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 post23 May 2022, 08:59

Two Rafales collided at Cognac-Châteaubernard airshow and had some damage. Luckily no-one was hurt and no aircraft lost.

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Found this here: https://twitter.com/TeroTweet/status/1528609266575220736?s=20&t=ecBRwClzNLf7CbUqChIgYA

Haven't found videos about this yet, but I bet those will surface at some point.
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Unread post23 May 2022, 09:50

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steve2267

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Unread post23 May 2022, 15:07

Are modern flight control systems damage tolerant?

We know that LM (pioneered?) flight control design wherein they kind of worked the problem backwards. What I mean by that is they figured out what control surface deflections were required to meet a commanded pitch/roll/yaw rate etc. (That's my easiest, non-control-dynamics engineering understanding & explanation.)

It seems to me that the software could be designed such that if the software commands control surfaces 1, 2, & 6 to deflect angles theta1, theta2, and theta6 to meet a demanded control input... BUT the resulting rates do not match (within some tolerance) the expected result, the control software could say "Whoops! Something ain't right here..." But if it records the result it could then "on-the-fly" compare commanded/expected-rates vs commanded/resulting-rates and thus be able to continue to fly a damaged aircraft missing certain pieces. Of course, after some number of pieces leave the aircraft, it will no longer be flyable.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post23 May 2022, 15:47

steve2267 wrote:Are modern flight control systems damage tolerant?


Yes, as far back as the F/A-18E/F this was a function of a FLCS. It can learn/update the state of the control surfaces and update the movement commands accordingly.
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Unread post23 May 2022, 21:17

steve2267 wrote:Are modern flight control systems damage tolerant?...

THE F-35 FACES ITS MOST CRITICAL TEST
WHAT PILOTS SAY ABOUT THE WORLD’S MOST ADVANCED FIGHTER.
Apr/May 2019 Linda Shiner

"...COLONEL ARTHUR “TURBO” TOMASSETTI | USMC (RET. )...
...One of the marvels of this airplane is the digital flight control technology. You are telling the airplane to go up or down, speed up or slow down, go left or right. And the computers figure out what’s the best way to do that, and they’re going to move the flight controls to do it. And the interesting thing is, they may not do it the same way twice. So let’s say the airplane gets damaged, and one of the flight controls is no longer available. A legacy airplane would still try to use that surface because it doesn’t know any better. The F-35 digital flight control systems will say, “That surface isn’t doing much for me anymore, so I’m going to have to compensate by using some other things. Maybe I’ll have to move them a little bit more to get the same effect because the pilot still wants to turn left.”..."

Source: AIR & SPACE April/May 2019

Lightning II: A flier's dream
Oct 2012 DESIDER

"...Survivability and availability
F-35 was designed with survivability in mind. It features, for example, defensive systems and flying controls that automatically reconfigure so that the aircraft remains flyable even with battle-damaged control surfaces...."

Source: http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/86DA7E86 ... _2012U.pdf

A Look At The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
31 May 2013 Tim Kern

"...Hydraulics are backed up by a “quad-redundant” fly-by-wire system, saving weight and complexity. For example, the F-35 can fly with one horizontal tail and one rudder missing...."

Source: http://www.aviationpros.com/article/109 ... ke-fighter
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Unread post24 May 2022, 02:20

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Unread post24 May 2022, 11:31

While the situation may look shocking and it could have been much, much worse the result damage isn't so shocking or "extensive" as it could have been.
Afterall we're "only" talking about a bented canard in one aircraft and the tip of vertical stabilizer being ripped from the other aircraft. So yes, any combat aircraft should be able to sustain such level of damage and keep flying.

What's "impressive" is that two aircraft collided mid-air and that was the only damage. Both pilots and their aircraft were extremely lucky, I must say!
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post22 Jun 2022, 04:50

I found out what can get you banned from a french site. I posted this.
"Of course, you can't quote a Dassault statement that says that. Myths start from many places. A pilot in a Fox article, that's all I've seen. You realize that no other aircraft can do this. I would even say that even the F-22 with its external tanks and armaments cannot do M1.4. In straight and level flight, an important point to add.

Indeed, I am in awe of this powerful Rafale. Only God knows why the UAE wanted a more powerful engine in the Rafale, because they didn't want to lose the specs they had with their F-16," a French general said."
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Unread post22 Jun 2022, 12:48

optimist wrote:I found out what can get you banned from a french site. I posted this.
"Of course, you can't quote a Dassault statement that says that. Myths start from many places. A pilot in a Fox article, that's all I've seen. You realize that no other aircraft can do this. I would even say that even the F-22 with its external tanks and armaments cannot do M1.4. In straight and level flight, an important point to add.

Indeed, I am in awe of this powerful Rafale. Only God knows why the UAE wanted a more powerful engine in the Rafale, because they didn't want to lose the specs they had with their F-16," a French general said."


The majority of French seem to be zealots about their stuff, period!
So discussing French aircraft/Rafale in a French site is a pure waste of time! - This is like trying to convince Putin that what he's doing in Ukraine is plain wrong...
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post22 Jun 2022, 14:08

viperzerof-2 wrote:
On the 4vs4 encounter between CdG Rafale and F16 B52+.
This time the french aircrafts also used the trainning function of Spectra, in mild jamming mode, which were immediately detected from the greek aircrafts ECCM, which reply automatically with no pilot input.

The BVR tactics used by the French didn't impress, while they reported all virtual shots as kills.But without wanting to go into detail, observing the route of the target in relation with the lock on it, keeping time (counting) in relation with the virtual launch, the greek pilots managed to arrive to safe conclusions. This time, the majority of the greek shots were inside the "no escape" envelope of AMRAAM, which gave clear advantage to the greek side. The tactic of using data link, where 2 different radars could lock onto 4 aircrafts, taking advantage of the function that the new aircraft gives, made obvious in practice the advantages of the new F16 version. With special tactics planned by our pilots, in quite some cases, they were approaching unobserved opposite to the french aircrafts, a fact that was shown by their reactions.

The success of the greek aircrafts against the Rafale M was afterwards confirmed by comparing the shot reports of the French with the F16 videos, where it was shown that most shots were of low Pk (kill probability).

As a general conclusion, one may say that any Rafale's superiority, in the above scenarios, is marginal, with high kill percentage for the greek side. Also it should be noted that in that period of time, the CdG was cooperating with a greek EMB-145H Erieye with the aim to evaluate the interoperability of the 2 sides. More in detail Link 11 and Link 16 were tested. From the time of take-off from Elefsis airfield, within 10 minutes the greek aircraft had established contact with the french carrier, certifying capability of cooperation in network-centered operations for both sides.

Aegean Gust.

4 Rafale F2 B, 1 Rafale F2 C.

The recent excercise wasn't the first occasion for a HAF squadron to counter the Rafale. In 2006 the Rafale M from CdG partecipated in excercises with F16block52+ and F4E AUP. But the Rafale M of the time, were F1, a version centered in air-to-air role with somewhat limited capabilities. In the Aegean Gust partecipated Rafale F2, with improved air to air capabilities, including the data link between aircrafts of a formation, combined with FSO and data fusion...

... Both greek and french pilots flew as backseaters in each other planes. As for the engagements:

4 sorties occured in the morning and 3 in the evening of Tuesday in 2 vs 2 scenarios, in BVR. The greek aircrafts were B52+. On Wednesday 8 sorties with Rafale B in 2 waves (morning, evening), with the partecipation of 1 french pilot and 4 greek backseaters. This time it was 4 vs 4. The greek aircrafts were B52+, B50D, B30.
Something that appeared strange to the greek pilots, was that while according to the HAF policy the pilots were doing the last pre-takeoff check of their planes (Leak check), the French pilots were taking position on the runway without doing so.

The impressions of the greek pilots were variable, as is natural , and their observations quite interesting. The whole of the greek F16 pilots, found the cockpit particularly functional, although a bit small, as is used in all french aircrafts. Also, the best impressions left the glass cockpit advanced disposition. It is known that the high operational output of the Rafale is result of high performance, excellent behaviour and friendly MMI that adopts to the high workload in multirole missions. The existance of so many displays and the characteristical absense of analog instruments, was natural to make a big impression to the greek pilots, who apart the Falcon's MFDs, are used to analog instruments. Some in fact, told us that they would feel more comfortable, if some analog instruments have been kept as backups in cases of malfunction or failiure of the electric system. Of course it is certain that safety valves has been thought, while evolution indicates that full glass cockpit will dominate in the future, as will happen in the case of F35 too.

It is also natural to be impressed by the high situation awareness provided by the Rafale thanks to data fusion. The Rafale, as the greek pilots had the chance to see, can receive tracking data from RBE2, Spectra, OSF, IFF, MICA IR sensors and accompanying aircrafts, ground command and control facilities and AWACS, elaborate them and produce system tracking data (system tracks). These are superior to quality compared to the single data of the individual sensors. This data is then used for fire control and is shown in the central tactical display and can be transmitted to fellow aircrafts. So, at a glance at the tactical display, the pilots can see the position of targets that may be inside the radar cone or outside and even in the rear hemisphere, no matter if the radar is on or off!

Also, it was verified that OSF provides advantage in air combat. As the greek pilots observed, once the target is locked from the radar, its image is then displayed in the central display which facilitates very much the target identification even in great distances.A similar function is provided in the F16 by the Lantirn Pod in air to air mode, with the difference that the backseater can make a search independent of the radar. On the contrary on the Rafale, the OSF is primarily slaved on the radar.

The best of impressions left to the greek pilots the performace of the Rafale's self protection suite, confirming the french reputation in the sector since the time that HAF operated the ICMS2000 in the Mirage2000.

Small reprimands were made to some small but important details, like the fact of the abscense of a countdown timer in the HUD when a BVR missile is flying towards its target. The greek F16 pilots are used to such an indicator on the lower left of the HUD, indicating the "Time On Target" of the Amraam and the time remaining until the Amraam's autonomous seeker is activated. If the missile fails tracking, then the indication "Loose" appears over the locked target on the HUD and the pilot is aware that the shot has failed. Something like this wasn't found on the Rafale, leading to a difficulty in the interpretation of the BVR shots during the engagements. And this, because the French were regarding that after a certain range , a MICA shot was always successful. As a result, the arrival to safe conclusions, was problematic.

Beyond that, it was also commented positively the agility of the Rafale. Of course the greek pilots still think of the F16 as a particularly capable aircraft in dogfight.
In the air, the Rafale is very agile, but for the greek pilots the sense of flying was very different from that of the F16. It was commented as perfectly stable, with very good response in all speeds and manouvers. Very good impressions were also left by the automatic pilot as well as the ability of maintaining very low speed during approach, prior to landing.

... The Rafale certainly proved that it is a very capable aircraft in the hands of the excellently trainned french pilots who have battle experience. The encounter with F16s, gave the greek pilots the opportunity to measure the F16 capabilities against a 4th gen aircraft, while it showed yet another time that the level of HAF pilots is one of the best in NATO airforces.



The greek pilots were called by their french colleagues as quite aggressive ("vicious") in the air and in no way they were easy targets, neither they reminded F16 pilots of other allied nations with which the Rafale had the chance to partecipate in some other excercises.
According to the french pilots, the Rafale prevailed in the air combat. Initially it was mentioned that in the first missions, the capabilities of the MICA missiles weren't correctly estimated by the opposite team. However, both sides made successful "shots" on the opponents.

The impressions of the greek pilots from the Rafale, were concentrated on the very good situatnio awareness , thanks to link 16 and the big touch screens. These were proved to provide very good image even in conditions of intensive sunshine, which often reduces visibility. In general, the cockpit layout, particularly impresses the greek pilots. Particularly interest also had the use of the Spectra, on the use of which, the french base some of their air tactics that have developed.

As far as the availability of the Rafale goes, in the duration of 18 sorties, it was proved high (94%), while only one flight was delayed and in one more there was a minor technical problem during flight.

http://www.ellinikos-stratos.com/forum/ ... p?TID=1432


Translation of Greek article and forum post about rafale vs F-16 BVR in the 2000s from an old key post

https://www.key.aero/forum/modern-milit ... 61&page=17

What’s interesting is the French never claimed the Rafale was the air superiority king. They left EFA because they wanted a more modest multirole aircraft rather then a hyper optimized air superiority platform.
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Unread post22 Jun 2022, 20:41

viperzerof-2 wrote: What’s interesting is the French never claimed the Rafale was the air superiority king. They left EFA because they wanted a more modest multirole aircraft rather then a hyper optimized air superiority platform.


I was i the UK back in the mid 80s. I remember Carrier ops and France as the lead vendor. When all the others balked at this France withdrew.

In 1984, France reiterated its requirement for a carrier-capable version and demanded a leading role.

https://www.militaryfactory.com/aircraft/detail.php?aircraft_id=55
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Unread post23 Jun 2022, 01:16

Here on page two there is a table showing how the Rafale and 1985 EFA configuration compare to the European Staff requirements. Note the weights of both aircraft are lower then they would be when they entered service. In the case of the Eurofighter I believe the one ton difference is related to adding multirole requirements. The Rafale A was already completed if not flow at that point so the ACX numbers should be fairly on the money. The EFA is probably something like what’s pictured on page one and a tad different but similar.

https://web.archive.org/web/20190202074 ... 01540.html

https://web.archive.org/web/20190202074 ... =Bae+P+120
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Unread post24 Jun 2022, 17:01

viperzerof-2 wrote:What’s interesting is the French never claimed the Rafale was the air superiority king. They left EFA because they wanted a more modest multirole aircraft rather then a hyper optimized air superiority platform.

Rafale has definitely become a very well balanced multirole aircraft, whereas the Typhoon is still not a mature multirole aircraft (but it's getting there, after so many years!)

Rafale wins clearly over the Typhoon in terms of export and export customers (*):

Croatia: 12 on order
Egypt: 24 in service, total ordered 54
Greece: 24 ordered
India: 36 in service
Indonesia: 42 on order
Qatar: 25 delivered, total ordered 36
UAE: 80 ordered (yes the ones that according to @optimist said "the engine is too weak").
Total: 284

Typhoon:
Austria 15 delivered
Kuwait 2 delivered total ordered 28
Oman 12 delivered
Qatar 24 ordered
Saudi Arabia 71 delivered, 72 ordered
Total: 151

I am quite sure that we will see more Rafale export orders in the future. I am not so sure about the Typhoon.

(*) total number of Typhoons are still much larger than total number of Rafale due to the 4 Typhoon partners. Nevertheless Rafale seems to be more mature, and is probably not more expensive than Typhoon (perhaps even cheaper than Typhoon?)
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Unread post24 Jun 2022, 17:26

loke wrote:
viperzerof-2 wrote:What’s interesting is the French never claimed the Rafale was the air superiority king. They left EFA because they wanted a more modest multirole aircraft rather then a hyper optimized air superiority platform.

Rafale has definitely become a very well balanced multirole aircraft, whereas the Typhoon is still not a mature multirole aircraft (but it's getting there, after so many years!)

Rafale wins clearly over the Typhoon in terms of export and export customers (*):

Croatia: 12 on order
Egypt: 24 in service, total ordered 54
Greece: 24 ordered
India: 36 in service
Indonesia: 42 on order
Qatar: 25 delivered, total ordered 36
UAE: 80 ordered (yes the ones that according to @optimist said "the engine is too weak").
Total: 284

Typhoon:
Austria 15 delivered
Kuwait 2 delivered total ordered 28
Oman 12 delivered
Qatar 24 ordered
Saudi Arabia 71 delivered, 72 ordered
Total: 151

I am quite sure that we will see more Rafale export orders in the future. I am not so sure about the Typhoon.

(*) total number of Typhoons are still much larger than total number of Rafale due to the 4 Typhoon partners. Nevertheless Rafale seems to be more mature, and is probably not more expensive than Typhoon (perhaps even cheaper than Typhoon?)

Oh I definitely don’t disagree with you. Rafale is a great multirole and maybe the best you can get outside of American. I just wanted to point out the French themselves always saw it that way and not as an ultra high performance.
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Unread post25 Jun 2022, 16:13

French navy eyeing US progress in unmanned, ‘data-centric’ operations
25 Jun 2022 Megan Eckstein

"WASHINGTON — The French navy is assessing what it can learn from U.S. advances in “data-centric operations” and cloud technologies, its chief told reporters Friday following a week of travel in the United States. Adm. Pierre Vandier spoke June 24 at the Washington Navy Yard about the need to be interoperable and interchangeable with the U.S. Navy as they partner in four oceans and all domains....

...He noted Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has urged the U.S. Navy to collaborate with close partners on information-sharing and technology transfer opportunities One good example of that, Gilday added, would be learning to operate the U.S. F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets and the vast quantity of data they collect with the French navy’s fourth-generation Dassault Rafale fighters.

U.S. carriers frequently operate alongside French carrier Charles de Gaulle, and Gilday said the strike groups must ensure they collectively make the most of the data they have access to.

“The cooperation we’ve see across NATO during this Russia-Ukraine crisis and the sharing of information and intelligence from the United States has also given us momentum to break down barriers and trade information and technology with our close partners like the French. We have to” now, Gilday said, before they find themselves in combat together.

“We’re trading information and concepts of operations from the seabed to space so that we can operate more closely together,” he added."

Photo: "A Dassault Rafale assigned to the 1/4 Gascogne Fighter Squadron, 113 Saint-Dizier-Robinson air base, France, and a U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 4th Fighter Squadron, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, fly in formation May 18, 2021 over France. (Staff Sgt. Alexander Cook/U.S. Air Force)" https://www.defensenews.com/resizer/k-_ ... format(jpg):quality(70)/cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/mco/F3MG4QA3DRCCFDYLPMAWYYEJZQ.jpg


Source: https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2022/ ... perations/
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