hear from people working there)
Don't expect everyone jumping onto GaN over night!

PS: that list is funny
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swiss

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Unread post14 Feb 2019, 07:22

optimist wrote: All this doesn't make france the lead nation in GaN. Nor does it mean that Rafale will be the first with a GaN antenna.


I think nobody here made this statement. Like hornetfinn said, it's ver likely that the US has the edge.
Maybe the Rafale is the first Fighter with a Gan Antenna, maybe not. Future will tell.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post14 Feb 2019, 07:44

juretrn wrote:GaN, LOL.

Except for low rate production that goes into military stuff, where (extremely) high prices are acceptable, GaN remains some sort of a unicorn in the industry that everyone talks about but nobody ever sees. (read: absolutely atrocious yields-at least that's what I hear from people working there)
Don't expect everyone jumping onto GaN over night!

PS: that list is funny


GaN is definitely coming to wider use, for example many 5G cellular network products (mostly prototypes and preproduction examples) use it or will use it. However you are correct that it will not replace silicon or GaAs soon in most applications due to higher cost and lower yields. It is used and will be used mostly for military, space and other applications where those are not a serious problem. In military aviations it can offer so many benefits that I see most electronics (power electronics first) going to GaN within the next 20 years or so. But it will definitely not happen over night.
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