F-35 Lightning II vs Dassault Rafale

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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optimist

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Unread post18 Nov 2022, 01:04

viperzerof-2 wrote:
loke wrote:Rafale to get dedicated SEAD/DEAD capabilities as part of F5 standard by 2030:

https://twitter.com/GarethJennings3/sta ... 3727462400

Seems kinda… late?

At least after 2030. They will stop lying to us all the time, about the current SEAD/DEAD lack of capability. The current pixie dust sererio, is straight fantasy.
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Unread post18 Nov 2022, 12:46

ricnunes wrote:
viperzerof-2 wrote:
loke wrote:Rafale to get dedicated SEAD/DEAD capabilities as part of F5 standard by 2030:

https://twitter.com/GarethJennings3/sta ... 3727462400

Seems kinda… late?


Exactly!
And if we judge by the 2016 "Indian list" whose requirements should be implemented starting in 2024 at best (8 years delay) then I wouldn't be surprised to see the Rafale getting the "dedicated SEAD/DEAD capabilities" only in 2038-2040...


Not to mention how important SEAD/DEAD was in Desert Storm, only about 31 years ago even before first production model prototypes of Rafale flew. I think the French thought that against more capable enemies they'd be part of the coalition where other countries (USA, UK, Germany and Italy) would do the SEAD stuff. They probably figured that it'd be rather costly to develop real SEAD capability for Rafale and spent the money elsewhere.
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ricnunes

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Unread post18 Nov 2022, 15:17

hornetfinn wrote:Not to mention how important SEAD/DEAD was in Desert Storm, only about 31 years ago even before first production model prototypes of Rafale flew. I think the French thought that against more capable enemies they'd be part of the coalition where other countries (USA, UK, Germany and Italy) would do the SEAD stuff. They probably figured that it'd be rather costly to develop real SEAD capability for Rafale and spent the money elsewhere.


Indeed.
And what I find amusing is that until "yesterday", many criticized the F-35 for its delays (compared to the scheduled entry in service) and today some still criticize the F-35 because it has a "limited" pool of certified weapons but many of these critics actually praise the Rafale (some being "Rafale fans") but they forget that the Rafale was delayed just as much as the F-35 (again compared to the scheduled entry in service) while the Rafale has half or less than half the capabilities of the F-35 (such as not having Stealth and SEAD/DEAD capabilities, etc...) :wink:
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post18 Nov 2022, 16:05

It seems inital SEAD/DEAD capability will come with F4, and full capability with F5: https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... ad-mission

The Typhoon is also lacking a dedicated SEAD/DEAD/EA capabilities. However this is capabilities that Germany has decided to integrate.

Perhaps parts of these elements will be done in collaboration with France. https://www.aviacionline.com/2022/11/se ... d-by-2030/

Also keep in mind that although not dedicated SEAD/DEAD, Rafale has some capabilities integrated already, as demonstrated in Libya in 2020:

TUNIS – Informed sources told The Arab Weekly that the warplanes that targeted al-Watiya airbase in western Libya were Rafale jets, which limits the identity of the attacking power to France and Egypt, the two countries within the range of the base that possess this type of aircraft.

A retired Libyan army officer residing in the Zintan region revealed to The Arab Weekly that a squadron of fighter planes launched a series of air strikes on al-Watiya base, where Turkey had deployed F-16 fighters, Bayraktar TB2 and Anka-S drones, backed by a MIM-23 Hawk air defence system with its radars.

The retired officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that nine air strikes targeted the al-Nadab quarters at al-Watiya base, which the Turkish military forces on the base had used as their headquarters since last May. Also targeted were Sungur air defence systems, fixed and mobile radar installations and Koral signal jamming system, which the Turkish army units had stationed at al-Watiya base.

https://thearabweekly.com/rafale-attack ... -or-french
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Unread post23 Nov 2022, 01:52

This topic has been covered to death, yet I'm compelled to throw in my two cents anyway.

On paper these fighters seem comparable with the Rafale even coming out ahead of the F-35 in critical ways. For instance the Rafale has a greater payload to empty weight ratio, super cruise, superior range, and other ways that make it look operationally comparable or better than the F-35. In practice however the Rafale's capabilities are dependent on its war load and thus you're flying a completely different plane.

For instance the only way a Rafale could outrange an F-35 is to overload it with three or four drop tanks, thus reducing its potential payload. Or if you're selecting an A2G load, you lose super cruise and again range due to added drag. Or if you're opting for a pure A2A configuration for super cruise, once again you're changing the configuration. All of these result in a fighter which can go to some impressive extremes, but always at the expense of other attributes.

The beauty of the F-35 is that its VLO configuration is comparable to a 4th generation fighter like the F-16 or F-18 in terms of payload + range while not dramatically diminishing its performance. Forget its VLO advantage, its performance with an A2A or A2G load doesn't dramatically change until you start mounting external weapons. Once you go into beast mode you could reasonably double the A2G war load while still managing comparable range with drop tanks, whereas a Rafale would have to compromise on how many tanks or bombs it has to sacrifice.

Even if F-35 went all in with 6 heavy weapons its internal fuel capacity is still significant, whereas a Rafale going all in with weapons would have almost no range to speak of. Just in terms of internal weaponry, the F-35 has a huge advantage over the Rafale. F-35's performance stats may not look that impressive, but once you start comparing it to an equally-equipped 4+ generation fighter hanging external weapons... the game changes completely in its favor.
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Unread post24 Nov 2022, 10:16

battleshipagincourt wrote:F-35's performance stats may not look that impressive, but once you start comparing it to an equally-equipped 4+ generation fighter hanging external weapons... the game changes completely in its favor.


"there are “fourth-generation aircraft with fifth-generation capabilities,” and that it’s become too simplistic to pigeonhole aircraft into various categories. Older aircraft are carrying increasingly sophisticated sensors and weapons"

Speech from Gen. Mark D. Kelly, commander of Air Combat Command, at AFA's Air, Space & Cyber Conference, Sept. 21, 2022.

https://www.airandspaceforces.com/u-s-h ... eterrence/
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Unread post24 Nov 2022, 15:49

pakal wrote:
battleshipagincourt wrote:F-35's performance stats may not look that impressive, but once you start comparing it to an equally-equipped 4+ generation fighter hanging external weapons... the game changes completely in its favor.


"there are “fourth-generation aircraft with fifth-generation capabilities,” and that it’s become too simplistic to pigeonhole aircraft into various categories. Older aircraft are carrying increasingly sophisticated sensors and weapons"


Yeah, yeah... That's why the French are leading the development of FCAS, the British are leading the development of Tempest, the Chinese are developing the J-20 and J-35, the Turks are developing TFX, the South Koreans the KF-21, the Russians are trying to develop Su-57 and Su-75 and so on... instead of simply updating fourth-generation aircraft with fifth-generation capabilities (whatever that might be)?? :roll:

Moreover, the most important feature of 5th gen fighter aircraft is STEALTH (or VLO) and that's something you simply cannot fit in a fourth-generation aircraft, ever!
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post24 Nov 2022, 16:16

viperzerof-2 wrote:Even the F-2 which was never intended to have or need SEAD capability has it now. The F-16 has had it since the block 50, the hornet since the 80s. It’s really surprising how little urgency the Rafale has gotten.


In a typical fashion the Rafale will be upgraded to do a job the fans have claimed it has done all along. that twitter thread is painful. even Gareth is having to explain to them that the French are saying they have to expand on the capability they lack, while the fans tell him he is wrong and the French air force does not realize its own capability

pakal wrote:
battleshipagincourt wrote:F-35's performance stats may not look that impressive, but once you start comparing it to an equally-equipped 4+ generation fighter hanging external weapons... the game changes completely in its favor.


"there are “fourth-generation aircraft with fifth-generation capabilities,” and that it’s become too simplistic to pigeonhole aircraft into various categories. Older aircraft are carrying increasingly sophisticated sensors and weapons"

Speech from Gen. Mark D. Kelly, commander of Air Combat Command, at AFA's Air, Space & Cyber Conference, Sept. 21, 2022.

https://www.airandspaceforces.com/u-s-h ... eterrence/


How about you share with the class the "5th generation capabilities" the Rafale has that make it too simplistic to "pigeonhole" rather than trying to obfuscate.
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Unread post25 Nov 2022, 03:29

pakal...Are you quoting the US about the Super Hornet?
“Looking at the future, the Block III airframe is almost identical to the Block II, but everything inside the platform, in terms of avionics and sensors, is the latest and greatest. You’re having essentially fifth-gen avionics in a fourth-gen airframe if you want to look at it from that perspective. The way that the Super Hornet Block III is designed with its open mission system architecture allows for a lot of future growth and more of a rapid type of technology insertion versus the old way of doing business. I think there’s a lot of benefits there that the IN would get – actually anybody who buys the Block III – but especially the IN since they’re looking to operate from an aircraft carrier.”

In any case, you can put a new suit on an old man...but he is still an old man and can never be 5th gen. It's embarrassing to try and compare a Rafale with the Super Hornet. The SH is a far better 4th/4.5 gen. It has the radar modes India wants and you don't have to wait till 2030 for SEAD/DEAD. Though India has it's own peculiar procurement system, involving MONEY :mrgreen:
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Unread post25 Nov 2022, 05:13

From the same sAUse go here for it: viewtopic.php?f=58&t=53865&p=475651&hilit=Khalem#p475651
"...The AESA radar for Super Hornet has been around since 2005, so it has 17 years plus of development and fine tuning for a naval mission set. We have a lot of air-to-surface modes, where those are really refined. I think the Rafale is now just starting out developing its AESA. It’s been around for a few years and obviously you want to focus on your air-to-air modes first and then your air-to-ground modes. With Rafale being primarily an air force fighter, the air-to-surface modes are probably going to be the last to be developed and refined. Those things take time.”..."
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Unread post25 Nov 2022, 09:53

We ordered an update on the APG-79 for the SH and growler in 2017. Australia $6.8m and the US with $17.9 million. This was to be completed in march last year. I think it is to block lll
https://adbr.com.au/raytheon-receives-a ... -contract/
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Unread post25 Nov 2022, 16:10

pakal wrote:
battleshipagincourt wrote:F-35's performance stats may not look that impressive, but once you start comparing it to an equally-equipped 4+ generation fighter hanging external weapons... the game changes completely in its favor.


"there are “fourth-generation aircraft with fifth-generation capabilities,” and that it’s become too simplistic to pigeonhole aircraft into various categories. Older aircraft are carrying increasingly sophisticated sensors and weapons"

Speech from Gen. Mark D. Kelly, commander of Air Combat Command, at AFA's Air, Space & Cyber Conference, Sept. 21, 2022.

https://www.airandspaceforces.com/u-s-h ... eterrence/

Would you like to share with everyone what "5th generation" features the Rafale has that makes its indefinable generationally?
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Unread post25 Nov 2022, 21:39

I would guess that would be the Spectra Omnirole Binoculars, The SOB. Made famous in the ME deployment. The Rafale's pilot story is posted on the forum.
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Unread post25 Nov 2022, 22:36

optimist wrote:I would guess that would be the Spectra Omnirole Binoculars, The SOB. Made famous in the ME deployment. The Rafale's pilot story is posted on the forum.

Is Spectra really that different than other fourth gen ECM systems?

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


https://www.key.aero/forum/modern-milit ... 61&page=17
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Unread post25 Nov 2022, 23:34

It's always been a lack of money. SPECTRA is standard self defense stuff. What was good with the rafale. Was it's sensor fusing at the time, in the 1980's. Surpassed now of course.
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