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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.
 

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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
 

Deltafan

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Some details of Rafale deliveries to Greece :


Translation with Google Trad (don't know if all is good)

We now know better how Rafale deliveries to Greece will be organized.
-The first six used aircraft will be delivered between July and December,
-the first six new aircraft, between January and July 2022,
-and the last six used aircraft between July 2022 and early 2023.

At this date, and except attrition, the he French Air Force will have only 92 Rafale instead of 102, but above all, much less single-seaters.

-The new planes delivered to Greece will include four single-seaters and two two-seaters,
-the second-hand planes, two two-seaters and ten single-seaters.

However, we still do not know precisely how these F3Rs will be equipped, particularly in terms of optronics (RECO-NG, Damocles, Talios) and which equipment will be delivered second-hand or new.

The package necessarily also includes all the associated easements, from the access ladder to the starter trolley, through the bomb holder, the external fuel tanks and of course, the spare parts to fly these planes
Edit : there is a mistake in the article : 102-12=90, not 92...
 
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Archibald

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Well if the AdA can get ride of single-seaters... better to have two crews on board for strike, even in the present day.
The French Navy never really got the choice: two-seaters were found a little too heavy for CdG and thus strangled in the early 90's. The AdA had better luck.
 
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galgot

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Maybe it's just that the Greeks wants more single-seaters than two-seaters. Not that Fr AF wants especially to get rid of the single seaters.
Don't know the exact numbers, long time I didn't check, but remember reading there are roughly as many Twin as mono seaters in the AdA, with the twin been more assigned to squadron responsible for nuke strike.
 
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galgot

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Btw, Don’t know where to put this, but as it covers also Rafale could as well be here.
And sorry its not "news".
Found two PDFs about history of French Mil planes from end of WWII to 2007, edited COMAERO (Comité pour l’Histoire de l’Aéronautique) , available on academieairespace.com , here :
http://www.academie-air-espace.com/upload/doc/ressources/COMAERO 10 - Avions militaires I.pdf
And tome II :
http://www.academie-air-espace.com/upload/doc/ressources/COMAERO 10_2 - Bonnet Avions militaires II.pdf

But I attach it too .

" UN DEMI-SIÈCLE D’AÉRONAUTIQUE EN FRANCE -
LES AVIONS MILITAIRES " Tome I et II

Book coordinated by Jacques Bonnet

Tome II covers more all the Dassault machines, quite documented on the stories of each (up to 2007 of course).
Maybe of some interest.

Ok… its all in French. But with our modern ways of translation , an interested reader can go through it.
Or it’s an occasion to learn French, which can be beautiful language .
 

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  • COMAERO 10 - Avions militaires I.pdf
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  • COMAERO 10_2 - Bonnet Avions militaires II.pdf
    6.2 MB · Views: 15

Archibald

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And this is only the tip of a much larger iceberg, right here - http://www.eurosae.com/comaero/

Two dozens Pdfs. Took me a while to realize there was an entire website behind the pdfs :p . And then I started downloading the whole thing as frantically as a kid in the pillage of a candy shop.

"Everything You Always Wanted to Know About..." french aviation history (to spoof a famous Woody Allen comedy title about sex)
 

galgot

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And this is only the tip of a much larger iceberg, right here - http://www.eurosae.com/comaero/

Two dozens Pdfs. Took me a while to realize there was an entire website behind the pdfs :p . And then I started downloading the whole thing as frantically as a kid in the pillage of a candy shop.

"Everything You Always Wanted to Know About..." french aviation history (to spoof a famous Woody Allen comedy title about sex)
Thanks ! Missed big part of the treasure :p
 

Deltafan

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Maybe it's just that the Greeks wants more single-seaters than two-seaters. Not that Fr AF wants especially to get rid of the single seaters.
Don't know the exact numbers, long time I didn't check, but remember reading there are roughly as many Twin as mono seaters in the AdA, with the twin been more assigned to squadron responsible for nuke strike.
Today :

-55 B + 47 C = 102 AA

After the sale of the 12 used to Greece (2 B + 10 C)

-53 B + 37 C = 90

Probably the replacement of these 12 used Rafale by 12 new will be 2 B and 10 C too.
 

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Deltafan

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Two videos (in French, sorry, and to click on Regarder sur YouTube) on the presentation of Dassault's 2020 annual results, by Eric Trappier. The second video concerns questions and answers with journalists. There are some other news on the Rafale.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_fN7oAJXh8


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHcpMWcoVbI

I put the same videos in the FCAS topic

-All French Rafale will be converted to the F3-R standard in 2022 (27'55" to 28'08")

-For the building of Rafale, Dassault is returning to rate 1 (per month), since it was at rate 2 (28'43" to 28'53")
Then, contrary to what I had previously indicated, Dassault was therefore already at a rate of 2 (22 aircraft per year) instead of 1 (11 aircraft per year). But nothing was said about the 2026-2027 production gap (which, for the moment, still exists).
 
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H_K

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Air & Cosmos reports that the first Rafale for Greece will be B305. So this is one of the oldest Rafales, with about half its life remaining (delivered in 2004, likely 4,000+ flight hours by now)

Each Rafale is brought to “pre-export” configuration, with the removal of 60 pieces of equipment (requiring 1,050 man hours). The total prep work required is 3,500 man hours (ie. a team of 14 men x 45 days). The airframe is then handed over to Dassault who adds back the missing equipment to bring the aircraft to customer spec.

I think this partly explains the “low” price for the used Rafales: these are very old, stripped down airframes. The French Air Force is holding onto a lot of parts that can be recycled into its spares inventory, leaving Dassault to make up for the rest with “new” spares that come out of its separate OEM contract.

 

TomcatViP

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Over 4000 flight hr in 16 years would be 250 hr per year at 100% availability, something the Rafale never reached. Given an historic averaged rate of 50% (to ease computation), the total Flight time for that airframe could more accurately be estimated around 125hr per year, hence a total of 2000hr.
...
In effect, in that report, it is stated that Rafale must fly on average 360hr every TWO years.

Then Rafale airframe are good for 8k hr if my memory stands right. And that airframe could have logged only a maximum of 3000 hr at 100% availability...

You also claim that by removing hardware, the aircraft capability is degraded. This is not factually correct when the removal of parts is clearly mentioned as being elements of the nuclear pack of the airframe (what points to the question of how are really impacted Fr strategic forces?). There is no relation with any degraded mode; the report even stating that the airframe would go through an extensive upgrade process of 3 times the man hour needed to remove all elements mentioned above...

Unclear is the state of the radar pod. Since nothing is stated, it would be prudent to assess that no new aesa antenna are produced and that every airframe bound for Greece will fly away with one of the rare aesa pod available for both French services (AdlAE and Navy)...

But effectively, it's a good point that MoD was there since a lot of manhours and resources are apparently consumed in the process.
 
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Deltafan

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Thursday March 4 2021
Rafale's MCO (Maintenance in Operational Condition): "it works well"

This falls in the middle of the export campaigns (and on the eve of the minarm's visit to the BA113/113th Air-Base), the minarm (French Defense Minister) told the press this morning how good it was with the results obtained by Dassault Aviation on vertical support for the Rafale, as part of RAVEL (RAfale VErticaLisé/verticalized).
This contract will consume 3.1 billion euros from 2019 to 2028. And for the minarm, it is responsible for the improvement observed in the fleet. 82 Rafale and Rafale Marine were available in February (82 / 143 = 57%) according to this source, against only 70 a year earlier (49%).

RAVEL is targeting 80% availability for the industrial level on the 102 Rafale Air (less soon 12 Rafale sold to Greece) and 41 Rafale Marine. The Greek contract would even lead to 83% availability, at a term that is not known. Obviously, we must understand this figure on the industrial level for which Dassault is responsible. With the vicissitudes sometimes encountered at the NSO (first of the three levels of maintenance), the figure is obviously lower. Even if, in operations, it can be much higher. Remember that 11 Rafale are permanently deployed in the Levant and the UAE, and 20 on Charles-de-Gaulle.

RAVEL does not yet concern the engine component, which is dealt with separately.

"We are satisfied but cautious, explains the minarm. On the Rafale, it works well, with manufacturers who have mobilized because they understand that the availability of an aircraft is a strong marker when we want to export it. Organization has been made more efficient over the years (thanks to) three-year efforts a more aggressive worksite on the subject. The challenge is to maintain ourselves, we will try to progress and verify that Dassault Aviation, over time, holds the performances to which he is committed ".

According to the minarm, the Rafale Air fleet flies 23,000 hours per year (23 000 / 102 = 225 h), and the Marine fleet, 9,000 (9 000 / 41 = 219).

In the same briefing, in response to a question from your servant, the minarm confirmed the information revealed here, on the forthcoming holding of an AAE (Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace) raid (4 Rafale + 1 A-330 MRTT + 1 A-400M) in Polynesia.


October 15, 2020

(...)
The progress report drawn up by the Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, on the reform of the maintenance in operational condition (MCO) of the equipment of the Forces is an opportunity for Dassault Aviation to emphasize that the implementation of the verticalization of the MCO of Air Force Rafale fighter jets ensured 76% availability of the Rafale, better than the 73% provided for in the contract known as Ravel.
(...)
 
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H_K

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4000 flight hr in 16 years would be 250 hr per year at 100% availability, something the Rafale never reached. Given an historic averaged rate of 50% (to ease computation), the total Flight time for that airframe could more accurately be estimated around 125hr per year, hence a total of 2000hr.

1) The Rafale fleet leaders had 3,300+ hours as of mid 2018 (Dassault website). These are the first B-models, delivered in 2004 (since the earlier M1-M10 were stored for several years pending their F1-> F3 retrofit).
-> That’s ~235hr per year.

2) Another datapoint is that the Rafale maintenance deal is for 380,000 hours over 10 years.
-> That’s ~240hr per year for a fleet of ~160 aircraft (growing from 140 in 2019 to 180+ in 2028)

3) Another datapoint is the one quoted by Delta Fan above: 23,000hrs per year for 99 Rafale Air (excl. B301, B302 and C101 that remain with Dassault) and 9,000hrs for 41 Rafale M.
-> That’s 232hr and 220hr per year respectively

4) Finally the Chief of the French Air Force, General Lanata himself, stated in 2016 that the Rafale Air fleet usage had increased from 250 to 275hr per year. http://www.senat.fr/compte-rendu-commissions/20161010/etr.html

These numbers are remarkably consistent IMHO.
 
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TomcatViP

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@Deltafan : bringing projection or last year availability numbers doesn't help when those numbers were indeed the focus of late MoD actions to improve Rafale availability and change their historically low numbers.
Numbers that were reported here before, averaged above at 50% (they were slightly better in fact but not much).

@H_K : the problem with Gen Lanata numbers are well known and were discussed extensively before...
They are the result of a small fleet with a very high availability (deployed) where contractors put all their efforts leaving the rest of the fleet devoid of the same attention. As a result, home fleet flew much less resulting in training being compromised as was mission effectiveness throughout all the panel of missions of this multi-role aircraft.
Late MoD Parly took the bull by the horns and pushed for more parts, less cost, more maintenance hours with an overall positive result that start to show its effectiveness (beyond 70% availability rate, less training accident...).

Anyhow, if you go to your local car dealer and buy a used one with 60 000km*, you'd hardly contest that the car is still new unless you just bought a 1970 Fiat (outside of Italy)!


*60000being 1/3rd of 2000000
 
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Deltafan

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@Deltafan : bringing projection or last year availability numbers doesn't help when those numbers were indeed the focus of late MoD actions to improve Rafale availability and change their historically low numbers.
Numbers that were reported here before, averaged above at 50% (they were slightly better in fact but not much).
This is precise information on a given period, in a NEWS ONLY topic. It is up to all the forumers to judge their interest or not.

Moreover, the information of March 4 (and even that of October 15) may be of interest to forumers regardless of what has been said before. Not all were necessarily familiar with the RAVEL program.
 
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TomcatViP

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I understand now that your post should be seen as being decolerrated with the then incurring discussion around the age of airframes bound for Greece.
Please see only my comment through that optic.
 

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@TomcatViP Availability and flight hours are two very different concepts and one cannot easily make inferences about one from the other.

Simple reason is that availability is a point-in-time measure (eg. every day at noon) whereas flight hours are a cumulative measure over a certain duration, driven by a fleet’s operational and training requirements. Since there are 8760 hours in a year, even a fleet with very low availability can in theory fly hundreds of hours per airframe. Conversely, a fleet with 10 aircraft that are 100% available will not fly much if it only has 5 pilots or if there is no need to fly.

So in the case of Rafale (or any other fighter) the % availability cannot be used to estimate flight hours. There are however many good alternative ways.

Going back to fundamentals (which may be useful), for any NATO air force with ~1.5 pilots per frontline aircraft flying 180 hours per year, each front line aircraft will need to fly ~270 hours per year. With 20-30% of a fleet rotating through reserve/storage/deep maintenance and 70-80% in front line squadrons, that equates to 190-220 hours per aircraft per year. This aligns well with a typical fighter aircraft’s service life of 6,000-9,000 hours over 30-35 years... for good reason, as fleet managers want to get the maximum use of their expensive assets.

Basically it would be impossible for a NATO fighter fleet flying only 125hrs per airframe (as you estimate for Rafale) to meet its pilot training needs while at the same time making the best use of the aircraft’s full service life. So best to stick with the simplest explanation (Okram’s razor) that Rafales are indeed racking up the expected hours on track for their planned 7,000-9,000hr service life.

(The above is a general explanation but I think is helpful here to put in context the Rafale flying hours I’ve quoted in my previous posts).
 
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TomcatViP

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No. Flight hours are planned in advance and have to fit inside a frame that depends of all actors involved. You tell your contractors (when involved) that they need to have enough manpower and parts for X flight hours per plane per year. It doesn't work the other way around and that where MoD Parly rightly put the focus, exactly where it was needed: longer term contract but contractor had to provide with the right amount of staffing and spare parts.

Then if at time T0 your plane is not able for your main mission and unable to fill a secondary one (if suitable), the plane is deemed not available and another one is brought on.
Hence, availability rate is a factored number of long term planned flying hours.

Those numbers are not independent.

Then, as you may have understood the factor is a number inferior to 1.

That leads us to the valid estimate for the total hours flown as the contracted numbers (360 for two years) time the yearly availability rate averaged and rounded to a conveniently chosen numbers of 0.5 to save us an headache (but it's too late now).

Regarding the comparison with pilot flight hours, not all training flight hours are done on Rafale, and two pilots can crew a plane. As you'd noticed, a lot of Rafale are 2 seaters.


EoA.
 
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H_K

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Your first paragraph is correct. Your second is incorrect. The reason is that planned flight hours already include a planning factor for availability.

No Air Force is going to aim for 100% availability or needs 100% availability to hit its plan. So even with say 50% availability the plan can typically still be achieved. Only if the availability is dramatically less than plan does it become a bottleneck... which does happen for some fleets with unique problems (like the French Army’s Tigre and NH90 helicopters) but is not the case of a mature, well run fleet like the French Air Force’s Rafale or Mirages.

The proof in the pudding is that the oldest Rafales are now getting to half their service life, following in the footsteps of the Mirages which are racking up over 6-7,000 flight hours over their lifetimes. Even with availability that may look low on paper.
 
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TomcatViP

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You don't understand, if you pay someone to provide 200hr per year on your plane he would have his operation trimmed down to that number and no more.
Nobody works for free.
 
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TomcatViP

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Next Rafale Shipment to India could be refueled by UAE's tankers:
A little over a year later as New Delhi prepares to fly at least four Rafale fighters from France to Ambala airbase, the UAE will again help out. Its air force will deploy its Airbus 330 multi-role transport tankers (MRTT) later this month to provide mid-air refuelling to the Rafale jets so that the fourth-generation-plus fighters can fly non-stop to India. The UAE will extend the facility to the next batch of eight fighters that are expected to be flagged off from France by the visiting Indian Air Chief RKS Bhadauria in April. This would enable the Indian Air Force to activate the second base of the Rafale fighters


 

helmutkohl

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out of curiosity, who pays for that fuel as well the tanker operations?
Dassault? the Indians? UAE?
 

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