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Dassault Rafale NEWS ONLY (TEMPORARY)

Deltafan

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AESA was already in the F3 standard. But, for money reasons, there are only 60 AESA which were sold with the last batch (the 4th, from September 2013) of 60 Rafale (50 for the AF and 10 for the Navy). But, yes, they are interchangeable with the PESA of batches 1, 2 and 3.

Let me see if I understand the situation then:
There are roughly 140 Rafales out there in the French Service.
Of those, 60 are F3 with AESA.
and 80 are F3 without AESA.

Now the entire fleet will be converting from F3 to F3R.

But will that mean that the 80 F3 without AESA will remain without it, even in F3R variant?
Or does the conversion automatically mean AESA array will be installed?
Or will the remaining 80 get the AESA eventually, but not necessarily soon; perhaps during a separate modernization effort to come in the coming years?
AFAIK, for the moment, for France, there is no AESA radar to be bought for the 80 first Rafale upgraded or to be upgraded to the F3-R standard.

But, there may be further improvement of the PESA radar. And, as the radars are interchangeable, yes, other AESA radars may be purchased in the future for the 80 of the first batches, if there is money...
 
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H_K

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The radar is a modified one and comes with each upgraded airframe.

I believe this is incorrect and what Deltafan said is accurate: only *new build* Rafales from mid-2013 onwards (Tranche 4) were delivered with AESA radars:

B339 -> B358
C145 -> C148
M39 -> M46
+ Early production radars for C137, B301

So that’s a total of only 34 AESA radars delivered to date.

Note that since the radars are plug & play and interchangeable with PESA radars, they could be flying on any of the 147 Rafales in the French fleet (though more likely to be found in the fighter squadrons at Mont de Marsan and the Navy squadrons at Landivisiau than the 2 strike squadrons and OCU at St Dizier).
 
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TomcatViP

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F3R is listed with an aesa for any sold example abroad. So, would you say that there is a degraded F3R upgrade specifically for the AdlAE?
 

Deltafan

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The radar is a modified one and comes with each upgraded airframe.

I believe this is incorrect and what Deltafan said is accurate: only *new build* Rafales from mid-2013 onwards (Tranche 4) were delivered with AESA radars:

B339 -> B358
C145 -> C148
M39 -> M46
+ Early production radars for C137, B301

So that’s a total of only 34 AESA radars delivered to date.

Note that since the radars are plug & play and interchangeable with PESA radars, they could be flying on any of the 147 Rafales in the French fleet (though more likely to be found in the fighter squadrons at Mont de Marsan and the Navy squadrons at Landivisiau than the 2 strike squadrons and OCU at St Dizier).
You are right, and I made a mistake, of course :rolleyes: :

The three first batchs give : 13 + 48 + 59 = 120 Rafale with PESA.

And the batch 4 is 60, yes, but only batch 4T1 (32) was delivered. The batch 4T2 (M47 used as testbed to 2029 and 27 others) is to be delivered from December 2022).


Then there would be now, for the 3 Navy flotillas and the 7 AF escadrons (then without the 5 lost and the 5 testbeds) :

-32 AESA radars

-Around 111 PESA radars.
 
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H_K

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F3R is listed with an aesa for any sold example abroad. So, would you say that there is a degraded F3R upgrade specifically for the AdlAE?

There is only one F3R standard, which applies to all Rafales as it is just software.

There are at least 2 hardware generations for the radar, optronics and missile detectors. Since the export Rafales were all late production numbers, they all got the newer hardware. Since many of the French Rafales were delivered earlier, they got the old hardware. The F3R software is said to adapt to whatever mix of hardware is on board a specific aircraft at a specific time.

It should be just like running the same OS on different generations of MacBooks, PCs or smartphones.
 

TomcatViP

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I do not think that as an accurate representation of the facts. Proof is that the OSF ( FOS/FLIR) is modified (re-introduced), Meteor needs datalink and adaptator pylons and radar range is doubled among others.

Having an upgrade standard that varies in half regarding what radar is installed for example would be like having two different upgrades: one upped for the export market, the marketed F3R and one for the poor disdained French fighter pilots, an F3R-- [double minus] or, according to latin alphabetical order... The F3Q?


“A mechanically scanned antenna loses targets once two aircraft in a formation of four split away,” said Rafale program manager Jean-Noel Stock. “But with electronic scanning you can continue to track the split targets even if they are outside the radar’s search pattern.”

The AESA antenna also increases range by more than 50 percent, improves detection of targets with small radar cross sections and provides better resolution in ground mapping, he said. And in air-to-ground mode the radar technology supports simultaneous terrain following and high-resolution imaging for target identification and targeting.
 
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totoro

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That's some great info in this thread. Makes the Rafale situation in French air forces much more clear.
This is what I found in an interview with a Dassault spokesman from 2019.
3 Rafales were delivered in 2018.
None will be delivered in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
In 2022 deliveries to French air forces will start again. by 2024 a total of 28 new airframes will be delivered. (so 9+ per year in 2022 to 2024)

Hopefully that info also helps to draw an accurate picture of French air forces.
What does throw a wrench into it all is sales of used planes to other countries. Does that mean that out of 143 Rafales that are currently in service, by 2022 a dozen or two dozen will leave service, as they will be sold to Greece (12 airframes) and other countries (possibly another dozen)?
 

helmutkohl

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Exports thus far, correct me if I am wrong
A comparison

Mirage 2000:
Egypt - 20
India - 49
Peru - 16
UAE - 36
Greece - 55
Taiwan - 60
Qatar - 12
Brazil - 12

Rafale:
Egypt - 24
India - 36
Qatar - 36
Greece - 18
 
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Deltafan

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That's some great info in this thread. Makes the Rafale situation in French air forces much more clear.
This is what I found in an interview with a Dassault spokesman from 2019.
3 Rafales were delivered in 2018.
None will be delivered in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
In 2022 deliveries to French air forces will start again. by 2024 a total of 28 new airframes will be delivered. (so 9+ per year in 2022 to 2024)

Hopefully that info also helps to draw an accurate picture of French air forces.
What does throw a wrench into it all is sales of used planes to other countries. Does that mean that out of 143 Rafales that are currently in service, by 2022 a dozen or two dozen will leave service, as they will be sold to Greece (12 airframes) and other countries (possibly another dozen)?
For France :

Preliminary : the production rate by Dassault is 11 Rafale per year. As said in posts above, it will not be increased until the 2024-2027 production gap is definitively closed :


-Batch 1 : 13 with PESA ordered in 1997 : 2B + 1 C + 10M (B301, B302, C101 and M1 testbeds + M2 to M10)

-Batch 2 : 48 with PESA ordered in 1999, delivered from 2004 to 2008 : 25B + 7C + 16M (B303 to 327, C102 to 108 and M11 to 26)

-Batch 3 : 59 with PESA ordered in 2004, delivered from 2008 to 2013 : 11B + 36C +12M (B328 to 338, C109 to 144 and M27 to 38)

-Batch 4 : 60 with AESA ordered in 2009, interrupted because of export deliveries
-4T1 : 32 delivered from 2013 to around 2016 : 20B + 4C + 8M (B339 to 358, C145 to 148 and M39 to 46)
-M47 : immobilized until 2029 as testbed
-4T2 : 27 to be delivered from december 2022 to around May 2024 : 5B + 21C + 1M (B359 to 363, C149 to C169 an M48)

[Total at this stage : 180 orders and 153 deliveries. For now : 5 lost : B316 (06.12.2007), M22+M25 (24.09.2010), M18 (28.11.2010) and M24 (02.07.2012)]

-Replacement of the 12 used for Greece (with AESA, serials unknown) : 12 with AESA ordered in 2021, to be delivered in 2025 (180 - 12 + 12 = 180)

-Buy of 12 used aircraft by Croatia is a possibility (as the Rafale is one of the contender) but nothing is sure, even, if success, if that would be with PESA or AESA. If success, logically, there would be an order or 12 new Rafale for France with deliveries around 2026 (with such an order the gap 2024-2027 could be closed, depending of the months of the last delivery of these 12 new Rafale and the first delivery of the 30 new F4). (180 - 12 + 12 = 180)

-30 F4 with AESA ordered in 2019, to be delivered from 2027 to 2030 (180 + 30 = 210 orders)

-As the French Loi de programmation militaire (Military Programming Act ?) 2019-2025 foresaw for 2030 : 225 Rafale, there would be a last order of around 15-20 Rafale (even if not strictly in 2030 and if there is money...)

 
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TomcatViP

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So b/w 2021 and 2025, the French air forces would field gradually only less than 30 aesa radar splits b/w the Navy and their AIr force bottoming-down in 2025 at 22 something sets. o_O

My guess is that those scarcely available remaining pods are gonna see a drastic increase in their flight time... in the back of cargo planes.
 
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H_K

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So b/w 2021 and 2025, the French air forces would field gradually only less than 30 aesa radar splits b/w the Navy and their AIr force bottoming-down in 2025 with 22 sets.

There will be an immediate loss of 6 used Rafales (and 6 AESAs) transferred to Greece in 2021, but no further reductions in the French fleet after that.

Deliveries of the remaining used aircraft to Greece/Croatia won’t happen until 2023, i.e. only once deliveries of new-build aircraft to the FAF resume. So basically most used aircraft will be immediately exchanged 1:1 for new Rafales.

Of course this does mean that the FAF fleet is “stuck” at 96 Rafales for a few years (till 2024)... this should be sufficient for the current 4 squadrons (~25 pilots each) + OCU.
 

Deltafan

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TomcatViP

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He assessed that many tried to contaminate the aircraft procurement process through the media, but claimed that they did not succeed and that the Government now has a "completely controlled situation" in which it will make a mature decision on the dynamics and conditions of procurement.
Interesting
 

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