Know Your 'Rafale'

Pash

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Emperor Kalki

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Is this inside an Indian Rafale? The fighter sphere tablet, cockpit, ergonomics and helmet look impressive. Something as small and trivial as that tablet could have prevented the loss of that MiG-21 because I believe Abhi didn’t even know how deep he was in Pakistan territory. I know it’s a Rafale thread but I couldn’t help but compare the avionics of the Rafale to the F-16s that Pakistan uses. The Pakistani F-16 are extremely lethal and proven aircraft, the most impressive components of the block 52 F-16s in Pakistan’s arsenal is the radar and AIM-120c5 missiles which I believe can shoot down almost any aircraft under the right circumstances. Where Pakistan’s F-16 fall short is in electronic counter measures, sensor fusion, combat range, missile range and even dogfighting. The PAF is also smaller and less complicated then the IAF, which was a problem in February for India, the Indian side clearly had major issues in communications and jamming. Let’s hope those issues were solved.

With all the rumbling coming from Pakistan claiming that their F-16s and JF-17s are more advanced then Rafales, I still find it ironic that Pakistan still used vintage 1980s HGU-55 helmets for their aircraft. While India now uses modern Thales helmets with HUD and HMS.

One last thing, I was reading in the Indian press that India plans to ‘upgrade’ the Rafale with some Israeli upgrades, and maybe even Indian? Is that true? Why take a proven platform and mess with it? This was one of the issues India had with Pakistan in February. India had weapons systems from all around the world, India then integrated countless upgrades from countless countries, some of those weapons systems did not worked as planned. We can’t forget friendly fire, communications being intercepted and likely jammed. India would be wise to just master what it has and evolve around its platforms rather then trying to reinvent the wheel. I don’t have any problem with minor upgrades especially if it’s already proven to work on certain platforms but when everything is MKI’ed then problems arise. Much of this is likely bureaucracy just so companies like HAL can have a slice of the pie.

My rant was somewhat lengthy but going back to the main topic. It’s impressive the capabilities the Rafale provides, and it’s certainly more advanced then any Pakistani F-16. The situational awareness, ECM, and long rang weapons systems in the Rafale make it self sustainable, meaning it doesn’t have to rely on AWACS or ground controllers as much as other aircraft.

The big priority now is integrating weapons, tactics and communications so that Rafales and SU-30MKIs can work together as one and compliment each other.
1. No, that is not an Indian Rafale.
2. AFAIK, the flightsphere tab is not yet operational....even on french rafales (or does anyone have any update for me on that)...it was in testing....
3. Why do you say "messing with the platform"......its not messing with the platform its just adding new weapons to a versatile (purposely made so) aircraft...
 

Neptune

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1. No, that is not an Indian Rafale.
2. AFAIK, the flightsphere tab is not yet operational....even on french rafales (or does anyone have any update for me on that)...it was in testing....
3. Why do you say "messing with the platform"......its not messing with the platform its just adding new weapons to a versatile (purposely made so) aircraft...

Weapons and systems can be integrated properly and successfully and sometimes not. I’m all for integrating proven systems like new helmets or navigation and communications, that require minimal modifying but beyond that it’s playing with fire unless you are willing to dump large amounts of money and time to work with French, Israeli and Indian engineers to get everything integrated properly.

I’m not talking about aircraft but I have integrated enough ‘high quality’ aftermarket parts onto vehicles and various electronics over the years to know that even high end specific designed components fail and at times interfere with electric control units to cause erratic behaviors. Like I said I’m not against integrating some systems that enhance a platform but the Rafale is very good aircraft from the start, apart from maybe upgrading helmets and data-link I don’t know how wise it would be to do more. I’m obviously not anyone special, I don’t fully understand the Rafale’s capabilities and weaknesses, this is something only the Indians and French know. I’m only sharing my opinions and thoughts. The Rafale is a proven platform, the French have made upgrades over the years and the French have undoubtedly shared their experiences with India. My opinion is to train and plan around a platform instead of trying to get the platform to fit.

But again these are just opinions.
 

piKacHHu

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Weapons and systems can be integrated properly and successfully and sometimes not. I’m all for integrating proven systems like new helmets or navigation and communications, that require minimal modifying but beyond that it’s playing with fire unless you are willing to dump large amounts of money and time to work with French, Israeli and Indian engineers to get everything integrated properly.

I’m not talking about aircraft but I have integrated enough ‘high quality’ aftermarket parts onto vehicles and various electronics over the years to know that even high end specific designed components fail and at times interfere with electric control units to cause erratic behaviors. Like I said I’m not against integrating some systems that enhance a platform but the Rafale is very good aircraft from the start, apart from maybe upgrading helmets and data-link I don’t know how wise it would be to do more. I’m obviously not anyone special, I don’t fully understand the Rafale’s capabilities and weaknesses, this is something only the Indians and French know. I’m only sharing my opinions and thoughts. The Rafale is a proven platform, the French have made upgrades over the years and the French have undoubtedly shared their experiences with India. My opinion is to train and plan around a platform instead of trying to get the platform to fit.

But again these are just opinions.
I believe your apprehension is coming from IAF's MKI experience where we took french avionics, Israeli pods, indigenous RWR etc. and mated to SU-30K to get our own version i.e. Su-30MKI. May be it didn't work the way we wanted but there is a historical context to it because first it was a political purchase (not as per then IAF requirements) and since India could leverage better avionics and EW system from France, Israel etc, it opted to chose them over the Russian ones. (As Russia was recuperating from Soviet collapse in Mid 90s, it allowed us to carry out these modifications to sustain their aerospace industry).

Now if you judge whether this "Jugaad" worked; I would say Partially.

Currently, whatever new munitions or Missiles (A2G, A2A) etc. DRDO/IAF wants to test, it picks up Su-30MKI first because certainly it gives them some flexibility to mate these new weapons for testings. In that case, I feel this jugaad is working wonders.

The downside related to Jammer and Post Balakot skirmish could not be attributed entirely to the Jugaad philosophy. It was a fact that we didn't had good BVR missiles that could out-range or even match AMRAAMs. And it was highlighted by the hurried purchase of improved version of R-77 (RVV-SD, R-27s etc.) later. In that case, lapses by IAF/MoD has led to degradation of a rather decent platform.

May be in future, if we witness a friendly DACT between Russian Su-30SM and Indian 30MKI, then we could certainly judge whether these makeshift jugaads are harmful or not !

For Rafale, I don't see it happening as it's a quite a matured platform (F3R upgraded); even this decision of selecting HAMMER for A2G strike is also sensible. The ISEs like HMDS will in fact further enhance its potential. Apart from that, Integrating AAMs/A2G munitions are routine job for fighters across the world (like UK testing ASRAAMs on F-35 or Gripen with plethora of qualified AAMs etc.)
 

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Not only the Rafale was L1, but it was also the best in its class ! Thank you Air Marshall Raghunath Nambiar for putting facts straight.
Not only about ill fated MMRCA... It's very discouraging to hear Air Marshall Nambiar views about current S.P model MRFA (MMRCA 2.0)... with congress still going gung ho over rafale .. even after being shut down by supreme court... Prospect of MRFA looks shabby.. Congress douches are still busy fooling low iq dimwits who have destroyed their conscience by simply loathing BJP...

Thank God we still have nationalists in majority who voted for BJP... I stutter to imagine what would have happened or can happen if this left idealised congress gets back to power..

This S.P model is a ticking time bomb.. it doesn't matter if we choose any other firm other than HAL .. congress will go gung ho on the same rhetorics of crony capitalism.. this time amount is huge i.e 20 billions dollars.. im sure congress will again resort to their asinine stuff.. nd IAF will be again left clutching at straws.. i will never ever vote for congress in my entire life.... These bastards are in hot bed with anti nationalists left front...

NOW logically we should go for a repeat order of Rafale of 2-3 squadrons.... With the amount of fanfare nd public interest shown in rafale... Nd most pertinently with IAF having required infrastructure nd training will help it to absorb rafale in more prudent way nd quickly as compared to any other type.. with 2 billions dollars already paid for ISE upgrades.. 2nd tranche of rafale should be cheaper..

THUS close this ill fated MMRCA hoopla once for nd all.. or else we will berunning in tangent again nd again.. with output result being zilch... so if sanity prevails in our higher ups then close this MMRCA.. buy more rafale .. nd focus on lca, mwf nd amca.. with belt tied around HAL neck so that they don't manage to phuck up with project timelines again..
 

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The downside related to Jammer and Post Balakot skirmish could not be attributed entirely to the Jugaad philosophy. It was a fact that we didn't had good BVR missiles that could out-range or even match AMRAAMs. And it was highlighted by the hurried purchase of improved version of R-77 (RVV-SD, R-27s etc.) later. In that case, lapses by IAF/MoD has led to degradation of a rather decent platform.
It's inexplicable how and why we had not mated longer range BVR missiles like the R-77 or the R-27, with the SUs, the first batch of of which were delivered to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in August 2013 for the MiG-29s. (MoD had awarded a $250m contract for the R-27 missiles in March 2012). 300 R-27R1/ER1 and R-27T1/ET1 variants were ordered in 2019 for Su-30MKI aircraft.

The question is, knowing full well that the PAF had the longer range BVR missiles like the AIM 120C AMRAAM, was the IAF sleeping? Why wake up after Balakot? It's like shutting the stable after the horses have bolted! If the SUs had these missiles then, a few F-16s would have been toast instead of just one kill.
 

daya

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It's inexplicable how and why we had not mated longer range BVR missiles like the R-77 or the R-27, with the SUs, the first batch of of which were delivered to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in August 2013 for the MiG-29s. (MoD had awarded a $250m contract for the R-27 missiles in March 2012). 300 R-27R1/ER1 and R-27T1/ET1 variants were ordered in 2019 for Su-30MKI aircraft.

The question is, knowing full well that the PAF had the longer range BVR missiles like the AIM 120C AMRAAM, was the IAF sleeping? Why wake up after Balakot? It's like shutting the stable after the horses have bolted! If the SUs had these missiles then, a few F-16s would have been toast instead of just one kill.
Either they are afflicted with short-sighted-ness or incapable.
 

Frontrunner

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It's inexplicable how and why we had not mated longer range BVR missiles like the R-77 or the R-27, with the SUs, the first batch of of which were delivered to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in August 2013 for the MiG-29s. (MoD had awarded a $250m contract for the R-27 missiles in March 2012). 300 R-27R1/ER1 and R-27T1/ET1 variants were ordered in 2019 for Su-30MKI aircraft.

The question is, knowing full well that the PAF had the longer range BVR missiles like the AIM 120C AMRAAM, was the IAF sleeping? Why wake up after Balakot? It's like shutting the stable after the horses have bolted! If the SUs had these missiles then, a few F-16s would have been toast instead of just one kill.
Or Maybe our ludicrous bureaucracy nd politicians phucked us again...

Remember there was no concept of emergency purchase during 10 yrs of congress rules.. do we really think IAF wouldn't have tried to fill in the gaps??

Do IAF has a say against MOD babus?? who are hell bent on working against every procurement .. delaying it to the detriment of IAF...

Im very certain MOD babus forced cheap Ukrainian knock-offs of R-77s down the IAF throat to save the cost...

We have already heard various account of IAF trying to procure.. Software defined radios since quite some time .. which was a very imperative piece of equipment... However MOD babus & DRDO left IAF in hot water by offering a lollipop in name of indigenisation....

Indigenisation is pertinent..but not at the cost of armed forces war fighting capabilities.. surrounded by two belligerent neighbour's we can't afford mellow down around with our ludicrous bureaucracy nd shabby indigenisation with multiple delays nd issues... If an eminent tech is needed it should be bought .. no matter indigenous or exported..

We can't leave our soldiers fighting with ancient tools.. harming their life while sucking up to our bureaucracy nd indigenisation...

That's why this idea of emergency purchase nd extra power to armed forces were introduced after last year engagement with pakistan ... To free armed forces from gloves of despicable bureaucracy... Where in they can fill up their imperatives nd are not left in a quagmire..

If we have to catch up with china in defence.. then we need to abrogate this dreadful bureaucracy once for nd all..
 

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Or Maybe our ludicrous bureaucracy nd politicians phucked us again...

Remember there was no concept of emergency purchase during 10 yrs of congress rules.. do we really think IAF wouldn't have tried to fill in the gaps??

Do IAF has a say against MOD babus?? who are hell bent on working against every procurement .. delaying it to the detriment of IAF...

Im very certain MOD babus forced cheap Ukrainian knock-offs of R-77s down the IAF throat to save the cost...

We have already heard various account of IAF trying to procure.. Software defined radios since quite some time .. which was a very imperative piece of equipment... However MOD babus & DRDO left IAF in hot water by offering a lollipop in name of indigenisation....

Indigenisation is pertinent..but not at the cost of armed forces war fighting capabilities.. surrounded by two belligerent neighbour's we can't afford mellow down around with our ludicrous bureaucracy nd shabby indigenisation with multiple delays nd issues... If an eminent tech is needed it should be bought .. no matter indigenous or exported..

We can't leave our soldiers fighting with ancient tools.. harming their life while sucking up to our bureaucracy nd indigenisation...

That's why this idea of emergency purchase nd extra power to armed forces were introduced after last year engagement with pakistan ... To free armed forces from gloves of despicable bureaucracy... Where in they can fill up their imperatives nd are not left in a quagmire..

If we have to catch up with china in defence.. then we need to abrogate this dreadful bureaucracy once for nd all..
Why is there so much bad blood between IAF and MOD?
 

Frontrunner

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Why is there so much bad blood between IAF and MOD?

It's not only between IAF nd MOD.... It is between armed forces ( IAF, ARMY, NAVY) nd MOD...

Our ludicrous bureaucracy is our true enemy... With all this babu culture tracing back to colonial era has done more harm to india than pakistan or china..

We can't fight with communists china nd farce democracy pakistan (where army has a first say) with this atrocious bureaucracy tied around our neck with weight..
 

Mikesingh

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Why is there so much bad blood between IAF and MOD?
There’s reason for this. In the Services, people come and go while well-entrenched babus & managers inhabit the corridors of power in the MoD & PSUs for years and think they are the experts and who have nurtured a false sense of power and authority. What’s worse is that these babus and lobbies almost always outpace & outlast the Forces. Politics & pseudo-nationalism have seized the upper hand. Today, to speak a word against such agencies immediately ignites a ‘Forces versus them’ debate that obfuscates real issues with no prospects of long-term improvement. In the resultant smokescreen, real change eludes us.

Even Modi has failed to tame babudom in these six years. It will require an act of God to change things around for the better.
 

Neptune

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It's inexplicable how and why we had not mated longer range BVR missiles like the R-77 or the R-27, with the SUs, the first batch of of which were delivered to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in August 2013 for the MiG-29s. (MoD had awarded a $250m contract for the R-27 missiles in March 2012). 300 R-27R1/ER1 and R-27T1/ET1 variants were ordered in 2019 for Su-30MKI aircraft.

The question is, knowing full well that the PAF had the longer range BVR missiles like the AIM 120C AMRAAM, was the IAF sleeping? Why wake up after Balakot? It's like shutting the stable after the horses have bolted! If the SUs had these missiles then, a few F-16s would have been toast instead of just one kill.

Not exactly. I feel like I’m beating a dead horse but it’s an established fact that the SU-30 (Avenger1) did not even have the altitude to even exploit the full range of its missiles. To make matters worse Avenger1 was outnumbered by F-16s flying at much higher altitudes which would mean Avenger1s missile range would be degraded even further if Avenger1 decided to fire at higher altitude targets. Even with equal or slightly longer range missiles Avenger1 would have probably still been on the defensive considering how low his altitude was; moreover the numerical superiority and AWACS PAF enjoyed can’t be ignored.

Why IAF could not launch more SU-30s especially after they knew PAF was going to retaliate? It seems like some squadron commanders or even higher bras should have been reprimanded or completely sacked since some squadrons either didn’t have availability of aircraft or pilots or both. The IAF committed a lot of blunders, hopefully they corrected them. Having better equipment doesn’t automatically mean you will come out on top. It seems some major reforms need to take place.


It will be interesting to see how the IAF will use Rafale and how Rafales will pair with SU-30s or even Tejas. Hopefully Rafales already have some IFF that identifies friendly aircraft. There are a lot of questions about information sharing with all these aircraft, my guess is that India will rely on AWACS for that.
 

Frontrunner

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Not exactly. I feel like I’m beating a dead horse but it’s an established fact that the SU-30 (Avenger1) did not even have the altitude to even exploit the full range of its missiles. To make matters worse Avenger1 was outnumbered by F-16s flying at much higher altitudes which would mean Avenger1s missile range would be degraded even further if Avenger1 decided to fire at higher altitude targets. Even with equal or slightly longer range missiles Avenger1 would have probably still been on the defensive considering how low his altitude was; moreover the numerical superiority and AWACS PAF enjoyed can’t be ignored.

Why IAF could not launch more SU-30s especially after they knew PAF was going to retaliate? It seems like some squadron commanders or even higher bras should have been reprimanded or completely sacked since some squadrons either didn’t have availability of aircraft or pilots or both. The IAF committed a lot of blunders, hopefully they corrected them. Having better equipment doesn’t automatically mean you will come out on top. It seems some major reforms need to take place.


It will be interesting to see how the IAF will use Rafale and how Rafales will pair with SU-30s or even Tejas. Hopefully Rafales already have some IFF that identifies friendly aircraft. There are a lot of questions about information sharing with all these aircraft, my guess is that India will rely on AWACS for that.
For PAF AWACS we will neutralize them by induction of S-400 nd it's long range active seeker equipped 40N6E missile...

Pakistan don't have strategic depth so their awacs would be forced to operate at their western end as to avoid S-400 missile range.. even if we don't manage to shoot them down.. it will effect their tracking range under the constant threat of very large engagement envelope of S-400... neither their awacs can afford to low as to avoid s-400 as again it will mitigate their tracking range...

Nd for why IAF couldn't launch more aircrafts??

Simple reason is no airforce be it paf or iaf can afford a constant vigil & CAP 24×7 all along loc nd ib... there aren't enough aircrafts to do 24*7 CAP all along the border

That's why even during hightened tension nd with clear sign of india launching an attack on pakistan ... They couldn't stop our mirages on 26th feb ... Mirages crossed their border, bombed balakot..& came back unscathed.. without being challenged.. even tho paf had constant vigil with their saab awacs flying all along...

However when they launched an attack... we responded to them... In that sector...

Now as i said both force can launch a surprise attack as the onus lies on the attacker... to choose the time nd place of attack..

that's what they did on 27th.. as they even didn't tried to cross the border as their mirages, jf-17s launched h-4s nd rek bombs from standoff distance nd ran away.. with f-16s armed with amraams waiting in a ambush for iaf response


Their are multiple decoys nd tactics applied to launch an air attack aided by intelligence of shift change around respective air bases... their are multiple VAs nd VPs all along the border which can't be gaurded 24*7...

THIS is where S-400 nd MRSAM will prove their worth... with paf being in constant threat of S-400 nd MRSAM .. they know they can't afford to come anywhere near border and run away after dropping bomb without being attacked back ... S-400 nd MRSAM will give us capability to mount a 24*7 vigil around the VAs nd VPs..
 
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A chauhan

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This appears to be interesting :-


Sorry if repost.
 

Mikesingh

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For PAF AWACS we will neutralize them by induction of S-400 nd it's long range active seeker equipped 40N6E missile...

Pakistan don't have strategic depth so their awacs would be forced to operate at their western end as to avoid S-400 missile range.. even if we don't manage to shoot them down.. it will effect their tracking range under the constant threat of very large engagement envelope of S-400... neither their awacs can afford to low as to avoid s-400 as again it will mitigate their tracking range...
The first two Regiments of S-400s are planned to be deployed around Delhi and most likely nuke facilities like Trombay. The remainder which would be inducted not before 2024/25 one of which would probably be deployed in Ladakh, which is pure conjecture at this stage.

As an aside, being a strategic weapon, the S-400 Regiment that China has received from Russia has been deployed around Beijing (and not Tibet as some have stated) under op control of PLA's 5th Air Defence Division. The second Regiment in the pipeline will be deployed around Shanghai to cover its financial hubs along the Eastern coast and the SCS which is far more strategically sound than deploying them in the TAR .
 

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For PAF AWACS we will neutralize them by induction of S-400 nd it's long range active seeker equipped 40N6E missile...

Pakistan don't have strategic depth so their awacs would be forced to operate at their western end as to avoid S-400 missile range.. even if we don't manage to shoot them down.. it will effect their tracking range under the constant threat of very large engagement envelope of S-400... neither their awacs can afford to low as to avoid s-400 as again it will mitigate their tracking range...

Nd for why IAF couldn't launch more aircrafts??

Simple reason is no airforce be it paf or iaf can afford a constant vigil & CAP 24×7 all along loc nd ib... there aren't enough aircrafts to do 24*7 CAP all along the border

That's why even during hightened tension nd with clear sign of india launching an attack on pakistan ... They couldn't stop our mirages on 26th feb ... Mirages crossed their border, bombed balakot..& came back unscathed.. without being challenged.. even tho paf had constant vigil with their saab awacs flying all along...

However when they launched an attack... we responded to them... In that sector...

Now as i said both force can launch a surprise attack as the onus lies on the attacker... to choose the time nd place of attack..

that's what they did on 27th.. as they even didn't tried to cross the border as their mirages, jf-17s launched h-4s nd rek bombs from standoff distance nd ran away.. with f-16s armed with amraams waiting in a ambush for iaf response


Their are multiple decoys nd tactics applied to launch an air attack aided by intelligence of shift change around respective air bases... their are multiple VAs nd VPs all along the border which can't be gaurded 24*7...

THIS is where S-400 nd MRSAM will prove their worth... with paf being in constant threat of S-400 nd MRSAM .. they know they can't afford to come anywhere near border and run away after dropping bomb without being attacked back ... S-400 nd MRSAM will give us capability to mount a 24*7 vigil around the VAs nd VPs..

I am not talking about 24 hour a day sorties. I was referring to the IAF inability to muster enough aircraft to confront the PAF soon after it launched 24 aircraft. The worst part is the IAF was probably expecting retaliation. Supposedly some MiG-29s eventually were scrambled but where were the SU-30s that were located on forward air bases? They should have launched immediately.

Even where I live we had F-15s intercept an empty hijacked airliner within minutes as well as many other aircraft including of unknown origin. During Desert Storm over 100,000 sorties were flown, so if the numbers are there 24 hour a day sorties are possible. Same thing in Syria for Russia, it launches aircraft 24 hours a day on bombing missions and regularly intercepts Israeli aircraft.

I feel like we are deviating from the topic. Those things you said about Pakistani disadvantaged and S-400 I agree on. The only thing that I will say is that the IAF had major fatal flaws post Balakat with the state of readiness as well as equipment. Hopefully the Rafale, better AWACS, upgrades to the SU-30 and a restructured command will have better results next time the PAF and IAF meet.
 

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