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Thread: Airbus: European Future Fighter Program

  1. #331
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    fact is, if countries decide to develop an "airbus fighter", Dassault may have a problem.. on the other hand, they have an expertise in the sector of fighter aircraft that airbus doesn't have and more than that, the national independence, which is something the french are quite willing to keep, wouldn't be best served by just dropping the french fighter industry to put it into the hands of an international company... take a look at the countries that have national industry able to deliver fully "homemade fighter aircraft" today, those are: USA, Russia, China and France.. and that's it. And for their equipment they buy stuff their own industry makes. Everybody else assembles parts coming for a good part from elsewhere. The Typhoon is a special case as "elsewhere" is for the most part "european partners"... but then again, if one partner drags its legs to do something, everybody is penalized, so the independence isn't there.

    One has to ask himself: is it in the french best interest to drop national industry and loose that independence? In France, the answer is a massive "NO"... yet, and this is realy funny when you think about it, people find that that posture from the french is arrogant, selfish or whatnot, but find it perfectly normal for the USA, Russia or China... go figure

  2. #332
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    the national independence, which is something the french are quite willing to keep
    I'm not sure macron agrees with you there. I'm pretty sure he doesn't. We'll see if he manages to sabotage the french fighter know how, or if he leaves that to some ulterior government.

    But be sure they're going to axe Dassault at some point.

    Nic

  3. #333
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    But the key difference is that the US/China/Russia will be making several hundred or thousands of those fighters, whereas France all on it's own will make 250 (maybe) over decades.

    There simply isn't the momentum behind the French fighter industry if they insist on going it alone (which they wont). They were prepared to jump in on the Eurofighter up to a point, they built the Jaguar and Alpha Jet with buddies so lets not pretend that France wont build a fighter with the Germany.

    The UK is perfectly capable of building it's own fighter, but won't because in this day and age it makes sense to pick which projects you want to remain sovereign.

    There is a cultural difference, perhaps magnified by the narrow nature of this forum, but it would appear that for some of the French contributors here, everything France does must be sovereign and must be a source of national pride. In that sense, they are quite like the Americans. The UK, Italy, Germany, Spain etc are must more relaxed about whether aircraft are a symbol of national virility or not.

    We like the Spitfire, people got upset about the Harrier and Concord, but after that it's all subjective.
    Last edited by mrmalaya; 2nd August 2017 at 15:27.

  4. #334
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    I'm not sure macron agrees with you there. I'm pretty sure he doesn't. We'll see if he manages to sabotage the french fighter know how, or if he leaves that to some ulterior government.

    But be sure they're going to axe Dassault at some point.
    You do understand that France is not a Dictatorship state.. and Macaroni does not called all the shots. Hey look at Trump admin for clues.. the pink pig thought he had unlimited power only to get ridiculed by Senate(bypartisan).

    Sometimes you might Wanna try take off the tinfoil hat for a change.. its quite liberating.
    Last edited by haavarla; 2nd August 2017 at 15:57.
    Thanks

  5. #335
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    Even if the Tiger is a remarkable platform in term of agility, it early versions proved often inadequate to combat with Fr soldering on the old Gazelle even in the most dangerous zone (see Lybia). And I am not even mentioning the inacceptable anemic sortie rate or the cost of spare.
    Regarding the NH90, you have a system well known for being a decade late, that have quite inadequate exit or defensive geometry for an assault helo and with a heavy share of scandalous corrosion problem (that were discussed heavily here).
    When it come to producing 2-seat helicopter gunships lke the Tiger, Apache, Mangusta, Mi-28, Rooivalk, etc it usually takes years before you can ever declare them a success. I'd say only Apache and AH-1 are the only aircraft of such type to have achieved later widespread sales and operational success. As it happens over 500 Tigers and NH-90s together have been delivered so it's not a complete disaster. Plenty of A320 and A350 airliner sales to compensate.

  6. #336
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    And in case of Helicopters Europe has two great industrial firms so there is also the possibility of a real competition there.
    Still in case of NH90 they both took a part in it.

  7. #337
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    What products are real best sellers?
    - A320
    - A 330
    - Ecureuil
    - Dauphin
    - Bo105 derivatives
    Etc...
    A400 Failure
    A340 Failure (not their fault - market insight was risky)
    A380 Failure
    Tiger Failure
    NH90 Failure
    Post Ariane V: impressing lack of reactiveness in front a huge blind spot for commercial launches (commercial means truly market driven launches)
    ...

    You'll get the picture.

    Lets look again at that list:

    - A400 a failure ? Why? It was late and over budget, true, so was the C-17, so was the C-130J, so is the Kawasaki C-2, the Russians couldnt even get a new generation cargo aircraft! The aircraft is being produced now, its starting to be fielded now, god know hows how manny will be built. Its too early to call that program a success or not.
    - The A340 a failure? That particular "failure" has more export orders by almost 1/3 then any other European commercial jet before Airbus came along. It broke even, its development was made together with the A330, it got a profit and 377 were built. The only place were that´s a failure is in Boeing´s land, a particular place were the Europeans simply couldnt compete before a particular Company appeared.
    - A380 - Another one wich is still being built, its entirely possible that its development costs actualy gets even, its not obviously the massive success that was hoped, but its too soon to call it a failure
    - Tiger and NH90 - The Tiger is no way a failure, the NH90 has an helluv lot of problems
    - Ariane V - That competition finnaly got its act together in recent years (congratulations to SpaceX ) doesnt mean that the chaps who actually send more things into space in 2014, 2015 and 2016 are in any way a failure.

    What you are doing is calling "failure" to programs using an yardstick, and the yardstick that you are using is... Airbus himself, had those programs being launched by any other European company and you would be calling them a sucess, because they have been built in numbers that no other European company has ever provided.

    But its irrelevant what we think, there´s one particular number that smashes this entire argument. Airbus was formed in 1967 and from that date till June 2017 (half a century) it had delivered 10514 commercial aircrafts, its backlog (firm orders) is ... 6771 airframes!
    Recently i´ve read an article in wich it was stated that if we excluded the US aerospace industry, the Airbus commercial backlog was bigger than the combined value of the rest of world´s aerospace industry combined, commercial and military. Airbus is a massive success today, there´s absolutely no way of denying it.

    Cheers
    Last edited by Sintra; 2nd August 2017 at 18:34.

  8. #338
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    What a load of bull.

    It's a success story for those who want to destroy national industries & independence, or for those who want a european lockmart to grow so huge that they dictate politics. For the rest of us it's a theft of national know how.

    Nic
    look at the numbers.
    Airbus provides more jobs, more value, more technology to France or Germany than the old national bits ever provided. Airbus is one of those cases in wich the sum provided something vastly more capable than the original pieces, the total combined backlog for Airbus is a trillion Euros (!), almost half of it will go to France.

  9. #339
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    One has to ask himself: is it in the french best interest to drop national industry and loose that independence? In France, the answer is a massive "NO"... yet, and this is realy funny when you think about it, people find that that posture from the french is arrogant, selfish or whatnot, but find it perfectly normal for the USA, Russia or China... go figure
    Budget, money, numbers...
    France is not a world power like those three are.

    If France decides to build an entirely new aerospace combat capability on their own it undoutebly can, just like Great Britain, but with its defense budget (small by comparison with China and the US, with the caveat that French R&D and products are more expensive by comparison with Russia) its going to make a compromise in some places (deleting other programs, compromising on capability or numbers, etc). Joining with other European countries is a way to maintain some design and production inhouse capability with a (more or less) small budget, the alternatives are, increase the defense budget or buy American. You have done this on an humongous number of projects, its nothing new.

  10. #340
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    You do understand that France is not a Dictatorship state..
    lol

  11. #341
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    look at the numbers.
    Airbus provides more jobs, more value, more technology to France or Germany than the old national bits ever provided.
    Yeah I doubt the EF provided more value to each member state. And the technology is shared. IE when you want to export stuff you are in direct competition with your partners, so you have to take turns who is going to market something somewhere.

    Besides, airbus in France employs I don't know how many foreigners. So how is it more jobs when half of them are Italian or Spanish or Brits or Germans? It doesn't matter if they work in France, it's not jobs for french people.

    Airbus is one of those cases in wich the sum provided something vastly more capable than the original pieces, the total combined backlog for Airbus is a trillion Euros (!), almost half of it will go to France.
    Airbus should do airliners, period. Half of that will go to airbus shareholders, not to France.

    The french had an awesome helicopter industry, and now look it's european. What's to gain for France?

    It's quite telling that most of the successful programs that tomcat quoted were programs made before consolidation hence before cooperation

    Nic

  12. #342
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    IE when you want to export stuff you are in direct competition with your partners, so you have to take turns who is going to market something somewhere.
    How many Dassault Mercure airliners did France export in the 1970s? How many airliners did France export in total in the 1960s and 1970s?

  13. #343
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    Lets look again at that list:

    - A400 a failure ? Why? It was late and over budget, true, so was the C-17, so was the C-130J, so is the Kawasaki C-2, the Russians couldnt even get a new generation cargo aircraft! The aircraft is being produced now, its starting to be fielded now, god know hows how manny will be built. Its too early to call that program a success or not.
    - The A340 a failure? That particular "failure" has more export orders by almost 1/3 then any other European commercial jet before Airbus came along. It broke even, its development was made together with the A330, it got a profit and 377 were built. The only place were that´s a failure is in Boeing´s land, a particular place were the Europeans simply couldnt compete before a particular Company appeared.
    - A380 - Another one wich is still being built, its entirely possible that its development costs actualy gets even, its not obviously the massive success that was hoped, but its too soon to call it a failure
    - Tiger and NH90 - The Tiger is no way a failure, the NH90 has an helluv lot of problems
    - Ariane V - That competition finnaly got its act together in recent years (congratulations to SpaceX ) doesnt mean that the chaps who actually send more things into space in 2014, 2015 and 2016 are in any way a failure.

    What you are doing is calling "failure" to programs using an yardstick, and the yardstick that you are using is... Airbus himself, had those programs being launched by any other European company and you would be calling them a sucess, because they have been built in numbers that no other European company has ever provided.

    But its irrelevant what we think, there´s one particular number that smashes this entire argument. Airbus was formed in 1967 and from that date till June 2017 (half a century) it had delivered 10514 commercial aircrafts, its backlog (firm orders) is ... 6771 airframes!
    Recently i´ve read an article in wich it was stated that if we excluded the US aerospace industry, the Airbus commercial backlog was bigger than the combined value of the rest of world´s aerospace industry combined, commercial and military. Airbus is a massive success today, there´s absolutely no way of denying it.
    You are strangely loosing your legendary insight. And again, we are not here to comment what made Airbus what it is today. I was just drawing a tendency around the list of late projects and fact is that the odds are weak if business as usual is set to be the goal. Plain logic.

    Regarding the list that I didn't want to debate all days long:
    A400: not a tactical aircraft. Is that something hard to get? Last commercial demo across the Atlantic needed 3 spare engines for a 4 engine airframe. C'mon. We are not here around the counter debating if the bottle is half empty or full. Facts are undebatable as are the customer returns. Then it might lead to something positive, but this is in plain logic dubious.

    A340: the 777, 787 set the new norm in term of long range flight (ETOPS). Airbus reacted with the 330 wich proved to be a success. To make it short, the A340 was simply enclosed on a dying segment. Nothing fancy. It's a superb airplane by the way (but de facto not a success).

    A380: the greatest demonstration of what went wrong in Airbus management. I don't even know how you can debate this point. I have written this for years (like others) and it's now mainstream all around the market.

    Tiger: an attack helo has to be evaluated by it's sortie rate and mission success (hence OP cap). I don't know where you can see it being a success. Hell, even the old Cobra carry more, have a better availability (by far) is cheaper, has on overall better system etc... For long the canon turret could not be operated on the Tiger. The obsolescence is notorious, the self designation cap was so late that it had to be paired with Gazelles at great risks for their pilots, the cutting down in very different Block was weird from the onset and is now the subject of a costly upgrade etc... Then the Tiger fly very well. true*... when spare are available.

    Post Ariane V (my meaning - scroll back): competitive pricing has been totally discarded in favor of the grand Mass of "it has to be French (EU) first".

    Frankly, I don't understand the why of this outburst. Airbus is a Giant and this was an undebatable successful achievement. Now, after such an accumulation of failure in a row, it's not rocket sciences to see the trend of the last 20 years (my exact meaning) and ask ourself some questions.

    *But again, it's not in the capability in technical ground that we are debating but the lack of insight of Airbus executive chain
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 3rd August 2017 at 03:40.

  14. #344
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    Budget, money, numbers...
    France is not a world power like those three are.

    If France decides to build an entirely new aerospace combat capability on their own it undoutebly can, just like Great Britain, but with its defense budget (small by comparison with China and the US, with the caveat that French R&D and products are more expensive by comparison with Russia) its going to make a compromise in some places (deleting other programs, compromising on capability or numbers, etc). Joining with other European countries is a way to maintain some design and production inhouse capability with a (more or less) small budget, the alternatives are, increase the defense budget or buy American. You have done this on an humongous number of projects, its nothing new.
    Sintra, you try to reason like a shareholder, the french (population) mostly think with their feelings, and a politician wants to be elected so he has to take into account what feelings the electors have.. what's more, the today's government , with the president that's pretty much just a puppet in hands of the few of the richest people in the country) has little chance to stay in power 5 years from now, as they started by crushing in matter of weeks what took over a century to build in matter of working conditions.. how the next government will react is anybody's guess, but the "independence" argument will sooner or later come into play. Had they teamed up with the british, as I posted a few pages before, there could've been matter for common requirements, but with Germany, chances are that common part is only a fraction of what France needs, or if you prefer, what France asks for will probably be way beyond what Germany is looking for... What are the chances, for you, that the french get the germans to pay a part of a naval version, for example?

    You want to count on benefits and exports, but in France, exports are only the icing on the cake, what counts for the french (micron 1st is just an accident in french political history) is the cake itself above all, so, if it takes a certain sum to have the air force that they need (or consider they need), so be it... it is not "what I want", but "how it works here"

  15. #345
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sintra View Post
    Lets look again at that list:

    - A400 a failure ? Why? It was late and over budget, true, so was the C-17, so was the C-130J, so is the Kawasaki C-2, the Russians couldnt even get a new generation cargo aircraft! The aircraft is being produced now, its starting to be fielded now, god know hows how manny will be built. Its too early to call that program a success or not.
    - The A340 a failure? That particular "failure" has more export orders by almost 1/3 then any other European commercial jet before Airbus came along. It broke even, its development was made together with the A330, it got a profit and 377 were built. The only place were that´s a failure is in Boeing´s land, a particular place were the Europeans simply couldnt compete before a particular Company appeared.
    - A380 - Another one wich is still being built, its entirely possible that its development costs actualy gets even, its not obviously the massive success that was hoped, but its too soon to call it a failure
    - Tiger and NH90 - The Tiger is no way a failure, the NH90 has an helluv lot of problems
    - Ariane V - That competition finnaly got its act together in recent years (congratulations to SpaceX ) doesnt mean that the chaps who actually send more things into space in 2014, 2015 and 2016 are in any way a failure.

    What you are doing is calling "failure" to programs using an yardstick, and the yardstick that you are using is... Airbus himself, had those programs being launched by any other European company and you would be calling them a sucess, because they have been built in numbers that no other European company has ever provided.

    But its irrelevant what we think, there´s one particular number that smashes this entire argument. Airbus was formed in 1967 and from that date till June 2017 (half a century) it had delivered 10514 commercial aircrafts, its backlog (firm orders) is ... 6771 airframes!
    Recently i´ve read an article in wich it was stated that if we excluded the US aerospace industry, the Airbus commercial backlog was bigger than the combined value of the rest of world´s aerospace industry combined, commercial and military. Airbus is a massive success today, there´s absolutely no way of denying it.

    Cheers
    Airbus is massive failure. It has alot of imported components and material that dictate where it can be sold and since the R&D and labor is inefficient only airlines in states like China and Middleast can make it sustainable. It has distorted EU labor market and foreign policy.

  16. #346
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    A340: the 777, 787 set the new norm in term of long range flight (ETOPS). Airbus reacted with the 330 wich proved to be a success. To make it short, the A340 was simply enclosed on a dying segment. Nothing fancy. It's a superb airplane by the way (but de facto not a success).
    The A330 wasn't a reaction to the B777 & B787, but the other way round. The B777 was a response (& a very good one) to the A340 & A330 combination. But the A330 dominated the sector below the bigger B777.

    The 787 came along a decade later, after Boeing spent years on the Sonic Cruiser dead end.
    Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
    Justinian

  17. #347
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    took a slight shortcut. Obviously, I could have mentioned the 767. Anyhow, as stated repeatedly the goal was never to discuss if Airbus was a success. It was. The repeated failure in design projects in the last 20 years was the main line of my arguments for the probable need of some appropriate measures to lessen the risk inherent of an even more complex challenge that lies in the making of an advanced fighter project in near future. Plain logic only. That, obviously is again more difficult to contest that a 3 line long harshly typed attempt of a restrospective of a 46 years old Industrial in a quick reply
    In any case, I stand corrected. Thank you.
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 3rd August 2017 at 16:14.

  18. #348
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    This thread's drifting....we get any further off course we'll need a GPS and map to get back...

    PS I'd lay good money that Dassault will get the lead in this project.....if it goes ahead of course.

  19. #349
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    Yes, project is on a very initial phase, so no sense to argue about something that still doesn't exist neither on paper.
    What we know is that a proposal was made by one part and accepted by other. Period.
    When new information would surface this thread would surely be useful while actuallyit have lost its track.
    Only thing that can add from my part is that Leonardo (and it means also our government also) has showed some interest in it either.
    Last edited by Marcellogo; 3rd August 2017 at 14:43.

  20. #350
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    Marcellogo, sorry are you saying that Leonardo are interested?

    It would be logical if this system of systems becomes a catch all for all European needs (like Neuron) and the French will only stay on board if they can say they are in charge (like Neuron).

  21. #351
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    For Dassault to have the lead in the project. It would require them to have the lead in low observable aircraft. When compared to Germany. I doubt that is case the Germans have dabbled in low observable sense it's beginning.

  22. #352
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    @mrmalaya
    I have there an interwiew here with Ing. Filippo Bagnato, The chief of Leonardo's fixed planes division (published in RID 8/2017).

    They talked about MALE 2025 (i.e. the joint project that derived from the Neuron) in which they are fully inside and they asked him if the project can be considered an anticipation (lost something in translation there, italian expression is way stronger) for a future european fighter.
    Answer was : certainly the paritetic structure of the MALE 2025 can be the paradigm for a joint initiative in this sense;
    Let's wait to ascertain what would be the requisites of such a plane and what will be the European countries that would be interested.
    A: France, Germany, Italy...
    Q.
    Yes, but i still think that, although Brexit, an Uk partecipation cannot be excluded.

    Actually the article in question is still not published on the site as they would wait until the end of the month for it: http://www.rivistaitalianadifesa.it/

  23. #353
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    Thanks. As to UK participation, if they stay in the UCAV project with the French, then yes it's very possible.

    I would say that the work on neuron outstrips anything the Germans managed in the 1980s. Even the newer projects- whether it's Barracuda or Talarion, the effort is more about signature management than all out stealth.

    That said, maybe they will 'borrow' from BAE like they have done wit EUROMALE.

  24. #354
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    @Marcellogo: you mean peritectic?

  25. #355
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    Siddar said:

    For Dassault to have the lead in the project. It would require them to have the lead in low observable aircraft. When compared to Germany. I doubt that is case the Germans have dabbled in low observable sense it's beginning.
    Dassault was asked to include low observable characteristics into the Rafale back in the 1980's, which is why the Rafale C has nothing in common (except the overall looks) with the rafale A.. every part, curve and edge have been redesigned...

    today, Dassault has a flying drone prototype with the Neuron:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dassault_nEUROn



    and France has the biggest anochoid chamber in Europe (and one of the biggest worldwide) where they worked on low observability for several decades by now... if you ask me, there's little chance that Dassault has any lag behind the germans in that area... it's rather the opposite

  26. #356
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    @TomcatVIP
    Opps, false friend there, paritetico mean that in MALE 2025 the partecipants are all at the same level and they would have a similar structure also with a new fighter.
    He cannot clearly say we are interested to get it but have to wait until the new elections.
    Not so sure if it is a good idea, as much as I want my nation to get a part on a new european fighter I fear that going all together will turn into a Tornado/Typhoon style mess again: too many parties involved, too much different specifics, too much infighting between industries and politicians .
    I would prefer a F-D-E initiative centered on Airbus and a I-UK or even an IT-UK-SW one centered on Leonardo/ Bae Systems/Saab .
    Last edited by Marcellogo; 4th August 2017 at 16:50.

  27. #357
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    Neuron is a 400M€ project. A little bit cheap to jump the gap in VLO design
    According to Dassault Powerpoint, Neuron'RCS is b/w 1/100 to 1/1000th of legacy aircraft. So if you take

    RCS_Old 100 -> 1 top 0.1m˛
    RCS_Old 10 -> 0.1 top 0.01m˛
    RCS_Old 5 -> 0.05 top 0.005m˛

    Which by the words of DA gives:

    Name:  Neuron_RCS-Explained.jpg
Views: 306
Size:  100.0 KB

    We are not in anyway discussing the size of a ball of golf...
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 4th August 2017 at 16:49.

  28. #358
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    Thank you Marcellogo. More clear now.

  29. #359
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    I think it's fair to say neuron is more advanced than anything Germany has produced at it's end, but neuron is not a product entirely of French making. Indeed, it wouldn't have happened if the French had been on their own. Their practical knowledge of aircraft RCS reduction is no greater than Sweden's for example is it?

    Macron is the latest in a long line of French leaders who have seen fit to sign bi or multinational deals to help France in aerospace technology. The idea that they are capable of producing a genuine advanced LO design all on their own, is flawed in my opinion.

    We ran a thread some months ago about non US stealth projects, and the Rafale was demonstrated to have RCS reduction in its DNA, but there is a world of difference between the Rafale and the F22, and little evidence of that gap being filled by French design experience. At least the Germans had MAKO even if it wasn't quite the thing.

    As to Italy joining the UK, it makes sense in so far as they share operational knowledge of the F35 and Typhoon, and some common industrial base. I still think that the idea of a joint Anglo Japanese project is something to want to be part of though.
    Last edited by mrmalaya; 4th August 2017 at 17:53.

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    Unless you suggest that the stealth part was done by the british alone without the french knowing what was going on, you have to consider that regardless of who brought what to the table, today the french do have the know how to make the neuron as it is...

    besides, you have the documentary on the development of the rafale available on Youtube here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7RYZovAj54

    and around 30min mark they explain that by the late 80's, the government asked Dassault to make the rafale as stealthy as possible.. which had them redesign the entire airframe (besides the work on SPECTRA)... The final initial product, the rafale C01 and the Rafale A have nothing in common, besides the general looks, as far as the airframe goes and at 31min mark, the vice president of Dassault explains that the front radar signature of the Rafale is of the size of a sparrow...

    In any case, they've been working continuously on the LO stuff for more than 30 years by now and, to the difference of Germany for example, had the continuous investments being done

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