I have serious doubts Sweden accepts that anyone puts nukes on the Gripen (and even if somebody buys the aircraft, they can't do something forbidden in selling agreement, as the seller has a very good way to ground your entire air force by simply stopping support if you don't comply with the agreement you signed)...
Anyway, as said before, chances are Belgium buys the F-35, first of all because its american (while I lived in Belgium, a friend of mine qualified it as "European capital country sponsored by the USA"... while it was said as a joke, fact is that they have no business going to war anywhere, and yet equip themselves for wars far away from their country...
AFAIK Sweden cannot support integration of nukes on Gripen. In any case this discussion is irrelevant.
Did you not see the mission scenarios in the RFP?
Do you really think that 4 Gripen NG without additional support will manage those missions? I am sorry but although the Gripen is a very impressive little bird, this is too much.
As stated previously I don't think the SH and Typhoon will be very successful either -- and they are significantly larger than the Gripen.
Gripen is expected to have state-of-the-art EWS, however it is IMHO too small to manage such missions single-handed.
F-35 will be the next Belgian fighter jets; that's for sure. Rafale may be able to handle most (or even all?) of the missions however it will be more expensive than F-35 and it will be less capable. Add in the added value of operating the same a/c as most of NATO (and the Netherlands in particular) and it becomes a no-brainer.
Gripen NG is not for countries that consider the F-35 -- it is for countries that do not consider the F-35 and want something Western but cost-effective. E.g. Switzerland (and I guess also Austria, when they need to replace their Typhoons 15 years from now).
Furthermore as already stated it does not really matter since, even if it were possible to for Belgium to do this they will still not buy the Gripen; again, review the scenarios and start thinking about how 4 (and only 4) Gripens can successfully complete them. Think about what you need it terms of targeting pods, a2a missiles, a2g munitions, stand-off weapons for some of the scenarios, and then of course drop tanks. You will need something bigger and with longer endurance, something like an F-15 or a Rafale. Or, if you want the easy way out, just get some F-35.
http://www.gripenblogs.com/Lists/Pos...t.aspx?ID=1638Saab is actively reaching out to the Belgian aeronautic industry as part of its interest in the Air Combat Capability Successor Program.
During a recent two-day seminar and a series of one-on-one meetings, Saab’s team of experts in Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) met with Belgian industry representatives to further explore industrial cooperation and to map out existing regional capabilities. This seminar was a follow-up to the Gripen Lifecycle Business Seminar which already took place in December.
At least they are trying... hoping for a miracle!?
Thats a very silly thing to say. There is something called NATO you know. As a member of that alliance, Belgium is committed to collective defence. Which means we may have to send forces far away from our borders to defend an ally.(while I lived in Belgium, a friend of mine qualified it as "European capital country sponsored by the USA"... while it was said as a joke, fact is that they have no business going to war anywhere, and yet equip themselves for wars far away from their country...
As far as i am concerned, i sure as hell hope we dont go for the Rafale. I think it would be a catastrophe for our air force. We would pay more for a less capable aircraft and with less growth potential. Not to mention that the Rafale is a 30+ year-old design. We plan to fly our new fighters until 2058 and i have a hard time believing that the Rafale will still be relevant in the 2030s, 40s and 50s...
Last edited by LoneWolf; 30th March 2017 at 17:06.
as far as NATO thingy is concerned, defence against whom? Russia won't ever invade european NATO countries as it would mean mutual casualties way too high to be worth it.. so unless you plan to attack Russia (which is just about as crazy idea as the opposite - Russia attacking NATO), Belgium has no need whatsoever for deep strike and other such equipment.. but, again, just follow the big guys idea so when they decide to go bomb some godforsaken country you don't even know exists, you'll just nicely go there and waste your resources for somebodys else's interests
Last edited by TooCool_12f; 30th March 2017 at 15:16.
I think you underestimate the growth potential for Rafale -- having said that, 2058 is far away, and to be honest the Americans themselves seem not to believe that the F-35 will be able to handle high-intensity threats in that time frame. It is impossible to predict of course but most likely by well before 2050 will it become increasingly dangerous to use also the F-35 in the worst threat environments.
At the same time, in slightly more permissive environments the US will operate 4.5 gen a/c for many decades to come:
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the...e-f-35-f-19937“The Navy is buying additional airplanes,” he said in an interview earlier this month. “We saw in the supplemental budget they were getting up toward 24 in fiscal year 2017.”
But, he notes, Boeing is still working on current modification programs to extend the service lives of the existing 568 aircraft to 9,000 hours from 6,000. Indeed, he says, the plan is to build in a 9,0000-hour- service life to the production line aircraft starting in 2020.
So from that perspective you could easily purchase the SH (or any of the other 4.5 gen fighters) and operate that in tandem with F-35 from other countries, and/or in permissible environments. It will still be a valuable addition to the NATO force. Of course having F-35 will make more sense since it will become the dominant NATO a/c in the future, and is also by far the most capable. At the same time no doubt France will fly Rafale for several decades to come; USN (and Canada?) will fly their 9000-hour SH for decades to come; and the Eurofighter partners will also fly their Typhoons for decades to come.
It will be interesting to see what NATO countries like Hungary and Czechia will do when their Gripen C/Ds become old. Will they be able to afford the F-35? Or will they switch to Gripen E/F, which by that time will be a quite mature 4.5 gen fighter, and probably one of the few (the only one?) still in production....
I am pretty sure the Rafale is "the best" 4.5 a/c out there; it has some weak and strong points but overall it is amazing and very strong in all areas. However at the end of the day it does not have the stealth of the F-35, and the F-35 sensors are also probably a notch above the Rafales. Sensor fusion is great in Rafale; however it seems it is even better in the F-35.
As for cost effective -- it depends how you look at it. What is important for Belgium is how much they have to pay to purchase and operate, not the total R&D budget. Since so many countries will buy and operate the F-35, and since the R&D is mainly covered by the US (with some assistance from partner countries) those costs are irrelevant for Belgium. What is more important is that the costs for future upgrades will be shared between a large number of customers.
Agree on stealth. Sensors? Not so sure (RBE2 AESA more recent than APG e.g.) besides The "see through" with 6 cameras. (def better than 2).Upgrade costs cheaper, definitely! operations cost (cfph, logistics etc.) i'd give Rafale a hint. logistic footprint or deployment? etc.
NAto compatibility wise, adv F-35. training facilities and independance (e.g. middiondata generation) adv Rafale.
TRUMP card may be important also. Credibility of US within is falling apart into pieces in Europe atm. A german law maker even asked for a european nuke umbrella based of FR nukes...
Example- the AdlA has spend a considerable amount of money procuring Damocles targeting pods for the Mirage and Rafale fleet. Did that stop DGA from awarding Thales a contract for the PDL NG (Damocles XF)? Do you think that Rafales will stop carrying older Damocles pods as soon as new targeting pods enter service? EOTS already has a replacement ready for flight testing. Should anyone want it, they can have today's state of the art targeting system on the F-35 within a year or so (or wait for Block 4.2). I really don't see the queue forming yet, so maybe this is a non-issue.
Last edited by FBW; 30th March 2017 at 17:51.
For the rest, the Rafale as a modern day Super Mirage V have some chances. The bloating of its phantasmagoric capacities won't help here as it did on other market.
Last edited by TomcatViP; 30th March 2017 at 18:14.
But no we are automatically lapdogs to the US if we dare to buy American, right?
NATO is the cornerstone of our security and it has done a good job at defending Europe (or Belgium for that matter) over the last 70 years. And i dont see any viable alternatives to it. Certainly not that mythical "European Army" that is discussed every once in a while.as far as NATO thingy is concerned, defence against whom?
Deep strike or not, the fact is the F-35 is the most capable and survivable aircraft among all the options and probably the cheapest as well (except perhaps Gripen) if you count life-cycle costs.Russia won't ever invade european NATO countries as it would mean mutual casualties way too high to be worth it.. so unless you plan to attack Russia (which is just about as crazy idea as the opposite - Russia attacking NATO), Belgium has no need whatsoever for deep strike and other such equipment..
You mean like Libya, a pointless military adventure that you guys (France) started?but, again, just follow the big guys idea so when they decide to go bomb some godforsaken country you don't even know exists, you'll just nicely go there and waste your resources for somebodys else's interests
I dont agree with all the operations that we undertook under NATO (Kosovo, in hindsight, was probably a mistake) but bombing ISIS like our F-16s are currently doing seems to be very much in our interests.
The Rafale has a higher flyaway cost (~$110 millions) than the F-35 ($85 millions and shrinking) and has high operating costs too. It will most likely be more expensive to upgrade as well since there is only a handful of Rafale operators and relatively few aircraft in use (compared to projected F-35 numbers).
Last edited by LoneWolf; 30th March 2017 at 18:54.
From a Jane's article, link now dead...In fact, an AESA flew on Rafale in May 2003. According to Ramstein, a migration to AESA has been considered from the early days of the programme, and the RBE2 is designed so that an AESA front end can replace the current passive antenna and TWT. Power and cooling are adequate for the job. A programme called Demonstrateur de Radar a l'Antenne Active (DRAA) started in 2000, and the radar flew on a Falcon in late 2002 before flying in Rafale B301. "It was a difficult integration, taking two or three days," jokes Ramstein. The problem, however, is that DRAA relied on US-sourced high-power processing chips - which, after Korea and the Iraq war, no longer seemed like a good idea. A new AESA version of the RBE2, DRAAMA (DRAA modes avancées), using all-European technology, was launched in July 2004 and will be ready in 2007-08. "We have a firm commitment to AESA, which allows us to propose it for export," Ramstein says.
However, Dassault and Thales are not proposing to make the AESA the all-encompassing RF Cuisinart that Boeing (for example) envisages for the Super Hornet, with features such as passive detection, multi-beam operation and jamming. Nor does the team intend to exploit the AESA's wide bandwidth, which would mean a new radome. (This suggests that the current radome is a bandpass design, transparent at the RBE2 frequency but stealthily reflective at any other.) Rather, the approach is to minimise cost and risk by keeping the same modes as the RBE2, while harvesting what are seen as the most valuable advantages of the AESA. These include a 50 per cent-plus increase in detection range - a better match for Meteor - much better performance at the edges of the elevation and bearing envelope, better reliability through the elimination of single-point failures and lower through-life costs. With only 120 aircraft planned by 2012, the pace of the Rafale programme has been influenced more by budget considerations than by technology.
Basically the RBE2 is a nice upgrade for the Rafale, but it doesn't come close to what the APG-81 offers.
I don't know where you got your data on upgrade costs, operations cost, deployment footprint etc. I am aware of no data supporting the Rafale having an advantage in any of the above.
Training facilities adv Rafale? What on earth are you referring to, certainly nothing like this...
Much more at the link:Developed during the computer networking revolution of the 2000s, everything from the way the aircraft is maintained to the way it fights is deeply interconnected, as are its “full-mission” simulators.
When a squad of F-35s fly into combat for the first time, the pilots will have already performed that exact mission against those target objectives dozens, if not hundreds, of times in simulators, replicating everything from electronic jamming to weapon effects on surface-to-air missile sites.
Not only does the F-35’s full-mission simulator provide greater fidelity than previous generations of fighter trainers, it also compensates for the fact it is too expensive to equip every test and training range with the full complement of threats it would be likely to go up against. The only places an F-35 can truly wreak havoc with every kinetic and non-kinetic tool in its beyond-visual-range arsenal, will be in the virtual simulator or in combat.
It’s not just belt-tightening that has Lightning II pilots completing 45% to 55% of their initial qualification flights in the simulator – it’s the next-generation fidelity and risk-free exposure to the full range of things that can go wrong or harm you, particularly on the electromagnetic spectrum.
Each simulator carries the most recent software load, or operational flight programme (OFP), so it can most accurately replicate the capabilities and handling qualities of the aircraft as it is concurrently developed, tested and fielded through various block upgrades.
The simulators arrive in groups of two or four, and will all eventually be plugged into the vast network of American and allied training simulators at air bases and training centres around the world, bringing F-35s into the same virtual environment as F-16s, F-15s, Boeing C-17s and others.
According to one air force official, the “Holy Grail” of simulator training will come with the introduction of live, virtual and constructive (LVC) networking between training devices and aircraft, with blue forces going against aggressors at every level for full-spectrum combat training.
“There is more training being done in the simulators than any other legacy aircraft,” says Luntz. “More than 50% of the initial qualification flights actually take place in the simulator.”
Former F-16 pilot and commander of the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke AFB, Brig Gen Scott Pleus, says there’s “nothing lost” by shifting from legacy “full-motion” simulators to the new “full-mission” simulator, except the jacks and hydraulic actuators. It allows for improved 360° visual displays that incorporate the helmet-mounted display and cueing system and distributed aperture cameras that give the F-35 unparalleled spherical situational awareness.
“It’s by far the most accurate fighter simulator I’ve seen in my career,” says Pleus. “We will rely even more heavily on simulator usage on F-35 because of the level of classification the simulators can give. We won’t have a lot of capability to do that in live-fly training.
“The sims can do almost everything we can do in the air, except feel the movement of the actual aircraft,” adds Lt Col George Watkins, commander of the 34th Fighter Squadron – the air force’s first combat-coded F-35 unit. “From what you see to what buttons you push; you can do everything you do in the air in the simulator. You can actually do more things in the simulator, because we can give ourselves more adversaries, we can give ourselves more threats on the ground to simulate potential adversary countries, and what kinds of things they can shoot at us – as well as tanking, night flying and flying in a larger force package.”
Once fully developed, the aircraft will become a frontline hunter, designed to destroy complex, overlapping surface-to-air missile systems, while also guarding against interceptors.
The Rafale is a pretty plane and I understand why the French are proud of it, but trying to compete head to head with an aircraft that is both twenty years newer and has the benefit of vastly greater resources just isn't going to end well for the Rafale.
What concern me is: is the Rafale even able to handle high-intensity threats right now? How would the Rafale fare against "double-digits" SAM systems like the S-300 and S-400? I know the SPECTRA EW suite has a good reputation but its effectiveness against current "double-digits" sytems and future ones (S-500) is open to question. To me, the Rafale doesnt look particularly well-suited against the future threats of tomorrow like increasingly advanced SAM systems, 5th gen fighters or even 6th gen fighters (in the 2040s?).I think you underestimate the growth potential for Rafale -- having said that, 2058 is far away, and to be honest the Americans themselves seem not to believe that the F-35 will be able to handle high-intensity threats in that time frame. It is impossible to predict of course but most likely by well before 2050 will it become increasingly dangerous to use also the F-35 in the worst threat environments.
Last edited by LoneWolf; 30th March 2017 at 20:39.
Btw hopsalot, AdA was very happy with the change from US modules to European ones. Much more regularperformances among modules. Physical division of the antenna is coming (MELBAA programfunded in (2014) that will allow simultaneous allowment of diferent parts of the antenna to different tasks. (nad not switching very rapidly like APG81) for ex. I let you guess what will be the next step when will be demonstrated the capability to phusically separate several antennas of a sinle radar...
Last edited by halloweene; 30th March 2017 at 20:52.
- THALES has this to say on their site-https://www.thalesgroup.com/en/active-electronically-scanned-array-aesa-rbe2-radar"Active electronic scanning makes it possible to switch radar modes quickly, thereby enabling operational functions to run simultaneously"
In other words, it's exactly the same as the US AESA only smaller and with an older back end.
Nevermind, I found it http://www.air-cosmos.com/futur-rada...e-rafale-25687
Goods not as advertised Hallow, it is for the Rafale mid-life update in the late 2020's-30's of an advanced AESA that does not yet exist.
Last edited by FBW; 30th March 2017 at 21:48.
Edit: oops, not the Rafale thread. Sorry for the OT.
The exact Fly Away Unit Cost, Recurring (93.512 million US$) or Non Recurring (98.994 million US$), for a 2017 aircraft is available in the USAF Budget wich is public (http://www.saffm.hq.af.mil/Portals/8...-24-102038-590 pages 71 and 73).
There´s no exact equivalent number available for the Rafale.
Last edited by Sintra; 30th March 2017 at 22:54.
Last edited by garryA; 31st March 2017 at 02:12.
He is talking about different parts of the array tasked simultaneously. From what is available, this was very much a study Thales was funded to do for a future Array for the Rafale (meaning not the current radar). According to the link above, it was funded in 2014 for some future mid-life update for the Rafale in the late 2020's early 2030's pending maturity of the technology.
Last edited by FBW; 31st March 2017 at 03:23.
Who cares if training is in France? Do you really think a country is going to pick a plane based on where the training is? There is going to be F-35 training happening all over Europe.We will see. EPAF was nice. Training in France also. Where will pilot train? .
I remember when all the fanboys used to claim that 5th generation was a marketing ploy. Of course now we have the F-35, F-22, PAK FA, J-20, J-31, and several emerging programs in Korea, Japan, Turkey, India. It is getting harder and harder to pretend the evolution of fighter aircraft stopped when the Rafale flew isn't it?Remember "5th Gen" is a LM gimmick about F-22 (and it is true in US context, it is THEIR 5th Gen). (And btw, F-35 do not comply with LM's own definition of 5th Gen). Citing data fusion and data links as revolutions is maybe true in US context. It is not worldwide. Oh i forgot! µIt US so it is uber alles.
The fundamental truth is that the Rafale is an excellent 4th generation fighter, but that it has its roots in the early 1980s. Conceptually it was advanced in the late 1990s, but time doesn't stand still. You can't honestly expect it to stay competitive with jets decades newer with more advanced technology and more advanced operational concepts.
Even if I believed you, and I don't, the deficiency was almost certainly with the French engineers who had never built a fighter AESA before. The US had no difficulty with hits own AESAs, of multiple different designs from multiple venders. Shoot, the USA had more fighters with AESAs flying when France first trialed an AESA antenna on the RBE2 than France has flying today.Btw hopsalot, AdA was very happy with the change from US modules to European ones. Much more regularperformances among modules.
You are also seeking to compare the modules the US was willing to export in the early 2000s with what Europe is producing a decade+ later.
I am not sure that will offer much real utility, especially given the small antenna in the Rafale.Physical division of the antenna is coming (MELBAA programfunded in (2014) that will allow simultaneous allowment of diferent parts of the antenna to different tasks. (nad not switching very rapidly like APG81) for ex. I let you guess what will be the next step when will be demonstrated the capability to phusically separate several antennas of a sinle radar...
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