arthuro wrote:CAS does not necessarly take place right near your airfield as shown in Lybia. And even if it was the case the longer you can loiter above the ennemy the longer you can provide CAS so the "persistence" factor is fully relevant.
CAS isn't likely to be called for more than 300km away from the closest airbase. Like I indicated before the IAF's threat scenario is very different from the what the Libyan campaign required (and even there the EF wasn't hampered by its supposedly inadequate range). Given that the flight time from take-off to weapons release would probably be 5-20 min (30min tops), there isn't a lot to be gained by loitering near area of operations in a CAS configuration.
The figures I gave for flying time come from discussion with rafale pilots two years ago at the paris airshow. A rafale with 3*2000L and AtG weapons have an endurance of about 3H in relatively good condition, while a clean aircraft of the Typhoon or rafale class have an endurance of around one hour. I assumed that with 6LGBs and no external fuel Typhoon endurance would be around "roughly" a bit less than an hour due to the added weight and drag. Those figure are just "notions" but still reflect the gap between the two aircrafts.
With about half the fuel load and no drag caused by drop tanks, the EF will probably have at least half of the Rafale's endurance in that configuration.
Regarding stealth you are untiteled to your own opinion. But you can't dismiss the result of the Brazilian air force evaluation nor you can dismiss the pilot comments who actually confronted the typhoon. All the rest is speculation. What is als true is that there is overall a wider consensus stating that the rafale is stealthier of the two even if I agree you can't bring this latest argument as a proof. At least the two first example comes from relaible sources. Note than on Keypublishing Pepe Rezende (Memeber of the Brazilian defense commitee and aviation specialist) confirmed the rafale was the stealthier aircraft.
You're missing the point. Can the difference between the RCS of the two aircraft be quantified on basis of these various testimonies? For example, one can tell with regard to the respective AESAs, roughly what the net power output would be, given that T/R modules on both aircraft are rated at 10-20W. How do you in turn tell say how much the RCS changes with a weapons load and with changing aspect to the emitter and receiver?
Now CFTs. Typhoon's one are not available in the sense that they are not developed. It is an option but the customer will have to pay for their development. Show me a recent press release talking about actual development works and integration testing...I can tell you that you won't find anything.
That depends on what stage the development is at. Integration trials will come after a working prototype has been built. But lets take your point and assume that India will have to take an active part in the development if the IAF thinks they are necessary... so how much are we talking about in $ terms, and what proportion do you suppose the Brits will fork up?
Besides typhoon's CFTs are more a constraint due to the lack of external fuel than a "bonus". I mean it is a mandatory aditionnal cost if the Typhoon wants to be more than just a defensive point fighter. And with CFT you are not as flexible than with drop tanks nor you will reach the 6000L of rafale external fuel...
The EF as a point defence fighter? You don't think you may be stretching it a little there?
Frankly you've turned one particular mission profile i.e flying with two cruise missiles to attack a target 1500km away, (a mission even the Rafale didn't have to perform during Operation Harmattan) into a glaring deficiency. Even during wartime, its only in very rare cases that a strike of that nature would be sanctioned and its the Su-30MKI that would be the preferred platform (three drop tanks will practically nullify the Rafale's RCS edge).
About The rafale vs Typhoon in BVR you are right to say it was also due to "passive detection" thanks to spectra. But it is incorrect to believe that spectra will not be able to pick up an AESA radar emmissions. Two reasons :
-The first one is that it already does it. it was experienced last year against USN SH block2 with APG-79. The event took place during the comemoration of the french aéronavale century at the base of Hyères near the mediteranean coast. USN SH were invited as a US carrier group was passing by. In parrallel to the commemoration events rafale M practised against SH block2 and according to DSI issue spectra managed to compensate the difference of radar range of bot aircrafts.
'Compensate difference of radar range'? What does that mean? Be explicit. Was it able to employ its touted active cancellation against the APG-79? Was it able to perform a ranging function using the AESA emissions for a MICA shot? Did the SH employ its AESA for EW? A vague reference to a training exercise isn't evidence.
-The second reason is that you have the wrong impression that spectra is a monolithic thing. It evolves constantly to tackle new threats. Here is an extract from an answer from Captain Romain a rafale pilot form the provence squadron :
Umm... so the SPECTRA will 'evolve' to cancel out LPI characteristics of AESA radars? Lemarckism? Can't we also carry that argument over to radars - in that LPI radars will also evolve to ensure that detection (outside its range) becomes even harder and tracking remains impossible?
The Rafale merges the informations coming from its sensors to give a very reliable and clear picture to the pilot. It's already a considerable advantage over previous-generation aircraft, including EF and Gripen. When the pilot decides to fire a air to air missile, the missile leaves the aircraft taking automatically into account all available informations.
When the radar is not used, the missile can use the OSF (a TV camera coupled with a laser rangefinder), the informations provided by another aircraft via the MIDS, a heat source detected by the OSF or a MICA IR, or finally a localization by SPECTRA. Faced with these sensors, stealth is useless and we know, thanks to our tests ,that our missiles are very effective in such context.
So air forces should now abandon their plans for stealth aircraft or stop flying with radars?
No offense intended to your pilot Arthuro, but seeing as France is one of the few first rate air forces that's not going to operate a steath aircraft in the near future, that statement seems quite a bit biased.