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Author Topic: Rafale & Eurofighter Typhoon  (Read 13978 times)

Offline alyster

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Rafale & Eurofighter Typhoon
« on: November 14, 2005, 02:34:39 PM »
France left the EFA program to build its own fighter  Rafale. What do u guys think, was it right thing to do or what? And which plane is better Typhoon or  Rafale?
Rafale ought to be lighter, possible to take off from carrier and cheaper for export(?) ??
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Greekpilot

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Re: Rafale & Eurofighter Typhoon
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2005, 08:59:34 PM »
Well, Rafale is the last project developed entirely by France. Concerning price, this will depend on missionization specified by every potential buyer. We still don't know which is superior, but Typhoon has a big advantage: The EJ200 can take the TVC nozzle developed by ITP and thus increase (to some extend) STOL capabilities and also higher AoA. Maybe for these reasons SAAB can install the EJ200 to Gripen, only under the condition that the candidate buyer requests it

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Re: Rafale & Eurofighter Typhoon
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2005, 05:31:15 PM »
From what I've seen, the Rafale has better range, and is expected to have better air-to-ground performance. Not sure if that range is combat-range...

The Rafale M might be lighter, but its gear is heavier, so I am not sure what else needs to give way for its carrier capability. IMHO the current Rafale Ms flying are as limited in capabilities as the Tranche One Eurofighters, if not more limited.

When comparing the Eurofighter and Rafale it is important to look at which version. Tranche three Eurofighter seem very promising and maybe it will make up for its expected air-to-ground gap when compared to the Rafale. But will it ever come so far with all these budget cuts. Also the Rafale is undergoing staged development Marketed features might not even be scheduled to be developed until 2010+. To compare them in the air-to-air role, it is also highly dependent on the new generation of missiles.

Was it a wise thing to do? Maybe, with the French in it, the Eurofighter project would perhaps be even more delayed. That said, the Rafale isn't beating the Eurofighter time-to-market wise. The unit cost per Rafale might be higher for the French people, than if they would have stuck with the European partners...however maybe the return on investment (by involving mostly French suppliers and manufacturer only) might be better. However for export market, a higher price might not be that good, but so far Eurofighter isn't beating the Rafale on price yet, because the Eurofighter is also very pricey.

Anyway, both parties are losing export sales to US fighter aircraft, besides the maybe more valuable technology transfer or off-set programmes the US can offer, the main reason seems to be (or at least smells like) political... (e.g. Singapore/South Korea)

Although, both have some fierce competition in the export market, I can see some light for the Eurofighter. These are my views, please correct me if I am wrong.

India, the Eurofighter is now also being offered for the MCA 126 aircraft requirement. While Dassault, to my knowledge, still only offers the modernised Mirage 2000-5/9/? not sure which is precisely on offer.

Greece, has always been interested in the Eurofighter, although their recent F-16 orders seemed to take some of its share, they still seem interested. And as greekpilot pointed out, it has some preference over the Rafale. In the mean time, they are also ordering new/upgraded Mirage 2000s, which may form the basis for a future Rafale contract though. I am not sure.

Turkey, although it joined the JSF program, it still has interest in the Typhoon. I suppose the JSF will take too long. I don't think the Rafale will be a strong competitor if a formal tender is launched, although I am worried about Turkey buying more F-16s.

Saudi Arabia, is looking to replace its Tornado fleet, and in the long term F-15. Suadi Arabia might buy US equipment, if the US would open up a bit more. To my understanding, they haven't been happy with their downgraded F-15S. So you might think that Eurofighter has the best chances here, BAE is already heavily present in the country, whereas the number of French aircraft in Saudi service is very low. However recent reports suggest that the French are pretty busy lobbying to sell the Rafale. However the US is desperate for oil, and Saudi Arabia is the biggest producer...so getting good US aircraft should not be that hard, seems unlikely the F/A-22 will be offered, or that the JSF will be on time, so maybe some F-15S+ might be offered, guess then they would prefer some Euro Delta.

Denmark, while likely to become a JSF customer, it still is looking at the Eurofighter, which is probably the preferred alternative.

Norway, expressed big concerns about the JSF program and is not happy about the industrial share offered. I am not sure what the current status is. Anyway, the Eurofighter seems again to be the preferred option.

For all bootstrapped countries, neither the Rafale nor Eurofighter is an option, hopefully Gripen can attract more of these countries beating the US competition.
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Greekpilot

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Re: Rafale & Eurofighter Typhoon
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2005, 08:41:45 PM »
Webmaster, Greece has made its decision: Eurofighter.

                The Rafale issue is rather political: Greece has (since the 1930's Bloch Aviation) purchased French aircrafts. I now hear that the Greek MoD is proceeding a further purchase of 9 Mirages 2000-5 for replacements. A rejection of Rafale is somehow going to hurt the French defense industry. That's why Greece is participating on the Dassault UCAV Neuron, the Hellenic Navy is thinking of purchasing 4 Dassault Atlantique 3 ASW airplanes and even 4 French-Italian Horizon frigates, thus offsetting any (political) losses from not purchasing Rafale.
                 Don't forget that Eurofighter GmbH's Erwin Obermeier stated in a Greek magazine that " a Greek purchase of Eurofighter will open the doors for extensive industrial and R&D participation of Greek industry in major European programmes such as Airbus, Astrium, Eurocopter, MBDA Dynamics etc."
                Gripen is the cheapest of all solutions, but HAF needs "air superiority aircraft". Sukhoi, though strongly preffered, are out of the question. Typhoon and Rafale remain the only ones. Typhoon has been considered "the most suitable", while Rafale has not been evaluated. That is why Dassault and SAAB are pushing the Greek government to initiate a new contest. The problem is however time: An evaluation can take up to 5 years.
                Though I believe our Air Force needs to lower its costs and thus select Gripen (with an EJ230 TVC engine, if requested), politics are again the big issue. 4 countries (UK, Spain, Italy, Germany) against one (either France or Sweden). Gripen however cannot be offered to Turkey (see human rights).
                 But for Gripen, I believe Denmark and Norway may procceed for the Swedish aircraft due to dissapointments over industrial participation in JSF. Who knows, a PanScandinavian aircraft of the future( and Gripen's revenge for its "ancestor", Viggen)...

Here are some news:

http://www.gripen.com/articles/5.64dd79107d26d21d58000207.html

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Re: Rafale & Eurofighter Typhoon
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2005, 01:48:14 AM »
Great, but what about that figure of at least 60 aircraft? Is that still current?

Yeah, just after I posted the above reply, the press release about the Gripen being offered to Denmark was issued at the gripen website. I am a fan of the Eurofighter I admit, but if Denmark/Norway can keep up a larger fleet of Gripens than Eurofighters than I am at peace with the Gripen. Although I don't think that Gripen is that much of a technology advancement, although the engine and advanced weapons developed for the Eurofighter might find their way to Gripen.
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Greekpilot

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Re: Rafale & Eurofighter Typhoon
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2005, 08:54:26 AM »
For now it will be 40. But since we need to replace some 200+ A-7 and F-4, additional purchases (or co-productions) are going to be excercised. The Greek governemnts were breaking somehow the purchases in parts. We may do the same as for F-16s (40+50+50+30). But for the Typhoon we will demand a co-production of maybe Tranche 3 Bach. It is a complex issue however. It is somehow awkward. With so many purchases we don't have an aircraft industry! Only the Navy and lately the Army have made such a progress of locally assembled weapons. Hope to see a Greek Typhoon rolliing out from HAI's factory  :)

BTW, Hellenic Navy is interested on purchasing a "Rotterdam" class LPD. And should I mention the Greek officials are very happy with the Kortenaer frigates.

Also on JSF, is The Netherlands dissapointed too?? Only Britain and Italy are not from what I've understood!!

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Re: Rafale & Eurofighter Typhoon
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2005, 03:16:21 PM »
That's good, and if assembly lines can't be set up in Greece, I am sure Greek industry can benefit from other offset deals with EADS, which is a bigger player than Dassault, so reason more to stick with the Eurofighter I suppose.

HMS Rotterdam is a really high value asset, any modern navy should have a couple of these or similar ships in its fleet in my opinion. Can't go without them for overseas deployments.

On the JSF, not really, there have been some criticism, but only limited by non-official experts. The aviation industry is gaining some orders now, and they are of course very enthusiastic about it. Although worth quite some millions, these contracts are for several smaller parts only, like gear doors, servo motors, sensors, access panels, and so on.
Hopefully we can get an assembly line set up in the Netherlands for the entire European market, like was done with the F-16s.
The other pleased party is the air force, which is keen on getting the latest available technology, and considers American equipment the best in the world and at least the Gripen is not good enough for us.
Politicians are somewhat happy, they are happy to have (ever) more cooperation with the US, but of course about half of it, would rather save the costs and spend it on some culture or education program or keep flying the F-16 until 2050 or something. At least the Brits are acknowledging the delays and budget overspents...

The investment in industrial involvement has been done, so now that contracts are signed for parts, this makes everyone happy.

Whether the air force will actually get the JSF, and how many, for what price, will all still need to be decided in the future. The good thing about this, is that if it actually becomes one big nightmare, you just lose the 700 million minus industry sales plus missed opportunity cost of participating in another aircraft (because then you are forced to buy off-the-shelf. And if it becomes a great success, you get a large return on investment. The bad thing is that we are almost forced to buy the JSF in the future, otherwise we would get less return on investment. Also that the number may still be lowered (because of cuts), and the price might go up (because of budget overspents, delays, and lack of orders), result is that we order less for more money. Leading to a smaller fleet. Requirement is 85 at the moment (while we fly 108 F-16s now, recently reduced from 137) I'd bet that by the time the contract is signed, it will be 75, split over two batches, maybe 40 and 35...the latter being cut down again in the future. But well, that's just my fear.
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Greekpilot

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Re: Rafale & Eurofighter Typhoon
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2005, 05:05:12 PM »
Found it from another forum. Bad news ahead??

http://www.nu.nl/news/636342/22/Bouw_JSF_in_gevaar.html

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Re: Rafale & Eurofighter Typhoon
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2005, 05:41:15 PM »
Well, as you might know, the US is considering to drop the JSF project in favour of the F/A-22. Either one of them needs to suffer from reduced orders anyway, so they are asking themselves if they cannot scrap the JSF completely. As the JSF is replacing aircraft in not just the air force, but all three services, I don't see this happening. They need some STOVL aircraft anyway to replace the AV-8B. It's just a classic example of politicians vs. military. The politicians don't see how the air force needs to have a JSF like aircraft to form a combination with the more expensive F/A-22. Regarding the joint service, this was a problem in the past with the F-111, differences in needs and opinion made the F-111 fail as a joint service fighter/bomber. So I guess the American politics and senior military officials might have some fear about this. Although strategic defence reviews indicate that joining of all services seems the way to go, a joint aircraft platform has a lot of advantages.

But we'll know for sure in February I guess, when the USA decides on its participation.

(The Dutch investment is 857 million, not 700 as I mentioned before.)
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Greekpilot

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Re: Rafale & Eurofighter Typhoon
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2005, 08:09:53 PM »
If the JSF is indeed scraped, are you going to opt for Typhoon or Gripen?

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Re: Rafale & Eurofighter Typhoon
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2005, 08:23:19 PM »
Nothing is known about that yet. I think there is much export potential, so at a higher price, the JSF might still make it, if UK, Italy, Turkey, Australia stick with it. I can't see it being cancelled.
The Rafale actually scored second in the first comparison of information. But the tender would probably be relaunched so advanced block F-15/F-16s can also enter competition, and Eurofighter and Saab can offer updated proposals.
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Greekpilot

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Re: Rafale & Eurofighter Typhoon
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2005, 10:15:09 AM »
Bad news again for JSF

1)  http://www.timesonline.co.uk/articl...1902806,00.html

2)

Trouble for jet fighter deal
By Robert Gottliebsen
March 14, 2005
From: "The Australian" Newspaper

THE biggest government purchasing program in Australia's history, the $12 billion order for the F-35, or Joint Strike Fighter, appears to be going horribly wrong.

And when Australia's defence chiefs meet at today's air force conference, the problem of replacing Australia's ageing air fleet should dominate the agenda.
The difficulty is that, embedded in the defence tradition is a view that you never admit a mistake and constantly justify what you have done, no matter what happens.

In the next month or so, the Senate committee report on abuses and cover-ups in the defence force will almost certainly graphically illustrate this basic weakness in defence decision-making.

This kind of problematic collaboration is a tough lesson for everyone...

 



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