F-35 Lightning II vs Dassault Rafale

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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ricnunes

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Unread post17 Mar 2022, 22:05

Yes, France/Dassault (and not only) needs to move on and develop a completely new (and VLO) fighter aircraft. Rafale like any other 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft are becoming and inevitably will be a thing of the past.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post18 Mar 2022, 17:01

ricnunes wrote:Yes, France/Dassault (and not only) needs to move on and develop a completely new (and VLO) fighter aircraft. Rafale like any other 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft are becoming and inevitably will be a thing of the past.


I used to believe this too, but now I'm not so sure.

For countries with the $, experience and expertise I think you're 100% correct. But I also think many of these 3rd world nations will struggle fielding a stealth fighter. Even one which has been designed, test flown and has an excellent pilot training program like the F-35. Even if the pilots manage to master it, you've got to afford flying and fighting with it, train the maintainers and manage the repairs/preventative maintenance that come with that territory.

The F-35 was a quantum leap in that regard (making it easier), but it's still a tall order for many countries. Some of them will still be flying Mig-21's or possibly F-5E's so just imagine the jump in cost/complexity. Look at Pakistan. They're clearly looking to field a small number of near 5th gen fighters (J-10C's), but also field many more JF-17's. In fact the JF-17 seems to encapsulate this dynamic, pairing a fairly mundane 4th gen airframe with 5th gen avionics/weapons.

I guess time will tell...
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ricnunes

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Unread post18 Mar 2022, 19:23

mixelflick wrote:
ricnunes wrote:Yes, France/Dassault (and not only) needs to move on and develop a completely new (and VLO) fighter aircraft. Rafale like any other 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft are becoming and inevitably will be a thing of the past.


I used to believe this too, but now I'm not so sure.

For countries with the $, experience and expertise I think you're 100% correct. But I also think many of these 3rd world nations will struggle fielding a stealth fighter. Even one which has been designed, test flown and has an excellent pilot training program like the F-35. Even if the pilots manage to master it, you've got to afford flying and fighting with it, train the maintainers and manage the repairs/preventative maintenance that come with that territory.

The F-35 was a quantum leap in that regard (making it easier), but it's still a tall order for many countries. Some of them will still be flying Mig-21's or possibly F-5E's so just imagine the jump in cost/complexity. Look at Pakistan. They're clearly looking to field a small number of near 5th gen fighters (J-10C's), but also field many more JF-17's. In fact the JF-17 seems to encapsulate this dynamic, pairing a fairly mundane 4th gen airframe with 5th gen avionics/weapons.


Well just because there will be (likely many) countries - 3rd world countries, BTW - that for some reason won't be able to purchase 5th gen fighter aircraft (at least in the next decades) and thus will probably buy 4/4.5th gen fighter aircraft doesn't mean that these same 4/4.5th gen fighter aircraft aren't starting to become obsolete and will inevitably become obsolete quite soon (well within the next decade or so).
But does this mean that you want your country to follow the path above? Or do you think that the path above is viable for 1st world countries that desire to have a 1st rate Air Force? These are rhetoric questions, BTW.

Let me give you an example: Brazil.
When everyone in the first world back in the 1980's or so was acquiring 4th gen fighter aircraft (F-16s, F/A-18s, you name it) Brazil kept flying their 2nd gen Mirage III and 3rd gen F-5 fighter aircraft. Later they retired their Mirage IIIs and kept their 3rd gen F-5's which in the meanwhile, were updated. Currently their fighter force is still composed by these same F-5 3rd gen fighter aircraft when and once again, basically all 1st world countries that operates fighter aircraft have been operating 4th gen fighter aircraft for decades (and a considerable number of these countries are already replacing them with 5th gen F-35s).
And it's only now and after 2021 that Brazil started to field their first 4th gen fighter aircraft, the Gripen E. So yes, there will be countries (like Brazil) that won't operate 5th gen fighter aircraft for many decades to come and will probably do it only after more developed 1st world countries start to field 6th gen fighter aircraft (whatever that might be) and as such do 1st world countries like France want to have a 1st rate Air Force with 5th gen fighter aircraft or do they want to have a 2nd/3rd rate Air Force like most 3rd world countries? Another rhetoric question.


mixelflick wrote:I guess time will tell...

Please excuse my presumption but I don't need time to tell me the obvious :wink:
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post18 Mar 2022, 21:22

Until the loyal wingman thing becomes a thing I think the smaller 4.5 gen aircraft will make excellent bomb trucks and Arsenal aircraft. The Rafale with its decent RCS, large payload for its size and range would be ideal for this.
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Unread post18 Mar 2022, 21:35

viperzerof-2 wrote:Until the loyal wingman thing becomes a thing I think the smaller 4.5 gen aircraft will make excellent bomb trucks and Arsenal aircraft. The Rafale with its decent RCS, large payload for its size and range would be ideal for this.


The problem is that having " X 5th gen fighter aircraft + X 4.5th gen fighter aircraft " is more expensive (both in acquisition and specially in maintenance/sustainability), it's much riskier to an X number of pilots (the ones that will fly the 4.5th gen fighter aircraft) and does NOT bring more payload and better effectiveness in deploying it than a " 2*X (all) 5th gen fighter aircraft solution ".

The "5th gen fighter aircraft + 4.5th gen fighter aircraft" solution will only serve temporarily for countries such as the USA which operates large to very large fleets of fighter aircraft in order to maintain their numbers high until 5th gen fighter aircraft can fully replace the 4.5th gen fighter aircraft numerically speaking.

P.S. - What I say about 4.5th gen fighter aircraft does not only apply to the Rafale but it also applies equally to all other 4.5th gen fighter aircraft like for example the Super Hornet, Gripen E, etc...
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post18 Mar 2022, 22:26

ricnunes wrote:
P.S. - What I say about 4.5th gen fighter aircraft does not only apply to the Rafale but it also applies equally to all other 4.5th gen fighter aircraft like for example the Super Hornet, Gripen E, etc...


Yes I know, I thought some features of the Rafale where ideal for this but I didn’t mean to imply it was the only one or even the best.
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Unread post20 Mar 2022, 03:51

Counting from left to right the cross-deck pendants this aircraft seems to have caught the third which is No.2 wire on a four wire carrier such as USS Truman. It's the TRUMAN SHOW: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Truman_Show
"220311-N-PG226-2161 IONIAN SEA (Mar. 11, 2022) A French Rafale F-3R lands on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), Mar. 11, 2022. The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations in support of U.S., allied and partner interests in Europe and Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Tate Cardinal)" http://alert5.com/wp-content/uploads/20 ... 089990.jpg (1.3Mb)

"220311-N-ZE328-1670 IONIAN SEA (Mar. 11, 2022) A French Rafale F-3R launches from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), Mar. 11, 2022. The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations in support of U.S., allied and partner interests in Europe and Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kelsey Trinh)" http://alert5.com/wp-content/uploads/20 ... 090001.jpg (1.5Mb)
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Unread post26 Mar 2022, 19:43

Greece signs for additional Rafales
25 Mar 2022 Gareth Jennings

"Greece has signed for additional Dassault Rafale combat aircraft from France, with both countries' defence ministers sealing the earlier announced order on 24 March.

Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, Greek Minister of National Defence, and Florence Parly, French Minister of the Armed Forces, signed a contract for six new Rafales for Greece, adding to the 18 ordered to bring the Hellenic Air Force's (HAF's) fleet up to 24 aircraft.

The contract finalises the announcement for the new fighters made in September 2021 by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis...."

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Unread post15 Apr 2022, 17:16

ricnunes wrote:
viperzerof-2 wrote:Until the loyal wingman thing becomes a thing I think the smaller 4.5 gen aircraft will make excellent bomb trucks and Arsenal aircraft. The Rafale with its decent RCS, large payload for its size and range would be ideal for this.


The problem is that having " X 5th gen fighter aircraft + X 4.5th gen fighter aircraft " is more expensive (both in acquisition and specially in maintenance/sustainability), it's much riskier to an X number of pilots (the ones that will fly the 4.5th gen fighter aircraft) and does NOT bring more payload and better effectiveness in deploying it than a " 2*X (all) 5th gen fighter aircraft solution ".

The "5th gen fighter aircraft + 4.5th gen fighter aircraft" solution will only serve temporarily for countries such as the USA which operates large to very large fleets of fighter aircraft in order to maintain their numbers high until 5th gen fighter aircraft can fully replace the 4.5th gen fighter aircraft numerically speaking.

P.S. - What I say about 4.5th gen fighter aircraft does not only apply to the Rafale but it also applies equally to all other 4.5th gen fighter aircraft like for example the Super Hornet, Gripen E, etc...



Poorer countries aka most of Asia, Africa and South America will stick with 4th and 4.5 gen jets for decades more. It's really all they need and all they can realistically afford.

If they do get 5th gen it'll be Russian and/or Chinese or MAYBE used F-35s no earlier than say 2040 or so.
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Unread post15 Apr 2022, 17:30

commisar wrote:Poorer countries ... will stick with 4th and 4.5 gen jets for decades more. It's really all they... can realistically afford.

Except the Swiss tender showed that the F-35 is cheaper to purchase and operate than the 4.5th gen jets. If they go with those over F-35 it is due to congress not approving the sale or the unwillingness to buy American.
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Unread post16 Apr 2022, 01:31

France will have plenty of time to get their 4.5 gen aircraft developed. It's replacement won't be till 2050. It may compete in comps for the F-35 replacement.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... irbus-spat
The new combat jet isn't expected to enter service until about 2050 due to delays
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Unread post16 Apr 2022, 04:29

commisar wrote:
ricnunes wrote:
viperzerof-2 wrote:Until the loyal wingman thing becomes a thing I think the smaller 4.5 gen aircraft will make excellent bomb trucks and Arsenal aircraft. The Rafale with its decent RCS, large payload for its size and range would be ideal for this.


The problem is that having " X 5th gen fighter aircraft + X 4.5th gen fighter aircraft " is more expensive (both in acquisition and specially in maintenance/sustainability), it's much riskier to an X number of pilots (the ones that will fly the 4.5th gen fighter aircraft) and does NOT bring more payload and better effectiveness in deploying it than a " 2*X (all) 5th gen fighter aircraft solution ".

The "5th gen fighter aircraft + 4.5th gen fighter aircraft" solution will only serve temporarily for countries such as the USA which operates large to very large fleets of fighter aircraft in order to maintain their numbers high until 5th gen fighter aircraft can fully replace the 4.5th gen fighter aircraft numerically speaking.

P.S. - What I say about 4.5th gen fighter aircraft does not only apply to the Rafale but it also applies equally to all other 4.5th gen fighter aircraft like for example the Super Hornet, Gripen E, etc...



Poorer countries aka most of Asia, Africa and South America will stick with 4th and 4.5 gen jets for decades more. It's really all they need and all they can realistically afford.

If they do get 5th gen it'll be Russian and/or Chinese or MAYBE used F-35s no earlier than say 2040 or so.


The KF-21 could be an option over any 4/4.5 Generation Fighter......(at least for some nations)
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Unread post10 May 2022, 02:50

a mancerere limit at 200 Its/20,000 kts improved by 20%, ie 3.9 g against 3.25 g;


I’ve been thinking this is 200 knots at 20000 feet? That can’t be meters because the Rafale has a 50000 ft service ceiling. It’s compared to an 80s mirage so it has to be air to air load out. 3.9 g for the Rafale vs 3.25 g for the mirage 2000c at 20000ft 200kt. Maybe someone who speaks French can read the original article?

If that’s the case it’s interesting to compare to the F-35 EM chart we have.
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Unread post11 May 2022, 12:27

On a side note, does anyone know if Rafale has FSS radome?
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Unread post11 May 2022, 16:26

garrya wrote:On a side note, does anyone know if Rafale has FSS radome?

At least searches don't seem to give an instant result.

Here the discussion seems to be around Typhoon having it, SH not, Rafale may or may not.
https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/thread ... ers.39302/
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