Military History | How To Make War | Wars Around the World Rules of Use How to Behave on an Internet Forum
Fighters, Bombers and Recon Discussion Board
   Return to Topic Page
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
 
Quote    Reply

Show Only Poster Name and Title     Newest to Oldest
Pages: PREV  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34   NEXT
MK       11/26/2009 4:09:58 PM
BTW as we had the topic earlier. It has been confirmed that the 9 Rafale F1 aircraft currently stored will be upgraded to F3 standard. The deal is worth 300 mln ?.
 
Quote    Reply

Bluewings12       11/26/2009 5:28:10 PM
MK :
""It has been confirmed that the 9 Rafale F1 aircraft currently stored will be upgraded to F3 standard.""
 
Yes . I ' ve learned this yesterday and I was surprised by the cost : 30M Euros per aircraft . I know what difference there is in between a F1 and a F3 but I find it a wee bit expensive . Sure , the latest systems cost a leg but the F1 wiring ~as an exemple~ is ready to accept the F3 standard . On the other hand , every computer system onboard the F1 has to be changed as well as some critical parts of Spectra . The new software integration for the new modes of the RBE2 F3 fire control system with Exocet Mk2 , Nuclear ASMP-A , Meteor , Damoclès pod , Recco-NG pod , etc , should be a piece of cake .
I was expecting 20M per aircraft , not 30M .
*************
Heorot link says :
"""The Typhoon needs an E-scan radar, or it will not export," says Mason. Rival types such as the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Dassault Rafale are already being offered with AESA systems""
 
That sums up the actual situation . Even if Jon Lake and his fans don 't like it , the RBE2-AA is at least 3 years ahead of the possible Aesa Captor , if not 5 .
Furthermore , the actual Typhoon ' s mechanical radar is already lacking big time in speed of detection versus the PESA RBE2 . To scan the entire 120 degree front sector , it takes the Captor about ten whole seconds more than the Rafale F1 RBE2 (!) . Before to jump at me , check it .
Btw , if you bother to check , you will probably also find that the F-15C radar is even slower : 14 seconds to cover the front sector .
 
Cheers .
 
 
Quote    Reply

MK       11/26/2009 5:59:26 PM
That sums up the actual situation . Even if Jon Lake and his fans don 't like it , the RBE2-AA is at least 3 years ahead of the possible Aesa Captor , if not 5 .
Furthermore , the actual Typhoon ' s mechanical radar is already lacking big time in speed of detection versus the PESA RBE2 . To scan the entire 120 degree front sector , it takes the Captor about ten whole seconds more than the Rafale F1 RBE2 (!) . Before to jump at me , check it .

I think no one disputed the quicker scans of ESA vs MSA. Captor holds its own advantages over the RBE2 however, particularly if it comes to the AA area.
The Typhoon's AESA radar is not necessarily 3 - 5 years behint at all. Depending on what model is selected and when a decision is made deliveries could start as "early" as 2013, just a year after the batch 4 Rafales are delivered with the RBE2AA. Of course this remains to be an optimistic assumption, but a potential Captor-E isn't to far away. The situation on the export markets is mainly dictating the need for an E-Scan solution for the Typhoon, albeit it is desirable for the original customers as well.

 
Quote    Reply

gf0012-aust       11/27/2009 12:39:29 AM

MK, there may well be a change,  however, I'm happy to standby my initial claim as it was made by a uniform at a formal briefing to allies and those cleared (ABCA) to attend.

The clear statement then was that RAF was in no rush to accelerate AESA on the tiffy because there was no foreseeable near peer threat which warranted earlier development.  RAF - like everyone else was on a tight budget and everyone (incl JSF and Rafale builds) have slipped to the right.  The decision point of 2010 still stands though if you look at the material you provided.

 Feel free to believe what you want. The facts add up differently and "decision" and "deployment" are two entirely different things. Maybe he has said something else or meant something else? A "deployment" of an AESA radar on the Typhoon in 2010 might be possible in the way that a single radar is fitted to a single aircraft for further development and integration, but there won't be a retrofit to existing or even new built aircraft in 2010. As said a final decision has yet to be made and this decision is not just about commiting to the AESA radar for the Typhoon itself, but how it will be configured. A development directly from CAESAR might be fieldable relative fast as the system should be quiet mature right now. The press hasn't covered further testing/development process after the flight trials on DA5, but it is known that the radar has been retrofitted to the BAC 1-11 trials aircraft and has been flown in additional trial campaigns. I could imagine that CAESAR or maybe another development derived from it might fly on the Typhoon next year, possibly on IPA3 or ISPA3 (depending on when it gets ready), though IPA1 & 5 might be additional candidates. 

MK I'm not sure where we are disagreeing here.  Granted the briefing was prior to the GFC and granted that would impact, but the stated position of the RAF exchange pilot was that there was no need to fast track AESA onto the tiffy prior to 2010 due to RAFs own threat matrix assessment with respect to near peer hostile threats etc....  Its probably semantics as I was not referring to a fleet IOC of 2010, but project development being greenlighted to the next pass.  I haven't mentioned deployment of a fleet capability as that was not even discussed at the time.  Dev pre-dep is a few years - and even though its been muled, then it would still mean a few years before going gold.


 
Quote    Reply

MK       11/27/2009 1:14:17 PM
Seems we were talking a bit pass each other. Settled.
 
cheers
 
Quote    Reply

sentinel28a       11/27/2009 2:14:40 PM
I'm beginning to wonder if MK and BW are the same person.  They both accused Hamilcar of "believing any BS" using the exact same wording, and MK just closed out his post with "Cheers," which is BW's trademark.  I don't want to accuse anyone of sock puppet syndrome, but I'm beginning to wonder.
 
 
Quote    Reply

warpig       11/27/2009 3:00:40 PM

I'm beginning to wonder if MK and BW are the same person.  They both accused Hamilcar of "believing any BS" using the exact same wording,...

 



Senty, that's because of instead of using the buggy "quote" function like I just did in this response, he took the more sure way by just copy-and-pasting the test of BW's post into a "reply" and added his own comments in red.
 
 
 
Quote    Reply

MK       11/27/2009 3:22:08 PM
@Sentinel & Warpig
What ever the name of these drugs is, take a little bit fewer of them.
 
Quote    Reply

MK    arggh   11/27/2009 3:36:23 PM
Sorry Warpig I think I have misread your last post. Appologise
 
 
 
Quote    Reply

warpig       11/27/2009 3:38:31 PM

@Sentinel & Warpig


What ever the name of these drugs is, take a little bit fewer of them.



 
Check yourself, MK, all I did was explain to Senty why he was confused, thereby implying that his suspicion was not correct.  I think it's pretty clear that for you and BW to be the same person would require MKBW to be schizophrenic, as you obviously have many disagreements.
 
Quote    Reply
PREV  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34   NEXT



 Latest
 News
 
 Most
 Read
 
 Most
 Commented
 Hot
 Topics