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Subject: UK Pilot flight test the Rafale F3
Bluewings12    11/9/2009 1:57:05 PM
By Peter Collins : Chapter 1 , the aircraft : "Most advanced Allied air forces now have operational fleets of fourth-generation fighters (defined by attributes such as being fly-by-wire, highly unstable, highly agile, net-centric, multi-weapon and multi-role assets). These Western types include the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon and Saab Gripen NG. The Boeing F-15E and Lockheed Martin F-16 have an older heritage, but their latest upgrades give them similar multi-role mission capabilities. Of the above group, only the Super Hornet and Rafale M are capable of aircraft-carrier operations. As these fourth-generation fighters' weapons, sensor systems and net-centric capabilities mature, the likelihood of export orders for such an operationally proven package becomes much more realistic. On behalf of Flight International, I became the first UK test pilot to evaluate the Rafale in its current F3 production standard, applicable to aircraft for both French air force and French navy frontline squadrons. The "proof-of-concept" Rafale A first flew in 1986 as an aerodynamic study, leading to the programme's formal launch two years later. The slightly smaller single-seat Rafale C01 and two-seat B01 for the French air force and single-seat M01 and M02 prototypes for the navy flew from 1991. The first production-standard Rafale flew in 1998, and entered service with the navy's 12F squadron at Landivisiau in 2004 in the F1 (air-to-air) standard. Deliveries of the air force's B- and C-model aircraft started in 2006 in the F2 standard, dubbed "omnirole" by Dassault. Since 2008, all Rafales have been delivered in the F3 standard, which adds reconnaissance pod integration and MBDA's ASMP-A nuclear weapon capability. All aircraft delivered in earlier production standards will be brought up to the F3 configuration over the next two years. The French forces plan to purchase 294 Rafales: 234 for the air force and 60 for the navy. Their Rafales are set to replace seven legacy fighter types, and will remain as France's principal combat aircraft until at least 2040. To date, about 70 Rafales have been delivered, with a current production rate of 12 a year. Rafale components and airframe sections are built at various Dassault facilities across France and assembled near Bordeaux, but maintained in design and engineering configuration "lockstep" using the virtual reality, Dassault-patented Catia database also used on the company's Falcon 7X business jet. Rafale software upgrades are scheduled to take place every two years, a complete set of new-generation sensors is set for 2012 and a full mid-life upgrade is planned for 2020 SUPERB PERFORMANCE The Rafale was always designed as an aircraft capable of any air-to-ground, reconnaissance or nuclear strike mission, but retaining superb air-to-air performance and capabilities. Air force and navy examples have made three fully operational deployments to Afghanistan since 2005, giving the French forces unparalleled combat and logistical experience. The commitments have also proved the aircraft's net-centric capabilities within the co-ordination required by coalition air forces and the command and control environment when delivering air support services to ground forces. Six Rafale Ms recently carried out a major joint exercise with the US Navy from the deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier the USS Theodore Roosevelt. The air force's B/C fighters have 80% commonality with the navy's Rafale M model, the main differences being the latter's navalised landing gear, arrestor hook and some fuselage longitudinal strengthening. Overall, the M is about 300kg (661lb) heavier than the B, and has 13 hardpoints, against the 14 found on air force examples. Dassault describes the Rafale as omnirole rather than multirole. This is derived from the wide variety of air-to-ground and air-to-air weapons, sensor pods and fuel tank combinations it can carry; the optimisation of aircraft materials and construction; and the full authority digital FBW controlling a highly agile (very aerodynamically unstable) platform. This also gives the aircraft a massive centre of gravity range and allows for a huge combination of different mission stores to be carried, including the asymmetric loading of heavy stores, both laterally and longitudinally. Other attributes include the wide range of smart and discrete sensors developed for the aircraft, and the way that the vast array of received information is "data fused" by a powerful central computer to reduce pilot workload when presented in the head-down, head-level and head-up displays. The Rafale is designed for day or night covert low-level penetration, and can carry a maximum of 9.5t of external ordinance, equal to the much larger F-15E. With a basic empty weight of 10.3t, an internal fuel capacity of 4.7t and a maximum take-off weight of 24.5t, the Rafale can lift 140% of additional lo
 
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Hamilcar    Follow up.   11/15/2009 1:32:17 PM
Hamilcar :
""Where is the Rafale? ROTFLMAO.""

Where it belongs for now : supporting the West troops in A-Stan . Do you have a problem with that , Herald ?
The Meteor for the Rafale is planned for 2015 and the FAF said the same than the RAF with the Amraam: The Mica provide sufficient capability .

Cheers .
======================================
 
Let's look at that.
 
So the Rafale is in force providing air cover in Afghanistan? 
 
 
On May 16, 2009, the three Rafale of the Air detachment of the base of Kandahar were relieved by three Mirage F1 CR of air base of Rheims. Present since January, the three Rafale carried out 224 sorties in support of the troops of the coalition representing 776 hours of air flight. It acted of the fourth detachment of Rafale operating in Afghanistan since March 2007. The Mirage F1 CR will only operate or in accompaniment of the Mirage 2000 D of Nancy, which have been engaged for four years in the area.
 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
None now as in ZERO.
 
Now go crawl off. 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
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Bluewings12       11/15/2009 2:53:18 PM
Regarding the Amraam , Hamilcar said :
""Its up to the customer to actually arrange to code for the US weapon (Israel?) since the French actually don't.""
 
I know and I 've never said otherwise .
Herald , Meteor is a highly advanced missile and a bit more testing will do good to everybody involved in the design .
Regarding the dates of the Rafale deployments , it doesn 't matter Herald . The Rafale has been there for over two and a half years and it is not over . 
 
Lynstyne :
""Re the refuelling probe - i will explain it again there is a big metal ball on the front because of this the rcs will never be as small as you think the ball is bigger than that, and placing ram material at its base would be a waste of effort.""
 
Dassault disagrees with you it seems ... Hiding the aluminium ball is impossible but coating the probe is possible , this is what I am trying to dig into . Give me time as the info is not on the open net (so far ?) .
**********
I see that everybody is down to nit-pick details because what I say can 't be disproved . It 's noted .
 
Cheers .

 
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Lynstyne       11/15/2009 3:16:08 PM

Regarding the Amraam , Hamilcar said :



""Its up to the customer to actually arrange to code for the US weapon (Israel?) since the French actually don't.""

 

I know and I 've never said otherwise .

Herald , Meteor is a highly advanced missile and a bit more testing will do good to everybody involved in the design .


Regarding the dates of the Rafale deployments , it doesn 't matter Herald . The Rafale has been there for over two and a half years and it is not over . 


 

Lynstyne :


""Re the refuelling probe - i will explain it again there is a big metal ball on the front because of this the rcs will never be as small as you think the ball is bigger than that, and placing ram material at its base would be a waste of effort.""

 

Dassault disagrees with you it seems ... Hiding the aluminium ball is impossible but coating the probe is possible , this is what I am trying to dig into . Give me time as the info is not on the open net (so far ?) .

**********


I see that everybody is down to nit-pick details because what I say can 't be disproved . It 's noted .


 

Cheers .








Heavy thud as Lynstyne Beats head against wall
 
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MK       11/15/2009 4:13:05 PM
In multirole , the actual Gripen is ahead of the actual Typhoon . The Rafale F3 also is .

True nobody disputed that, it's a question of priorities besides the core customers.
 
In AtA , it is a close call in between the Typhoon and the Rafale (the Gripen comes a bit short in real performance but its intranetwork ~data fusion in between Gripens~ is second to none) . Whatever say the fanboys , the various Rafale-Typhoon encounters did not bring a clear winner , far from it . However and for the sake of truth , it seems that the Typhoon won 2-1 against the Rafale during the S-Korean eval (it also won 4-0 against the F-15K) .
 
I suppose this must have been Singapore and not South Korea, but I could be wrong. But afaik Typhoon was not deployed to SK for evaluation purposes.
 
MK , I am sure that you are also aware of the French pilots saying that they can detect a Typhoon waaaay before they can detect another Rafale , which definatly proves the RCS difference . It is also why the Typhoon Captor , while having a better range than the Pesa RBE2 , don 't give the Eurofighter any edge in detection range .

I'm aware of these rumors, but they are just that in the first place, rumors. While I'm certain that the Rafale will enjoy an edge here, I don't think the difference is that large, particularly from the frontal section and not in a loaded configuration.

 
Furthermore, while the DASS is a powerfull ECM system and uses interferometry for geo-location , it doesn 't use AESA active antennas for precise jamming through multi-bands and is not LPI either .
 
Well DASS uses passive phased arrays which are perfectly capable of nearly instanous precious beam steering. It's actually a DECM system like the DBEM. But it certainly has to work in sequence to jam multiple targets "simultaneously". I'm not going to speculate about power and cooling constrains for the Spectra's AESA jammers, but the space is definitely limited so is the number of TRMs. The question is how many TRMs are required to jam a specific threat emitter and how much are left. The antenna technology is just one thing.
 
I could also say that DASS 's databank and data fusion is also less advanced than Spectra .
 
You could say, but this would be based on personal guesses, maybe even wishthinking. In which way the the DASS's database (about which we know nothing at all) less advanced and in which way is the DASS less well intergated? DASS is actually connected via a separate MIL STD 1553B to the AIS which fuses all onboard & offboard sensor data, with data from the navigation and communication systems. Well we certainly haven't heared about this or that capability, such as cueing the PIRATE by the ESM/RWR, but we know that DASS data are included in all fused sensor pictures (attack, PA and DASS).
 
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warpig       11/15/2009 5:10:50 PM
I could also say that DASS 's databank and data fusion is also less advanced than Spectra .
 

You could say, but this would be based on personal guesses, maybe even wishthinking. In which way the the DASS's database (about which we know nothing at all) less advanced and in which way is the DASS less well intergated?


While DGSE no doubt can provide the data the French Air Force needs, I'd bet on GCHQ coming through with whatever data is required by the RAF before I'd bet on DGSE--especially considering GCHQ has a very much closer working relationship with NSA (the vacuum cleaner of the EM spectrum) than DGSE does.
 
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Bluewings12       11/15/2009 5:17:40 PM
MK , I like to debate with you . Your politeness and straight on the point attitude are noted and appreciated .
Furthermore , I know that I can learn from you and I read the material you provide with trust .
I just hope that more posters had your attitude , it would helps a lot .
 
You said :
I'm aware of these rumors, but they are just that in the first place, rumors. While I'm certain that the Rafale will enjoy an edge here, I don't think the difference is that large, particularly from the frontal section and not in a loaded configuration.

I wouldn 't say "rumors , I would say corridor talk which is different . We 've been talking about at Air-Defense .
I also don 't think that the difference is very large in between Typhoon ' RCS and Rafale 's but big enough to negate the captor better range over the Pesa RBE2 . A clever guy could make a math guess , maybe ...
 
About the DASS , you said :
""But it certainly has to work in sequence to jam multiple targets "simultaneously""
 
As I said . This is one of the main difference with Spectra . In heavily EM saturated airspace with multiple emitters , an AESA based LPI ECM system is a must . Rafale is the only fighter aircraft to provide this capability as I type and everything is internal .
The DASS system is one of the most (if not the most) powerfull passive ECM array fitted on a fighter (the Growler is in a different league as an ECM platform but it can 't fulfill the Typhoon 's missions) .
Spectra is a different fish if I may say . 
MK , as you see it , if the DASS was an AESA active system , do you think that the Eurofighter would need towed EM decoys ?
Not that I discard the utility of towed decoys , I just ask you ;-)
Regarding your second question , very few know how many threat emitters Spectra can jam simultaneously . Myself , I don 't know .
 
I also think that the French databank on adverse radars (NATO and/or non NATO) is second to none .
Since the SDECE "Service 7" , everything France ever did , sold , recorded , participated in , shared with or against was put into files and kept for ELINT purposes . You can trust me on that ;-)
We are still doing it ...
 
Cheers . 
 
 
 
 
 
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Bluewings12       11/15/2009 5:22:04 PM
The DGSE is the following of the SDECE (to make things clear) .
 
Cheers . 
 
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warpig       11/15/2009 5:44:23 PM

Since the SDECE "Service 7" , everything France ever did , sold , recorded , participated in , shared with or against was put into files and kept for ELINT purposes . You can trust me on that ;-)

We are still doing it ...
 


 
Well, I agree to the extent (like I said) that I'm sure the FAF gets the data it needs to be effective... but there's no way the DGSE pulls in everything NSA/GCHQ/DSD/CSE does--and that's what they'd need to do in order to be "second to none."
 
"You can trust me on that."
 
 
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Bluewings12       11/15/2009 6:14:11 PM
Warpig , while the NSA is a huge and very experimented and expensive Company , the French Foreign Intelligence is more aware of the Russian and middle-east latest technology . You can also trust me on that ;-)
You can also ask France about any Nuclear program around the World , we know .
*******************
Here is a late picture of a Rafale F3 training before to go to A-Stan . Load is 6 AASMs , 4 Micas (not needed over A-Stan) , two 2.000l external fuel tanks (8.7 tons of fuel in total) :
 
http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/1731/rafalef3.jpg" width="640" height="426" /> 
 
Nothing new , just a nice picture .
 
Cheers .
 
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Hamilcar       11/15/2009 6:18:10 PM




Regarding the Amraam , Hamilcar said :








""Its up to the customer to actually arrange to code for the US weapon (Israel?) since the French actually don't.""



 



I know and I 've never said otherwise .



Herald , Meteor is a highly advanced missile and a bit more testing will do good to everybody involved in the design .






Regarding the dates of the Rafale deployments , it doesn 't matter Herald . The Rafale has been there for over two and a half years and it is not over






 



Lynstyne :





""Re the refuelling probe - i will explain it again there is a big metal ball on the front because of this the rcs will never be as small as you think the ball is bigger than that, and placing ram material at its base would be a waste of effort.""



 



Dassault disagrees with you it seems ... Hiding the aluminium ball is impossible but coating the probe is possible , this is what I am trying to dig into . Give me time as the info is not on the open net (so far ?) .



**********






I see that everybody is down to nit-pick details because what I say can 't be disproved . It 's noted .






 



Cheers .






















Heavy thud as Lynstyne Beats head against wall


As you can see, that one is a waste of time, Lynstyne. Ask him why the Rafale refuel prove is BOLTED ON as a mission removable feature, if it is RAM coated and would not need to be removable if it was RAM coated as he claims.  Let's see what explanation he tries to trot out for that little factoid.     
 
As for the other underlined.
 
1. I said US WEAPON as in ALL OF THEM.
2. Coding not only involves software, but the launch ejector links, and MOUNTS. The French do not provide those, nor can they for any guided US weapon. The US does. 

3. In red.  He does not know, as those statements elegantly demonstrate. When he posted his Dassault diagram and chart he implied that Rafale was designed to carry and deliver the weapons shown.   
 
quote:
 
The Rafale uses many NATO weapons (US weapons or derivatives in fact) and integration is excellent . It is up to the customer to ask the US for AMRAAM integration for exemple . The Rafale is wired for :

http://img237.imageshack.us/img237/449/dassault10he7.jpg" width="352" height="640" />
 =========================================================
And as for the claim that the Rafale has been there for two years.
 
 
Hamilcar :
""Where is the Rafale? ROTFLMAO.""

"Where it belongs for now: supporting the West troops in A-Stan . Do you have a problem with that , Herald ?
The Meteor for the Rafale is planned for 2015 and the FAF said the same than the RAF wit
 
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