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
warpig       11/11/2009 1:15:20 AM



What makes more sense?

Adding 20 millions $ per airframe to achieve 0,001 m² RCS or invest in a 10 millions $ outstanding ECM system...?

Plus some special ammunitions like AASM to extend survivability against state of the art air defense.
 
Maybe USA have done a system engineering mistake with F35 approach.


Spending 30 million and getting both.

Yes you are right.Or spending 30 millions on a superior ECM systems (a radar cost between 4 and 6).



SteveoJH:  Shack!  That's exactly what I thought as soon as I first read FS' false alternatives.  Once again, I will be laughing my ass off when I remember FS in 10 or 20 years, when the threat finally advances to the point that it actually starts to put the F-35 at risk, and it finally becomes worth spending the extra money to fully upgrade the F-35 with an even better jamming suite than it already will have.  To state it in the terms that FS uses, it will then be "VLO" *plus* it will *also* have an outstanding/superior ECM system as well.  And of course we also have plenty of special munitions to use when necessary if we ever need to increase survivability against a state-of-the-art IADS.
 
In other words, the F-35 design approach was not a mistake in the slightest.
 
 
Quote    Reply

Hamilcar       11/11/2009 1:20:18 AM






An interesting fact on Peter Collins bio:

......... in 1989 he qualified as an experimental military test pilot and was appointed Officer Commanding of the Aerospace Research Test Squadron at DRA Bedford where he worked on the Joint Strike Fighter?»




ok, now who else has worked out that there is a problem in this claimed part of his bio?








 
When did he "work" on the F-35 again? 
 
 
Quote    Reply

Das Kardinal       11/11/2009 3:45:27 AM
Hehe, I knew that the Flightglobal article was going to provoke some heavy debate here...
It didn't fail : the shining endorsement by Collins (whom I'd trust rather more, given his resume, than some internet experts) was twisted by the usual bashers. Then BW and FS came in with snide comments against the F22 and F35. 
Like pretty much every Rafale thread before. Well...

Just wanted to address a few points. I wasn't surprised that Hamilcar used a passage of the article to dump more mud on his favorite whipping-boy, the poor RBE2.  What did it say ?
"The formation and tail chase evaluation was initiated by locking up the Mirage 2000 chase aircraft on the RBE2 at over 55km (30nm) and identifying him visually using the FSO TV presented on the right lateral head-down display." 
Just where does it say that the RBE2 didn't spot the Mirage before ? What it says boils down to "the 2K was flying at a distance of over 30nm when we chose to lock it and slew the FSO on it". Not "OMG the 2K suddenly appeared at spitting distance, the RBE2 so totally didn't sniff it before !" Unless I totally fail at basic English, that is. I doubt it since I got an IELTS score of 8.5. 
At most it gives a minimum detection range, not a maximum. Herald, I'm sorry but you're just twisting the Flightglobal report into your anti-RBE2 agenda. Sidelobes, low range, yadda yadda, we know, you've been telling those for years here.  But please, don't put your opinion into Collins' mouth.


On another matter, everyone commented a lot about the systems side of things, but not much about the airframe's dynamic qualities. It's a pity, since those are probably the characteristics that are the less covered by the usual "fog of secrecy" and uncertainty about real performance that affects other systems like ECM, radar, weapons...
Snarky comment : Collins apparently didn't find the Rafale underpowered ;-)
 
Quote    Reply

Hamilcar       11/11/2009 4:15:33 AM

Hehe, I knew that the Flightglobal article was going to provoke some heavy debate here...

It didn't fail : the shining endorsement by Collins (whom I'd trust rather more, given his resume, than some internet experts) was twisted by the usual bashers. Then BW and FS came in with snide comments against the F22 and F35. 

Like pretty much every Rafale thread before. Well...




Just wanted to address a few points. I wasn't surprised that Hamilcar used a passage of the article to dump more mud on his favorite whipping-boy, the poor RBE2.  What did it say ?

"The formation and tail chase evaluation was initiated by locking up the Mirage 2000 chase aircraft on the RBE2 at over 55km (30nm) and identifying him visually using the FSO TV presented on the right lateral head-down display." 

Just where does it say that the RBE2 didn't spot the Mirage before ? What it says boils down to "the 2K was flying at a distance of over 30nm when we chose to lock it and slew the FSO on it". Not "OMG the 2K suddenly appeared at spitting distance, the RBE2 so totally didn't sniff it before !" Unless I totally fail at basic English, that is. I doubt it since I got an IELTS score of 8.5. 

At most it gives a minimum detection range, not a maximum. Herald, I'm sorry but you're just twisting the Flightglobal report into your anti-RBE2 agenda. Sidelobes, low range, yadda yadda, we know, you've been telling those for years here.  But please, don't put your opinion into Collins' mouth.







On another matter, everyone commented a lot about the systems side of things, but not much about the airframe's dynamic qualities. It's a pity, since those are probably the characteristics that are the less covered by the usual "fog of secrecy" and uncertainty about real performance that affects other systems like ECM, radar, weapons...

Snarky comment : Collins apparently didn't find the Rafale underpowered ;-)
What it said EXACTLY my friend was........
 
The formation and tail chase evaluation was initiated by locking up the Mirage 2000 chase aircraft on the RBE2 at over 55km (30nm) and identifying him visually using the FSO TV presented on the right lateral head-down display.  
 
That means a track solution  on the Mirage for a missile launch, not just detection. That is not good  If you can't get LAUNCH solution at > 30 miles out in a chase aspect when you see the M-2000s jet engine nozzles as huge radio reflector aids, then you are DEAD.
 

 
Quote    Reply

MK       11/11/2009 5:29:30 AM

1. Not from a single platform.
 
Against ground targets a single platform is enough. Some offaxis flying is sufficient, though you can increase at least the speed of  localisation by using multiple platforms which are linked to each other.

2. Amplitude measurement can be easily foxed and you know this. The signal can be compressed and measured but it does not give you RANGE. Plus I don't think the French actually have the clocks.

It can be helpful tp estimate range, if the french have it or not I don't know.

3. AASM is an air to ground missile that is designed to hit a fixed target. It is useless against maneuvering aerial targets. Let's be clear on what we discuss. 

We talked about the  RWRs ability to locate emitters in the first place, not about the weapon, which was just brought as an example.
 
6. For long base range measurement in one second or less it is. A single receiver works as you make a measured baseline run. You can do that timed interferometry run against a ground target using a passive sensor against that fixed target and lob a missile at it; NOT against a moving aerial one and not to guide a weapon into a drop basket against it. Its almost impossible The baseline is TOO LONG, the necessary runtime too long to generate anything bit a useless smear of emoty sky. To get a baseline for a maneuvering target you have to use two widely separated sensors and a clock that can match signal reception times. For a passive missile launch against an AWACs about 200,000 meters away you need a signal separation of 1/2 second and a two sensor separation of at least 1000 meters just to solve for a range error of 5000 meters.
 
Agreed.


 


 
Quote    Reply

gf0012-aust       11/11/2009 6:33:07 AM
Snarky comment : Collins apparently didn't find the Rafale underpowered ;-)
if the last authorised combat jet you flew was the Harrier in 1993, and if the zippiest aircraft you flew in service was a jaguar - well, then of course the Rafale was not underpowered.

again, in smalll syllables.

if he has not flown any contemp or near peer combat aircraft then he is in no position to comment on the platform competency of a Rafale vis a vis F-22, Su-27 or heaven forbid, a Mig 29 even.  

again, extrapolating his exciting journey in the rafale does not extrapolate what it can do against contemp peers if he has not joyridden in them either.

the same nonsense applies to people like carlo kopp when they backseated a shornet.

btw, some of the people in here you deride as internet experts do have actual expertise in some of the fields they participate in.  me? I freely admit to not having any association with combat aircraft beyond doing assessments on equipment.  that however might give me enough of a leg up over people who drive a desk, drive a truck or drive a pen for a living...

 
Quote    Reply

gf0012-aust       11/11/2009 7:00:25 AM
On another matter, everyone commented a lot about the systems side of things, but not much about the airframe's dynamic qualities. It's a pity, since those are probably the characteristics that are the less covered by the usual "fog of secrecy" and uncertainty about real performance that affects other systems like ECM, radar, weapons...
I'm not sure why you see flight dynamics as being a discretionary topic.  all the handling in the world means zip if the rest of that platform is not in sympathy.  thats why the reference is to systems impact and systems competency.  modern aircraft combat platforms are systems because they have to be if they are going to survive in complex battlespace

handling like a pitts special or a yak 52 brings minimal benefit to the fight if the rest of the plane is glowing like a stinkbug in a camping lantern.

closing the gap so as to shorten the energy drain on a missile so that it can chase and have increased confidence due to narrowing down the no escape zone - esp if said missile has TVC starts to make energy management and acrobatic events in large combat aircraft a bit of a sphincter tightening issue.  missile 35g turns.  aircraft 9-11g turns.  

its starts to be more of an issue of pilot competency when the gap starts to close that tightly.
 
Quote    Reply

Bluewings12       11/11/2009 8:54:00 AM
Hamilcar , you quoted and said :
 
""The formation and tail chase evaluation was initiated by locking up the Mirage 2000 chase aircraft on the RBE2 at over 55km (30nm) and identifying him visually using the FSO TV presented on the right lateral head-down display.  
That means a track solution  on the Mirage for a missile launch, not just detection. That is not good  If you can't get LAUNCH solution at > 30 miles out in a chase aspect when you see the M-2000s jet engine nozzles as huge radio reflector aids, then you are DEAD.""
 
Where does it say that 55km is the maximum range for a shoot ?
The maximum range of the Pesa RBE2 for a "shoot-down" or "shoot-up" is around 85km , the maximum detection range for a fighter size target is around 160km . It is a known fact that the Pesa RBE2 has about the same range that the RDY-2 radar onboard the M2000-5F and -9 . The RDY-2 :
ht*p://www.thalesgroup.com/assets/0/93/238/cc587e32-8330-4f83-acfa-866498d4bb1a.pdf?LangType=2057
ht*p://www.mirage-jet.com/Variants/DASH5/RDY/rdy.htm
 
You see with your own eyes what the official numbers are , I 'm not trolling .  Hamilcar can bash and lie as much as he likes but it will not change a thing ...
Hamilcar , you also said :
""Defensive system signals processing speed cannot overcome a positive coded echo return onto a missile receiver that only has to drive into that signal to kill.  
Got it? ""
 
Wrong on both accounts (again) . It is rather bizarre , coming from you , to read such non-sense . By now , you suppose to know what ECM are and how they work , don 't you ? Then , you should better look at how HoJ (home on jam) really works . Trust me , look at it c-a-r-e-f-u-l-y and take a bit of time to understand the shortcomings . HoJ is better than nothing but the PoK is extremely low .
Also , while any good old jamming suite is trying to degrade and electronicaly attack the opposite EM emitters/emissions , a better and late ECM suite will also try to degrade the echo itself , which is a new thing .
As an exemple , I often read that towed decoys (a la Typhoon for exemple) is a must to fight the HoJ capability of some clever designed missiles . This is indeed a good way , draw the adverse missile onto the loudest electronical noise trailing behind the aircraft . Unfortunatly , it "eats" 2 very decent hardpoints and you only have 2 of them , after using them you must feel a bit "naked" ... However , it is indeed better than nothing and the good thing is that the system works 360 degree .
Spectra is a different system and uses different means . While a towed decoy is screaming to the missile with a deafening power "I AM HERE !" , Spectra is blinding the missile with accurate low power beams coupled with extremely fast frequency jumps in the missile band (Spectra is Aesa) and then , tracking becomes impossible (LPI) . The down side is that Spectra only works actively in the frontal sector but there is far more than 2 bullets in the magazine ;-)
 
Cheers .
 
 

 
 
 

 
Quote    Reply

Bluewings12       11/11/2009 9:12:07 AM
Firing a missile at a Rafale is a thing , killing it with the missile is another .
As FS said , everything is about to survive the situation at hand and complete the mission . The Dassault fighter is extremely good at both tasks .
 
An old saying goes like " a jack of all trades is the master of none" (is my english correct ?) . It seems that that time is gone with the Rafale . As a multirole fighter (omnirole I should say) , the Rafale is setting up few new benchmarks like in data-fusion to deliver high precision weapons at stand-off range , combat agility and MMI , ECMs and astonishing flying characteristics .
As months goes by , I am more and more convinced (even if I already was) that the Rafale is the best multirole fighter there is .
 
Cheers .
 
Quote    Reply

MK       11/11/2009 9:55:47 AM
Also , while any good old jamming suite is trying to degrade and electronicaly attack the opposite EM emitters/emissions , a better and late ECM suite will also try to degrade the echo itself , which is a new thing .

Well the echo is "degraded" by sending out identical jamming signals, which match the characteristics of the radar signal, to actually feed wrong information. It's nothing Spectra specific however, but the way like all modern ECM systems work.
 

As an exemple , I often read that towed decoys (a la Typhoon for exemple) is a must to fight the HoJ capability of some clever designed missiles . This is indeed a good way , draw the adverse missile onto the loudest electronical noise trailing behind the aircraft . Unfortunatly , it "eats" 2 very decent hardpoints and you only have 2 of them , after using them you must feel a bit "naked" ... However , it is indeed better than nothing and the good thing is that the system works 360 degree .

If you believe that TRD equipped aircraft have no internal jammers then you are plain wrong and if the TRD isn't destroyed by a missile it can be carried for as long as wished before being reiled back or dropped, depending on the system. Those TRDs are usually not occupying hardpoints either, but are located somewhere else in the airframe.

While a towed decoy is screaming to the missile with a deafening power "I AM HERE !" ,
 
Not necessarily. Advanced TRDs work like onboard jammers and they can match the signals and direct them towards the threat rather than broadcasting jamming signals all around.
 
Spectra is blinding the missile with accurate low power beams coupled with extremely fast frequency jumps in the missile band (Spectra is Aesa) and then , tracking becomes impossible (LPI) . The down side is that Spectra only works actively in the frontal sector but there is far more than 2 bullets in the magazine ;-)

Afaik there is a rearward facing ECM antenna at the base of the fin either. Yet I wonder when the AESA jammer was actually introduced and if they are using the TRMs which are going to be used on the RBE2AA for example or if they rely on less advanced tech. One thing is for sure the jammers aren't going to be overly powerful if need arises, as the space constrains limit the number of TRMs, cooling and power.
 
 
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