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Old 2nd August 2020, 16:48   #1
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Default Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7

Dassault Rafale, MMRCA, with the Indian Air Force



INTRODUCTION


Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7-.-ambala-iaf.jpgIAF
Few aircraft, on their arrival, have created as much of a stir as the Dassault Rafale EH did a few days ago when a flight of 5 landed at IAF Station Ambala. It is the first new induction of a fast combat jet into the IAF literally since the late 1990s when the first Sukhoi Su-27s came as a prelude to the main induction of the definitive Sukhoi Su-30MKI a few years later. This gap of two decades says something about our procurement process. In IAF speak it is referred to as a MMRCA. The MRCA stands for Multi-Role Combat Aircraft. The first M stands for Medium. Here Medium refers to all up weight and engine power it does not mean 'medium' in capability, weapons or radius of action.

Five aircraft does not mean much but it is a foundation for what will be two squadrons. I hope we will one day license build the Rafale and equip 12 squadrons with it.

Like my other threads on aviation I am penning this like a story rather than a boring article full of jargon. Photo credits/Copyrights mentioned in italics alongside photograph. A couple of the photos are of French Air Force aircraft used only to demonstrate a point.


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Rafale is a twin-jet, multi-role, all-weather, fast combat aircraft designed & manufactured by Dassault Aviation and is capable of carrying out a wide range of short and long-range missions – air supremacy, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, deep penetration strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions.

Rafale, in IAF service, will be in two versions - single seater and twin seater. Both are almost identical in capabilities. The twin seater has better capabilities in deep penetration strikes as the very high workload is divided between a crew of two. It also serves as a target designator and a command & control aircraft on a strike mission (if needed) as well as of course conversion training.


Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7-b.-landing-dylan-agbagni.jpgDylan Agbagni
The power of avionics today permits its sensors + flight control computers + mission fire control computers to all be able to switch from one mission type to another as needed. All this stitched together by integrated modular avionics and real time links to other aircraft and ground based & airborne radars. All these make this aircraft high on ‘brain’ in addition to ‘brawn’.


DESIGN


Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7-d1.wing.-da.jpgDassault
Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7-d2a-flaperons.jpgDassault
An aircraft is first a pair of wings – never forget that; then it is a pair of wings mated to a power plant; and then the fuselage comes in third. Like most modern 4th generation fighters Rafale is built around a large delta wing married to foreplanes or little wings called canards fitted ahead of the main wing. Technically these are active close coupled canards i.e. the two pairs work in unison controlled automatically by a computer - the canards are all moving surfaces The large delta wing is an ideal shape for acceleration, high speed, maneuverability (due to low wing loading = aircraft weight/wing area) and stability at high angles of attack (angle of the wing to the horizontal). It is also structurally the strongest wing shape for a given size and weight. Hence loved by designers of fighters to withstand severe forces. The Rafale is designed operationally for -3.6g to +9.5g and in an emergency 11g. But a delta wing bleeds off speed in tight turns, needs very high landing speeds and long runways to operate from and is a terror to fly fast at low levels under the radar. To cut a long aerodynamics story short the canards i.e. the foreplanes correct all of these. :-)


Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7-d3-wing-wkp.pngArz/Wikipedia
The Rafale is an aerodynamically unstable aircraft and uses digital fly-by-wire flight controls to artificially enforce and maintain stability with hundreds of tiny movements of flying surfaces every second, controlled by the flight computer, to keep it stable. The instructions for these 'twitchings' of the control surfaces hundreds of times a second travel down through the fly-by-wire control systems. The old hydraulics simply couldn't do it fast enough.

Aerodynamically unstable means the centre of gravity is deliberately kept well behind the centre of lift thus causing the aircraft to constantly topple in the air if left uncontrolled. A traditional aircraft has its centre of gravity just ahead of and fairly close to the centre of lift and is dynamically stable i.e, if disturbed it will (like a marble in a fish bowl) come and rest at the stable most point. The Rafale has a triplex digital fly by wire redundancy and a fourth analogue fly by wire system – no mechanical controls. Dynamic instability, properly controlled = significantly greater maneuverability.

In an aerodynamically unstable aircraft the task of control system is exactly like a man sitting on the bonnet of a car going at 100 kmph and pushing a bicycle back-to-front, steering it by the handle bars. A human could not control it beyond say 4 or 5 kmph. But the Rafale's flight controls acting hundreds of times a second with tiny movements of the flight surfaces keep the aircraft flying stable with greatly enhanced maneuverability.



ENGINES


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Most Rafales are powered by a pair of Snecma M88-2 low by pass ratio afterburning turbofans developing ~5100 kgf of dry thrust and ~7650 kgf with afterburning. The IAF one's are probably powered by the later more powerful M88-4Es instead, but I do not know for sure. It is equipped with redundant “Full Authority Digital Engine Control” (FADEC), which is a technical term (which we aircraft types love) that basically means carefree engine handling anywhere in the flight envelope -- the throttle can be slammed from combat power to idle and back to combat power again, with less than three seconds from idle to full afterburner.


Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7-e2.-engines-georges-seguin.jpgGeorges Seguin
Like most engines today the afterburners are fully variable i.e. they can provide a continuously graded power response. At dry or military thrust they consume ~3 litres per second between both engines. With full afterburning that number jumps to (take a deep breath) ~9.4 litres per second. A typical jet engine uses only about half the oxygen it ingests, leaving a large amount of potential energy. The afterburner, which is a long extension at the back of the engine, combines much of the remaining oxygen with jet fuel, squirted into the high-speed exhaust stream from the engine’s turbine, and ignites the mixture. The resulting blowtorch shoots through a nozzle at the back of the engine, providing a hard kick of extra thrust.


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The single seaters' empty weight is 9850 kgs and clean take off weight is 15,000 kgs. This includes 4700 kgs of internal fuel. This gives it a power to weight ratio at full afterburner of 1.02:1.00 which is now at the upper end of the normal range for modern fighters; infact identical to the Su-30MKI which is our mainstay today. The canards and the power to weight ratio means the Rafale, like the MiG-29K, could take-off from a carrier with a ramp. Something to watch for in the future? The clean weight and related power loadings indicate the dog fight capability. The all up weight and its wing loading give an idea about its strike capabilities. With an all up weight of 24,000 kgs the Rafale can carry a bomb load of 9500 kgs. Compare that with the Sepecat Jaguars' 4500 kgs and the old much loved Canberra's 3600 kgs. The comparisons are for aviation aficionados purely for historical interest.

In automobile terms think of this as carrying 10 Maruti Altos slung under the wings clipping along at 900 kmph at 300 feet.


AVIONICS & COCKPIT


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Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7-f3.-theaviationist.jpgThe Aviationist
The main office is a full glass cockpit with the now standard HOTAS (Hands on Throttle & Stick) + a wide-angle holographic head-up display (HUD) system + two head-down flat-panel colour multi-function displays (MFDs)+ a central collimated display. These displays have been strategically placed to minimize pilot distraction from the external environment. Some displays feature a touch interface for ease of human–computer interaction. The Rafale's glass cockpit was designed around the principle of data fusion—a central computer selects and prioritizes information to display to pilots for simpler command and control. I believe we have acquired helmet mounted sights but do not know for sure. I believe the IAFs Israeli helmet mounted sights will be integrated. A helmet mounted sight cues the weapon (say an infra-red guided air-to-air missile) to where the pilot is looking. The cockpit is also fully compatible with night vision goggles.


Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7-f1.-iaf.jpgIAF
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The weapon systems of the Rafale are built around 4 main assets. First the Thales' RBE2 ASEA (Active Electronically Scanned Array)* radar that can look up - look down, track while scan multiple targets, prioritize threats and present 2-D and 3-D images of the terrain for both navigation & targeting. The second is the IRST (Infra Red Search & Track) and the similar Front Sector Optronics suite of a powerful TV search, track, range And Identify passive system. The last named permits positive visual identification at ranges beyond human sight in engagements where this is essential. The 4th is the Thalios TV & Infra-red targeting pod cum laser designator for pin point accuracy. I am not covering here the electronic counter measures and navigation systems.

*the radar beam here scans electronically & not with a mechanical turning device. Advantages are multi-mode capability, low interceptability (of the radar) & resistance to jamming



WEAPONS .... the business end


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Weapons! That's what this is all about in the finality of things. The Rafale can carry and accurately deliver dozens of different types of munitions, guided and unguided; air-to-air, air-to-ground, air-to-sea. It is equipped with one internally mounted 30mm DEFA cannons with 125 rounds of ammunition -- that represents the simplest end of the weapons circuit but most useful always. There is the full suite of smart laser guided bombs, iron bombs, cluster bombs, runway cratering bombs, 68mm SNEB unguided rockets, anti-radar missiles, Matra infra red guided air-to-air missiles etc. The four that are of special interest which I presume the IAF is acquiring are -- (1) the MICA air-to-air missile; (2) the Meteor long range air-to-air missile; (3) the SCALP cruise missile; and (4) the HAMMER modular smart bomb guidance unit.


Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7-g2.-mica-mbda.jpgMBDA
The full form of MICA in French is “interception, combat and self-defence missile”. It comes in two versions - infrared guided and radar guided for terminal homing and can be used over a very wide spectrum of range from 0.5 kms (ie in your face) to 40 kms (when at altitude)*. The missile is capable of lock-on after launch which means it is capable of engaging targets outside its seeker's at-launch acquisition range. Mounted on the Rafale, the MICA IR can provide IR imagery to the central data processing system, thus acting as an extra sensor. Launch speed of Mach 3+. On trials the missile using a sensor link from a neighbouring Rafale has demonstrated the ability to flip over after launch and home in an a target behind the launch aircraft!. :-)

*Practical effective range. MBDA claims 60kms.


Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7-rafale-17-meteor.jpgILA-boy
Meteor is an active radar guided beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM). It offers capability against all kinds of maneuvering targets – fast jets, UAVs and cruise missiles in an environment soaked with heavy electronic countermeasures (ECM). The Meteor has an effective a range of 100 kms+. A solid-fuel ramjet motor allows the missile to home in at a speed of over Mach 4 and provides the missile with thrust and mid-way acceleration to target intercept. A two-way datalink enables the launch aircraft to provide mid-course target updates or re-targeting if required, including data from off-board third parties. It’s ‘no escape’ zone at 60 kms is almost twice that of the popular American AIM-120 AMRAAM. Where the battle for air supremacy goes the Meteor will change the airspace in this region and it is unlikely that our two worthy neighbours can acquire anything close. Each Meteor costs a whopping ~$2.5MM! – but it downs an adversary that probably costs between $50MM to $200MM and that makes it worth it.


Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7-g4.-scalp-turbosquidcom.jpgturbosquid.com
The SCALP-EG is a Anglo-French aircraft launched medium range cruise missile that is designed for surgical strikes against strategic & high value targets such as – command centres, missile bases, runways, ships, powerplants, communication hubs etc. It weighs 1300 kgs and carries a 450 kg augmented charge warhead. It flies to the target at between 700 to 1000 kmph, 100 to 130 feet above the ground where it is masked by the ground clutter and virtually undetectable by radar. It guides it self to its target through a mix of pre-programmed flight + terrain following + GPS and inertial navigation. Once near the target it uses thermal imaging & its data feed to identify the target.


Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7-g5.-hammer.jpg
Smart bombs are a normal iron bomb of say 500 kgs fitted with a laser beam guidance seeker in the nose and a tail to enhance gliding capability. The bomb flies with gravity and aircraft speed to the target a few kms away guided by a laser beam kept pointed at the target. The French HAMMER system makes the nose mounted seeker compatible with laser beams, infra-red direction and its own inertial navigation working towards the exact co-ordinates of the target. It makes a iron bomb a gliding guided missile that can launch from 50kms away and land within 1 metre of the target 50% of the time and within 10 metres almost all the time. If you know what you wish to hit and its exact co-ordinates then this is an ideal precision asset. It is believed the IAF have ordered these after the Galwan incident.



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DATA


Dimensions:
Length: 50 feet 1 inch
Wingspan: 35 feet 9 inches
Height: 17 feet 6 inches
Wing area: 492 sq feet

Weights:
Empty weight: 9,850 kgs
Clean weight: 15,000 kgs
Max takeoff weight: 24,500 kgs
Fuel capacity: 4,700 kg internal for single-seater
Maximum fuel: (C): 16,550 litres; 5,750 litres internal + 2,300 l in 2 x conformal tanks + upto 8,500 litres in 5 drop tanks

Power:
Powerplant: 2 Snecma M88-2 turbofans, 5100 kgf thrust each dry, 7650 kgf with afterburner

Performance
Maximum speed: 2,220 kmph (1200 kn) / Mach 1.8 at 36,000 feet
1,390 kmph, (750 kn) / Mach 1.1 at low altitude
Combat radius: ~900 km on penetration strike mission with three tanks (5,700 L), two SCALP-EG and two MICA AAMs.
Ferry range: 3,700 km+ with 3 drop tanks
Initial rate of climb at sea level: 305 metres/second (60,000 feet/min)

Loadings
Wing loading clean: 67 lb/sq feet
Thrust/weight: 0.988 (100% fuel, 2 Meteor AAMs, 2 IR Magic Matra AAMs)

Hardpoints: 14 with a capacity of 9,500 kg external fuel and ordnance

Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7-h.-closing.jpgSwarajaya.com
Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7-h2.-b2brf.jpgDassault


DASSAULT & the IAF

Dassault has been our largest Western supplier of combat aircraft. Our history together goes back to 1951. After MiG and Sukhoi families of aircraft it is Dassault for us. The Rafale is the 4th Dassault fighter that will serve with the IAF. The French are reliable and practical. They don't mix politics with defence contracts unlike the Americans.

A quick walk down the years......


Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7-h2a.-toofani.jpgBharat Rakshak
1953. Dassault Ouragan. Dassault's first ever jet powered fighter and the IAFs first ever aircraft sourced from a country other than Britain. Top speed 940 kmph; climb rate 38 metres/second; combat radius 200 kms; weapon payload 900 kgs; engine power 2250 kgf


Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7-h2a.mystere.jpgBharat Rakshak
1957. In the late 1950s we wanted to acquire the British Hawker Hunter which was the definitive fighter world wide in the pre-supersonic era. The British said no. Dassault offered us the French Dassault Mystere IV which was the best transonic fighter they had. Top speed 1110 kmph; climb rate 40 metres/second; combat radius ~600 kms with drop tanks; weapon payload ~1000 kgs


Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7-h2a.-aeroprints.jpgAeroIndia
1985: Mirage 2000. Dassault's superlative fly by wire multi-role combat aircraft still in service and significantly upgraded.


Jai Hind.

Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7-h3.jpg

Last edited by V.Narayan : 5th August 2020 at 15:23.
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Old 5th August 2020, 20:29   #2
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Default re: Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 5th August 2020, 21:04   #3
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Default re: Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7

What is a solid fuel ramjet?

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Old 5th August 2020, 21:06   #4
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Default re: Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7

Excellent write up. Would love it if you could give some details on how the Rafale matches up with the multi role jets used by PAF and the Chinese Air Force.
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Old 5th August 2020, 22:32   #5
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Default re: Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7

Thanks for the great write-up sir.

I only recently came to know that many more airforces around the world have considered the Rafale and it proved superlative to even the Typhoon, the Gripen and the F-18 Super Hornet in their evaluations. Cost is the one reason why most airforces haven't gone in for the Rafale. And the lack of sales is a self-perpetuating beast; lack of numbers drives up per unit cost for its buyers.

The Rafale's competing products in the arms market only have lower costs going for them. That and the fact that most nations do not have the perilous and adversarial neighborhood that India has; they simply don't need a sledgehammer to hit their doornails. But India most definitely needs this gorgeous sledgehammer.
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Old 5th August 2020, 23:08   #6
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Default re: Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7

Amazing and very informative write up sir. Though you started by stating that you may not get much into jargons, this thread would not leave you wanting, replete with truck load of relevant information. This is kind of a one stop shop for all you need to know of Rafale. Evidently, a lot of effort has gone into compiling the data. As always, a superlative effort sir. Thanks a lot for sharing.

You did mention about Rafale's carrier borne capability. As a matter of fact, France operates Rafales from its carrier Charles De Gaulle. The same was showcased during Exercise Indra last year when they flew alongside our MiG 29 Ks. The same was widely covered in media too.
However, the version the IAF has, as you know cannot be directly taken to land on a carrier. To start with it will need a stronger under carriage; and many more things including a tail hook.

Wonderful thread once again sir.

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Old 6th August 2020, 09:44   #7
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Default re: Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7

Trust Narayan sir to come up with a concise and precise description of our latest aircraft and its capabilities.
You would have been a great teacher!

I only wish that the govt orders lots more Rafales and allows Dassault to setup an assembly operation in India. The huge order can be divided between the French and Indian operations, enabling IAF to replenish its squadrons very quickly.
And I hope that the govt junks the renewed tendering process for more planes. Just focus on Su30, Mig29, Rafale and Tejas.
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Old 6th August 2020, 09:50   #8
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Default re: Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7

Thanks for sharing the information. It was a nice and educative article for amateurs like me to learn about India's newest fighter aircraft pocession. Machines moving beyond 0.3 - 1 Mach are "too fast" for me to grasp and learn about.
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Old 6th August 2020, 10:04   #9
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Default re: Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7

Its great 1980s technology. But if it ain't stealth, it just ain't happening. India can go to Mars. India can build its own stealth advanced fighter jets. And I bet India can do it at one twentieth the cost of a very fine U.S. stealth fighter, and maybe with some improvements and enhancements beyond anyone else.

Electronics, chips, should be so advanced now that dog fighting is finally obsolete.
Stealth and fine robust electronics will defeat oppositon aircraft and maybe more.
India may well develop small pilotless stealth fighters and fly them from laptops
on the ground. Goodby G-suits, hello quick reflexes and multiple, multiple pilotless sentinels. Right now India has an oportunity to leap over everyone else in stealth pilotless fighter jet technology. Cheaply.
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Old 6th August 2020, 10:12   #10
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Default re: Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7

An insightful article which covers almost everything.

I've a couple of questions and it will be great if you could edify the forum on the same.

Kitna deti hain ? What is the efficiency of the fighter aircraft in general? I reckon it is analogous to a sports car or hyper car. Is Rafale's fuel efficiency in the same league as SU30 MKI.

You have not touched upon the Electronic Warfare capability of Rafale especially SPECTRA. Could you throw some light on the same ?
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Old 6th August 2020, 10:26   #11
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Default re: Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7

Quote:
Originally Posted by fache89 View Post

Kitna deti hain ? What is the efficiency of the fighter aircraft in general? I reckon it is analogous to a sports car or hyper car. Is Rafale's fuel efficiency in the same league as SU30 MKI.
I am no expert but that being the case is highly unlikely. Su30 is a heavy fighter with bigger and more powerful engines. The plane itself is physically bigger and heavier and carries higher payloads. It has a reputation for being a bit of a guzzler. I guess it can be safely assumed that the Rafale will be more fuel efficient. Regardless, actual efficiency figures for these frontline fighters must be closely guarded state secrets.

Also, Dassault aircraft have a track record of good reliability in Indian hands, while the overall fleet availability of the Sukhois is 50-60%. And as the author of this thread mentioned in another thread of his, “Mirage is the Toyota Innova of the IAF”, we should expect fairly decent reliability from these new French birds.

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Old 6th August 2020, 10:53   #12
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Default re: Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7

From a historical standpoint, I wonder why India never really went for Mirage 3/ Mirage F1 planes from the 60s thru the early 80s. Obviously, we continued to engage with Europe by acquiring the Jaguar. We could have perhaps avoided the mishmash of Mig 21, 23, 27, 29, Su-7 fighters. The Panavia Tornado/Saab Viggen were also good options.

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Old 6th August 2020, 10:56   #13
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Default re: Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Dassault Rafale, MMRCA, with the Indian Air Force
Thanks a lot for the amazing post. Very nicely compiled and relevant info put forth. Loved it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
Cost is the one reason why most air forces haven't gone in for the Rafale.
Your post answers my main question, actually I came across a thread by a Chinese Think Tank which mentioned Rafale is a failure product and no one buys it and India purchasing the same was a misstep. I can understand the bias in the tone but the interesting question definitely was why indeed not many other countries have purchased this bird. And if it comes down to cost, it makes sense, quite like our automobile market, the best of products fail if not priced appropriately.
(I am not referring to recent SCross launch in anyways )
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Old 6th August 2020, 10:56   #14
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Default re: Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7

Mod Note : Please do NOT post messages that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the quality of this forum. We advise you to read the Forum Rules before proceeding any further. Request to post ONLY when you have something substantial to add to a discussion.

Last edited by GTO : 6th August 2020 at 12:58.
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Old 6th August 2020, 11:08   #15
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Default re: Dassault Rafale, Indian Air Force's new Multi-Role Combat Aircraft! EDIT: MMRCA Evaluation on Page 7

As the Indian ambassador to France put it, this plane is both a beauty and a beast. And despite a lot negative attention towards the Rafale, its a good fit for the IAF given how reliable Dassaults have been to India (unlike Russian planes) and how they are committed to technology transfer and jugaad jobs by Indians in the Mirage during Kargil (unlike the Americans who would never allow it).

Now I sincerely hope they move towards licensed production of the Rafales ASAP but given how long defence contracts take in India, it will probably be 2030 before they even make a decision and even then, they might go for another fighter jet, adding yet another type to the already diverse range of aircrafts that IAF operates. Also, fingers crossed if the Rafale would still be available then as the French along with the Germans are developing a 6th gen aircraft for the 2030s, similar to how the Mirage 2000 production had stopped when the MMRCA tender was first put out. I'm sure the IAF top brass are more frustrated by the incompetence of South Block than adversaries like the PAF or PLAAF

It's a shame that with the 3rd largest defence budget in the world, this is the first fighter jet acquisition in more than 2 decades (not counting the Tejas) and that too only 2 squadrons were bought.

Last edited by dragracer567 : 6th August 2020 at 11:13.
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