France takes delivery of first Rafale with RBE2 AESA

Discussion in 'Military Aviation' started by Singh, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Dassault Aviation and Thales complete delivery of France's Rafale C137​



    Saint-Cloud – Neuilly, 02 October 2012 – The DGA (French defenceprocurement agency) has officially taken delivery of the Rafale C137, the first production Rafale equipped with the Thales RBE2 AESA* radar, at Dassault Aviation's Mérignac establishment near Bordeaux.

    The Rafale is the first European combat aircraft in operational service equipped with this type of radar.

    The RBE2 AESA brings the Rafale a number of key operational benefits:

    extended range capabilities supporting low-observable target detection and full use of new weapon systems such as the Meteor air-to-air missile;
    higher reliability for reduced maintenance and lower through-life support costs;
    greater waveform agility for SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) imaging and improved resistance to jamming.

    Dassault Aviation and Thales are proud to equip French forces with this advanced radar technology, which is now entering operational service on a European combat aircraft for the first time. The project was completed on time and on budget, and owes its success to exemplary cooperation with the DGA and all the companies involved in the RBE2 AESA programme.

    Export versions of the Rafale also incorporate AESA radar technology.

    Dassault Aviation and Thales complete delivery of France's Rafale C137
     
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  3. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    [​IMG]

    France accepts first AESA-equipped Rafale

    By: CRAIG HOYLE LONDON 20 hours ago Source:

    Dassault and its industry partners on the Rafale combat aircraft have achieved a significant programme milestone with the delivery of the first production example to feature an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.

    Handed over to France's DGA defence procurement agency at Dassault's Merignac assembly site on 2 October, single-seat aircraft C137 will enter French air force service with the Thales RBE2 radar. The DGA says it will be delivered to Mont-de-Marsan air base "in the coming days".

    Delivery of the first RBE2 has been achieved "on time and on budget", Dassault and Thales say in a joint statement. A schedule outlined last year calls for the new array to be ready to enter frontline use in mid-2013, and to equip the latest batch of 60 aircraft on order for the French air force and navy. The new F3-04T-standard fighter also has improved front sector optronics equipment from Thales and the DDM-NG passive missile approach warning system, produced by MBDA.

    The Rafale has gained an operational AESA sensor before European rivals the Eurofighter Typhoon and Saab Gripen, its developers note. Also included in French proposals to export the so-called "omnirole" platform to Brazil and India, the RBE2 offers increased detection range, improved reliability and reduced maintenance demands versus the radar's earlier passive array.

    A total of 111 Rafales have been delivered so far from combined orders for 180 aircraft, according to the DGA. This includes 36 M-model examples for the French navy and 37 Cs and 38 two-seater Bs for the air force.
     
  4. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Great news for India. How about some comparison with other AESAs ?
     
  5. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Pictures of how AESA look,

    RBE-2AA used on Rafale. 853 T/R elements. Has been upgraded to 1000+ on production Rafale.

    [​IMG]

    CAESAR used on EF-2000. 1500 T/R modules.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
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  6. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    APG-63V2 used on F-15s. 1500 T/R elements.

    [​IMG]

    APG-63V3 used on F-15s.

    [​IMG]

    APG-77 on the F-22. 1500 T/R elements.

    [​IMG]

    APG-79 on the Super Hornet. 1200 T/R elements.

    [​IMG]

    APG-80 on F-16s. 1100 elements.

    [​IMG]

    APG-81 on the F-35.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Zhuk AE prototype with 680 elements and is called the FGA-29. FGA-35 is between 1000-1100 elements. Meant for the Mig-29 and Mig-35.

    [​IMG]

    NIIP AESA for PAKFA, designation unknown. Prototype.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Italian Selex Galileo Raven ES-05 for Gripen NG.
    [​IMG]

    Chinese AESA for J-10B, don't know the designation. Supposedly has 1152 elements.
    [​IMG]

    Israeli EL/M 2052 for any aircraft interested in it, for any array size.
    [​IMG]

    Japanese J/APG-1 for F-2. 808 modules. There is a newer J/APG-2 now. F-2s(Japanese version of the F-16) will have this new radar.
    [​IMG]

    Korean AESA for KF-X. Work in progress.
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    First AESA to ever use PESA interrogators if it is an AESA. :laugh:
     
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  10. ice berg

    ice berg Senior Member Senior Member

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    Like you know the difference.

    This development features a stealthy serpentine intake and an active array radar with a reported 1,152 transmit/receive modules.
    China Heads Out To Sea | Aviation International News
    Pretty much confirms that J-10b is gonna have AESA.

    You wrong again.:lol:
     
  11. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    It is a confirmed AESA. There is a Chinese source I read on the internet sometime back.

    It just uses larger modules for the L band. It is fine.
     
  12. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Oh yes, a Chinese source you read sometime back is all the evidence I need. AESA it is! Unfortunately China has never gotten their hands on an AESA to study. Are you suggesting they actually developed something from scratch?
     
  13. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    I am talking about a technical document specifying components used.

    It is not simply an article with AESA on it.

    Yeah. The Chinese developed the AESA after moving on from slotted planar arrays on their aircraft. Nobody needs an AESA to study. Technology has matured to the point where hardware is no longer that difficult to build. Software is the problem. Let them worry about that.
     
  14. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    If you say so. I have seen no evidence that they have it operational. The only countries to master AESA tech are USA and France. Making minature T/R modules with high power peaks is quite difficult.
     
  15. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    IN FOCUS: South Korea outlines strategy for indigenous fighter

    There is a certain point after which hardware becomes less of a problem. The issue has always been software. This problem has never changed ever since military tech went digital. Even a small country like Korea is confident of making military grade T/R modules on their own. Something China has been doing since a long time.

    As long as a country has the money to spend, defence R&D is always taken care of.

    Anyway the radar I posted is being designed for the J-10B, the aircraft itself is not operational so the radar is yet to see active duty service. Apart from that J-11B is meant to get AESA. No idea how far that has been carried out.
     
  16. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Software issues are far easier to overcome than hardware. Look at Russia, full of programmers but little new hardware to programme.
     
  17. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    You may not have noticed that the Russians have built their own T/R modules (prototype shown in 2007) unlike France which imported Americans ones (prototype shown in 2008) for tests and showed French modules only in 2010. So, I don't know what you are talking about.

    Russian programmers have been programming ESA arrays on fighters for nearly 40 years now, much more than anybody else in the world. So, the biggest problem in radar development isn't a problem for the Russians. OTOH, China's built AESA for fighters only a few years ago. So, their software capability is suspect. Hardware has been available as COTS technology since a long time now.
     
  18. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    I am talking about the failed test of Zhuk AE at MMRCA trials. We have discussed it a few times already so I know you are aware of it. Posting a display does not make an operational array. France has been making T/R modules at its UMS facility since 2005 for completion of our first indigenous array in 2006. UMS has been working on the technology since 1997.

    The biggest problem the Russians have is hardware, as I already stated. Their semi-conductor industry is archaic. China has the infrastructure but not the know-how to complete such a project without samples to reverse engineer. No one is handing over to China AESA arrays and for good reason. They don't have greenfield R&D, they only know how to copy and then the small innovation you see is in fixing problems they encounter in reverse-engineering. And even then what they have copied to date is late Cold-War technology. Getting a 21st century modular AESA array is far more complex.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  19. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    The prototype they used in the tests was a small radar with ~650 modules. It is advertised to have a range of 130Km for a 3m^2 target. It is not like it failed, it was just not enough and IAF does not like prototypes for tenders. That's why both Mig-35 and Gripen NG were rejected, obvious reasons.

    MiG said the radar on offer was a 1000+ module radar called the FGA-35 which will exceed all IAF parameters of 200Km tracking range and other aspects like a weather mapping mode. MiG complained that while IAF judged all parameters on the FGA-29 (and not FGA-35, the production version) which was equipped on a fighter, the EF-2000's radar was actually tested on a helicopter during the competition.

    I am aware of France starting the project as far back in 1997, but the only functional Rafale radar at the time of MRCA competition was built using American modules.

    There are two major design houses in Russia making T/R modules for radars that are probably ready for serial production. They are making it for very large arrays too, so I don't doubt their capability.

    As for China, we will see what happens when it happen. All we can tell as of today is the J-10Bs radar is AESA.
     
  20. ice berg

    ice berg Senior Member Senior Member

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    There have been no disclosures of substance on China’s X-Band AESA technology, but it is known that the J-10B fighter has a radar bay shape and is sized for an APG-82 class AESA.Evolution of AESA Radar Technology | 2012-08-15 | Microwave Journal

    The consensus among PLA-watchers are pretty clear. J-10Bs will be operational around this year or next. Right after the fielding of J-10A Lot 6.

    It is first time I hear that software would be the greatest challenge for China...
     
  21. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    IAF tested the radar to meet MMRCA qualifications for an AESA with a range of 130km. The month before Russia brought it they advertised Zhuk AE tracking out to 150km. Zhuk AE failed the test in range and tracking perimeters to only 130km. That means it FAILED its most basic claim. IAF doesn't want false promises, they want results.

    What has Russia demonstrated? They brought their most developed AESA array and it failed the most basic test. Russia will promise you and their own military the moon, but what do they have? They can't even equip their own armed forces with modern weapons. This is the 3rd rearmament plan and it is failing as bad as the first two.

    MiG makes promises but they can't get Phazatron to make a radar to do what it promised. How can anyone trust them to build a bigger and better version when they can't get the small one to work properly?

    The first functional French AESA array was made in 2006 using UMS T/R modules. The two RBE2 AA brought to MRCA trials were French made, no Americans required. :p

    Design houses are making over-sized obsolete T/R modules that don't work as advertised. Yeah, we know that already. If they are made in a lab then they aren't ready for serial production.

    As for China I see a PESA array with last century interrogators. It is clear it is not AESA when a T/R module should be able to do that job without one.
     

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