Know Your 'Rafale'

BON PLAN

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We wouldn't have had this problem (of low numbers) had the IAF been farsighted enough to say we need an F-16 class plane when LCA was being designed, and had been involved with the designers and HAL since day 1. The whole idea of fitting F-16/ Mirage 2000 like capabilities in the size of a MiG 21 is outrageous. Had the LCA succeeded in time, then by now we would be flying the LCA Mk2 in numbers, and any shortfall in A2A or A2G weapons could have been made up with imports for the time being while DRDO was working on domestic options. Such lack of farsightedness and penny pinching to hand out freebies in the name of gaon-gareeb-kisaan has cost us like anything.
I agree,
The goal was far too difficult from the beginning. The smaller the jet is, the harder it is to fit all in nicely and with efficience.
A 20% greater design would have been easily to study and fine tune.
 

Trololo

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Can someone explain to me why the Rafale has such good performance even with low thrust engines?
 

Neptune

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Because Dassault is a master in aerodynamic computation and tests.
So their birds need less power than the american counterparts (Mirage 2000 vs F16 for exemple)

The Rafale has a lot more thrust then the F-16, around 5,000lbs-7,000 (depending on model) more wet and 5,000lbs more dry. People forget the obvious, the Rafale has two engines. While some people only reference the performance of one engine. The F-16 has very comparable kinetic performance to the Rafale despite the thrust differences, in some cases the F-16 has better performance.
 

BON PLAN

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The Rafale has a lot more thrust then the F-16, around 5,000lbs-7,000 (depending on model) more wet and 5,000lbs more dry. People forget the obvious, the Rafale has two engines. While some people only reference the performance of one engine. The F-16 has very comparable kinetic performance to the Rafale despite the thrust differences, in some cases the F-16 has better performance.
You can't compare Rafale and F16.
F16 is to be compared to M2000.

and no, F16 has not very comparable kinetic perf than Rafale : in WVR Rafale quite always win. Rafale can supercruise, F16 not.
 

Neptune

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You can't compare Rafale and F16.
F16 is to be compared to M2000.

and no, F16 has not very comparable kinetic perf than Rafale : in WVR Rafale quite always win. Rafale can supercruise, F16 not.

You compared the F-16 to Rafale by stating the Rafale needs less power by saying: “Dassault is a master in aerodynamic”. Anyhow it turns out the a Rafale has more thrust anyways so your statement was incorrect.

As a caveat the performance of aircraft differs drastically with altitude. Some aircraft will dominate at lower altitude while performing poorly at higher altitudes. Speed also plays a big role for in performance as does how much fuel and weapons are carried. Aircraft maneuverability and kinetic performance is not so cut and dry as people may think. Speed, altitude, fuel weight, weapons, drag and weight/drag in the form of pylons, weapons, fuel tanks, and external pods effect performance.

Generically speaking delta wings aircraft have poor low speed performance and higher drag. A Rafale pilot would probably want to avoid a ‘two circle’ turn with a faster traveling conventional aircraft because a ‘two circle’ turn requires longer sustained turning, which coupled with higher drag means It will generally be out turned by a similar comparable conventional fighter with less drag.
 

BON PLAN

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You compared the F-16 to Rafale by stating the Rafale needs less power by saying: “Dassault is a master in aerodynamic”. Anyhow it turns out the a Rafale has more thrust anyways so your statement was incorrect.

As a caveat the performance of aircraft differs drastically with altitude. Some aircraft will dominate at lower altitude while performing poorly at higher altitudes. Speed also plays a big role for in performance as does how much fuel and weapons are carried. Aircraft maneuverability and kinetic performance is not so cut and dry as people may think. Speed, altitude, fuel weight, weapons, drag and weight in the form of pylons, weapons, fuel tanks, and external pods effect performance.

Generically speaking delta wings aircraft have poor low speed performance and higher drag. A Rafale pilot would probably want to avoid a ‘two circle’ turn with a faster traveling conventional aircraft because a ‘two circle’ turn requires longer sustained turning, which coupled with higher drag means It will generally be out turned by a similar comparable conventional fighter with less drag.
No. The original question was only about Rafale : "Can someone explain to me why the Rafale has such good performance even with low thrust engines".

And I gave a comparison between M2000 and F16 : M2000 only use a 9.7T engine when F16 engine is >= 10.8T and far more.
 

BON PLAN

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Generically speaking delta wings aircraft have poor low speed performance and higher drag
It's true before the arrival of FBW, as on the Mirage III.
Mirage 2000 was a very bad news for all that were used to practive Mirage III !!! as the spain pilots when they trained first against a M2000....
And Rafale add to M2000 the close coupled canards. These canards were decisiv to make Rafale a very good naval fighter. a Rafale pilot has absolutely no fear of F16 or SH18.
 

BON PLAN

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A Rafale pilot would probably want to avoid a ‘two circle’ turn with a faster traveling conventional aircraft because a ‘two circle’ turn requires longer sustained turning, which coupled with higher drag means It will generally be out turned by a similar comparable conventional fighter with less drag.
During the first Rafale M deployment with the french nuclear carrier, in 1999 or 2000 nearly (standard F1), they trained in WVR against F14 : it was a butcherry ! Then they trained against FA18 : in 2 x 180° turns they were behind the Hornet.
Nothing to add.
 

Neptune

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No. The original question was only about Rafale : "Can someone explain to me why the Rafale has such good performance even with low thrust engines".

And I gave a comparison between M2000 and F16 : M2000 only use a 9.7T engine when F16 engine is >= 10.8T and far more.

The question the gentlemen asked was why the Rafale has good performance with lower thrust engines, you then mentioned the Mirage, which, gets outperformed by the F-16 handily. It’s not even a fair comparison, anyone claiming otherwise is ill informed. In case you mention the Turkish Greek fiascos, it has is not an indication of how badly the Mirage gets outperformed.

The main thing to remember is altitude, speed, fuel weight and external drag from weapons, pylons, fuel tanks, ect effect performance. The Rafale would probably outperform the F-16 in most circumstances but not all. While the Mirage would get out performed by the F-16. This is exactly why fighter pilots go through rigorous training and study/mimicking enemy tactics. A good pilot will know the strengths and weakness of his aircraft as well as the enemy aircraft and try to force the enemy to fight where the enemy aircraft will be at a disadvantage.

To make my point even more clear, try to get a Rafale or Mirage to outturn an A-10 at very low speeds and altitudes. Both French aircraft will never have anywhere near the performance as an A-10 in a two or one circle maneuvering.
 

BON PLAN

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While the Mirage would get out performed by the F-16.
NO.
F16 is better in low altitude, M2000 better in med and high altitude.
M2000 has a better ITR and lower STR, so M2000 has all its chance at the beginning of the engagement. After that it degrades its cinematic energy and will loose.
 

BON PLAN

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To make my point even more clear, try to get a Rafale or Mirage to outturn an A-10 at very low speeds and altitudes. Both French aircraft will never have anywhere near the performance as an A-10 in a two or one circle maneuvering.
put a F16 in the same situation and the result will globally be the same. I would say between the perf of M2000 and those of Rafale.
 

Neptune

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It's true before the arrival of FBW, as on the Mirage III.
Mirage 2000 was a very bad news for all that were used to practive Mirage III !!! as the spain pilots when they trained first against a M2000....
And Rafale add to M2000 the close coupled canards. These canards were decisiv to make Rafale a very good naval fighter. a Rafale pilot has absolutely no fear of F16 or SH18.

FBW will not magically erase the problem of drag. Pointing to a few exercises also mean little since the scenarios/restrictions and rules of engagement as well as pilot skills are not known. A Rafale is also probably not going to out turning a Hornet at lower speeds. That 180° turn you mentioned is a 1 circle turn, a two circle turn is were the Rafale would begin to suffer due to its drag.


Mirages got hammered by Harriers in the Folkland war and they got hammered by F-14s and F-4s during the Iran Iraq war. Friendly exercises mean nothing.

A delta wing does not want to get into a two circle fight:

3CF8344C-3C53-430B-84B9-CAEC9306E31B.jpeg
 

Fonck83

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Rafale could be used as a deterence asset by itself.
https://www.defenseworld.ne...
Indonesia
has advanced talks with France for the acquisition of Rafale aircraft,Scorpene submarines and Gowind corvettes which would figure in apotential defence cooperation deal between the two countries to be signed later this year.
Jakarta is interested in acquiring 48 Rafale jets (could be more 36), up to 4 Scorpene submarines armed with Exocet SM39 missile and by two 2,500-ton Gowind corvettes, French publication LATribune said quoting informed sources.The potential purchases are worth an estimated $25-$28 billion.
The immediate need for rushing to Paris with a shopping list for Rafale fighter jets, Scorpene submarines and Gowind corvettes is to achieve technological and qualitative superiority over China which is flexing its muscles in the South China Sea. Already several incidents of face-off between the Indonesian coast guard and Chinese naval vessels have been reported in recent months around the Natuna Islands in the South China Sea. The Chinese naval ships are seen as escorting fishing boats accused of fishing in Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone.
An Indonesian industry source told Defenseworld.net that current Indonesian military hardware such as Russian Su-30 jets and
South-Korean sourced warships are “inadequate to mount an effective deterrent” against Chinese military might.
Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto held a bilateral meeting with his French counterpart Florence Parly last Monday besidesdiscussions with French defence firms such as Dassault Aviation, Thales, Naval Group and Nexter. Prabowo expressed hope that the French defense industry could help Indonesia to improve its defense capacitythrough technology transfers.
"As a country with an advanced defense industry, France can be a strategic partner in Indonesia's efforts to modernize its weaponry defense system and accelerate the development of our national defense industry. This will support efforts to make the national defense industry a part of the 'global production chain'. In this context, our defense minister placed special attention on the development of thedefense industry when discussing defense cooperation,” a press statement from the Indonesian embassy in Paris said.
If the defence cooperation agreement comes through, Indonesia would quickly initiate the purchases, estimated to be worth an estimated $25 billion through anintergovernmental agreement between France and Indonesia.
France has already proposed sales of the Scorpene submarines either off-the-shelf or through a technology transfer (ToT) with the Indonesian group PT PAL. A working group has already been set up between Naval Group and the Indonesian Navy to study these proposals.
The Rafale purchase would seriously affect on-going plans to purchase the Russian Su-35 jets and another plan to buy Lockheed Martin F-16 jets.
 

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