do you have any information's on the future production rate? There are many figures around and I'm somehow unsure whats true.
Kinda funny the reason quoted is "the jet performs so well and is so versatile"
@ the USAF, they quote the same reasons to order MORE F22...
do you have any information's on the future production rate? There are many figures around and I'm somehow unsure whats true.
Actually it's 15 Rafales a year and this figure is likely to lessen to 8+ a year only, but could be augmented if needed.
There's also the possible deal with Lybia, though it seems less and less likely (fortunately I'd say) and maybe with the UAE.
So the production rate for France will be 8 planes per year with the possibility to manufacture 7 more for export purposes? This way it should take ~7 more years until the ordered 120 Rafales for France are delivered.
I dont have the link..Thales Starts Low-Rate Output of AESA Radar
By pierre tran
Published: 3 Nov 11:35 EST (16:35 GMT)
Paris - A new active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar from Thales has entered low-rate initial production, with a delivery for the Rafale fighter aircraft scheduled for 2010, said Pierre-Yves Chaltiel, senior vice president in the Airborne Systems Division.
"This capability has ended the development phase and has entered production," Chaltiel told journalists Nov. 3. A follow-on contract for full-scale production of the AESA RBE2 radar is due
"Final validation of the software functions is expected to end in the first quarter of 2010 with the delivery of AESA radars to Dassault," Thales said in a statement.
The full production contract would be worth "several hundred million euros," Chaltiel said.
The first production batch consists of three to four units of the AESA radar and is part of a development contract worth more than 200 million euros ($257 million) signed in 2006 with the Délégation Générale pour l'Armement procurement office under the Rafale Roadmap plan.
The Roadmap program was intended to speed up development of the AESA sensor and deliver self-protection gear to make the Rafale from Dassault Aviation more attractive in export markets. Accelerated delivery of an AESA radar was France's response to the loss of a fighter competition in Singapore to Boeing's F-15 Eagle combat jet.
The Rafale currently uses a passive array antenna for air-to-air and air-to-ground use. Once equipped with the active antenna, the Rafale would have a five-year technology lead over European competition aircraft, Chaltiel said.
Test and evaluation by French and foreign air forces showed as recently as last month the radar's capabilities, which include collaborative fire between two Rafales using a Link 16 connection, he said.
Chaltiel also is head of a newly created division, Aerospace Solutions for Government, which deals with military contracts.
The French naval aviation is undergoing renovation. After the Rafale F1 and F2, modernization F3 standard equipment onboard the hunt began. In all, the Navy must have 60 Rafale to replace the Crusader interceptors, removed from service in the late 90s, and aircraft stormed upgraded Super Etendard, which must fly until the middle of next decade. We are now on the Rafale program with Vice Admiral Wing (2S)-Richard Willmot Roussel, the first commander of the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in 1997 and now advisor of President navy Dassault Aviation.
Sea and Marine: What additional capacity offer the Rafale M-t-il? Are there any significant increase in the capacity of the naval task force with the Rafale?
Richard Willmot-Roussel: Without mentioning the implementation of a new weapons system in particular (eg Scalp, Mica, AASM, ASMP / A reconnaissance pod Reco NG ,...), can quickly quantify the new capabilities of an air group consisting of a number of Rafale or SEM, comparing the masses maximum catapults. SEM has an "operating weight" (the difference between mass and maximum mass catapult) of about 5 tons. For the Rafale M, moving to 10 tons. It has doubled the operating weight "of each aircraft catapulted, while moving the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle is only one-third higher than its predecessors. Behind this "mass operational" command of the air group could play on its division between two major positions: the fuel (and therefore the radius of action) and carriage of arms, ie the capacity for action.
This aircraft is there any technological challenge?
Certainly, in all areas. In the first one to implement on an aircraft carrier wing aircraft to Delta. This solution makes it possible to optimize a fighter in terms of maneuverability and carrying capacity. In return, it requires to control the area of low speeds to landing (no flaps for landing on a delta wing) while leaving the pilot the visual field to allow it to land safely. This constraint is overcome brilliantly by the flight-power digital Rafale.
Many other challenges were identified, such as design a weapons system that is fully integrated Rafale aircraft omnirôle, ie capable of conducting during a single mission, days by night, the air-ground attacks, air-sea-air and air.
Current timetable for delivery of standard F3?
End 2008, the Navy has received its twenty-sixth Rafale. Deliveries standard F3 began in September 2008. At the same time, aircraft already delivered have started making their pitch to spend standard F2 to F3. I would remind you that the standard F3 is particularly important for the Navy because it gives the capacity ASMP / A, AM 39 and Reco NG the Rafale. For the remainder, the timetable for delivery of Rafale M is linked to the LPM who has just been deposited in the office of the National Assembly. It may simply indicate today that the timetable is dependent on the withdrawal from active service of SEM.
First returns of experience Rafale?
To mention only the Rafale M, we can be very satisfied with the feedback provided by the Navy after the deployment of Rafale on board the PA Charles de Gaulle during his mission in Indian Ocean in 2007. These aircraft have participated extensively in support of troops in Afghanistan, which, among other things, shooting with precision bombs or AASM GBU 12. In addition, the deployment of 12 F fleet in the U.S., especially on the U.S. aircraft carrier Roosevelt in July, showed that the French crews knew impress their American counterparts by their professionalism, the quality of their aircraft and In particular by his perfect interoperability.
It is sometimes argued that the Rafale will be quickly outdated, especially when compared to the future F-35 or F-22 Raptor. How do you respond?
The F-22 and Rafale planes are both contemporary but do not "play" in the same category. The American plane is a stealthy air superiority which was designed to be without rival in this field. Its price per unit is between two and three times that of the Rafale. Very few countries could afford such a machine (assuming that the U.S. would agree to export): Japan, Saudi Arabia, perhaps Israel ... Rafale is smaller, cheaper and especially completely versatile as the F-22 will have capacity air-ground limited capacity and no Air.
As for the F-35, a plane that bets everything on stealth and is essentially air-ground. But even in this area, its carrying capacity is reduced. Its problems of development lead to huge additional costs which shocked the Congress regularly. Its price rose sharply and it is highly likely that the cost of ownership is very high, because stealth is very demanding maintenance. However, we can not deny that the F-35 aircraft over a "young" that the Rafale. But it is also a plane accumulates delays ....
Recently, a version of the Eurofighter navalized was raised. Is it possible you think because this aircraft was not designed for this in origin?
The Eurofighter is suffering from major handicaps for a navalisation: First large reinforcements of the structure (fuselage and wing) are needed to collect the shocks to the landing and catapult. The works, colossal, may need to rethink the entire architecture internal (cell development). Similarly, the landing gear must be strengthened ... Having been completely redesigned because it is currently under sized (too small wheels), on short leg (low ground clearance) and poorly implemented (including nose wheel set in inlets, so in a hollow structure that does not resist the efforts of the catapult and landing). Moreover, the approach speed of the Eurofighter is high. Finally, visibility to the impact of landing is low because of the "whiskers" in the nose.
After that, we can always say that everything is possible: it's a question of price .... For information, Dassault Aviation had made a theoretical study on a navalisation Mirage 2000, a few years ago: the conclusion was to change 80% of the aircraft ...
UAVs are the subject of growing interest for several years. What is the strategy of Dassault in this area. Drones can in the coming years to replace the fleet onboard?
With the nEUROn demonstrate technological drone stealth fighter, we are working on unmanned aerial vehicles in general. We have no program specifically dedicated to naval now. Regarding the future of embedded fleets, we believe that the UAVs involved in addition and not in substitution of aircraft, as in the Air Force.
Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) RBE2 Radar for omnirole fighter
Active Electronic Scanning in the RBE2 radar represents a major step in the evolution of radar technology.
All radar functions are performed in the same flight:
• Very long detection and track ranges
• Fully automatic, sorting and ranking of tracked targets
• Fully target tracks independent of search volume.
Deep low-level penetration
• Automatic terrain following and avoidance
• En Route update of target area situation
• High resolution imagery modes (SAR) - Designations
Sea skimming attacks
• Detection and multi-tracking
Active electronic scanning makes it possible to switch radar modes quickly, thereby enabling operational functions to run simultaneously.
AESA has incorporated expertise coming from the current RBE2 Rafale radar, in the tradition of electronic scanning array radar.
The RBE2 has been in production since 1997 and was combat proven in multinational operations in 2001.
It can be fitted on large or medium fighter aircraft.
• Active electronic scanning
• Very low side and scattered lobes in azimuth and elevation
• Very high reliability (T/R modules)
Active transmit / Receiver modules and exciter / Receiver
• Multipole Waveforms
• Coherent X band frequency generation
• Excellent spectral purity
• Wide bandwidth
• Full monopulse
• MMIC/GaAs technologies
Programmable signal processor and data processor
• Target detection and ECCM processing
• Fully programmable
• Anti-obsolescence solutions: open architecture - COTS components
• Tracking computation
• High resolution map generation
EW Rafale "Growler" in the works...
Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA)
High Power Standoff and Escort Jamming
New Airborne Electronic Attack concept for electronic support jamming missions in present and future environments
Increased ES/EA mission capability through advanced jamming functions
* Pod or internally mounted, for fighter aircraft, UAV, J-UCAV or mission aircraft with network centric warfare (NCW) capabilities
* Very high power main / side / scattered lobe jamming
* Unsigned raid DDA, up to RF horizon action possible
* Smart techniques / coherent waveforms / covert jamming
* Smart power management using active phased array transmitter
Outstanding performance with latest jamming technologies
* Solid-state active phased array AESA jamming
* Highly sensitive digital reception
* Highly effective multi-bit DRFM jamming techniques
* Very high ERP, for main, side and scattered lobes jamming
* Multiple DRFM architecture for simultaneous beam aimed multi-threat jamming
* Smart digital jamming techniques
* Wide angular coverage, up to 360°
* Extended low and high brand threat coverage capabilities
Carbone Demonstration Aircraft
The new Thales AEA concepts and technologies have been implemented within the CARBONE demonstration programme.
CARBONE was presented and evaluated during the MACE X NATO trials, operating against sophisticated eastern/western radar technologies.
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=defense&id=news/RADAR11048.xml&headline=Thales%20Begins%20Rafale%Thales Begins Rafale AESA Production
Nov 4, 2008
Robert Wall and Michael A. Taverna
Low-rate production of the first active electronically scanned radars is now underway for the Rafale multi-role fighter.
Thales, developer of the RBE2 radar, says it's completed development work and now is starting series production. The radar should deliver around 40 percent greater range performance than the current standard, and be able to track many more targets simultaneously.
Final software validation and delivery of the first AESA system to Dassault is planned for early 2010. Low-rate production will involve only a handful of radars.
The production milestone is also key to Dassault's ambitions to sell the fighter overseas. India, where Rafale is competing, wants an AESA. The French government is also in advanced talks to sell Rafale to the United Arab Emirates, which operates AESAs on its F-16 Block 60s. UAE could mark the first export of Rafale.
In France, AESA-equipped Rafales would enter service starting in 2012. It would be the F4 standard of Rafale, which still has to be developed. The radar is not slated to be retrofitted on existing Rafales although it could be, says Pierre-Yves Chaltiel, senior vice president for Thales aerospace government programs. That could limit the French AESA force to 60-70 aircraft.
The active antenna could be installed on a Rafale in an hour. The radar system uses the existing back-end, such as digital signal processors, but would feature added software modes.
Flight testing of the AESA began in 2003.
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/cgi...modele=releaseFrance Clears Technology Transfer for Rafale Fighter: Dassault
(Source: Indo Asian News Service; issued Nov. 5, 2008)
PARIS --- The French government has cleared the full transfer of technology for the Rafale combat jet that is one of the six aircraft in contention for an Indian Air Force (IAF) order for 126 fighters in a deal worth USD 10 billion, its manufacturer Dassault Aviation says.
"When we talk about technology transfer, we mean full technology transfer and not in bits and pieces," J.P.H.P. Chabriol, Dassault's senior vice president for military sales, told a group of visiting Indian journalists at the company's headquarters here.
"The way we work, we first have to obtain clearance of the government before putting in our proposal. If we win the order, we can begin work on transferring technology from day one - unlike our competition," he added.
The technology transfer would include that of a cutting edge radar that gives the Rafale the ability to also function as a close battlefield support airborne warning and control system (AWACS), Chabriol maintained, adding that the software source code would also be provided with the equipment.
The Advanced Extended Search Array (AESA) radar that Dassault is offering is still under development by French aerospace giant Thales, a partner in the Rafale project, and is expected to be integrated with the aircraft by 2012, around which time the IAF is expected to narrow down its choice of aircraft.
"We have full faith in the competency of Thales to deliver a top of the line AESA radar," Chabriol added.
Transfer of technology is a key clause in the Defence Policy-2006 (DPP-2006) that governs India's purchases of military hardware. Two other companies in the fray - Boeing and European conglomerate Eurofighter - are also offering an AESA radar with their F/A-18 Super Hornet and Typhoon respectively but say the transfer of this technology would be dependent to the extent the American government permits as the radar's manufacturer is US electronics giant Raytheon.
At least one of these two companies has said they would definitely not transfer the software source code that enables the programming of the radar. What this means is that the IAF would have to specify the mission parameters to enable the manufacturer configure the radar.
Defence analysts point out that this could seriously compromise India's national security as the IAF would not be able to re-programme the radar should it wish to at a later stage.
"This is not an issue with us. We will not only fully transfer the technology for the AESA radar but also provide the software source code so that that the IAF can programme it in the way it wishes to," Chabriol told IANS in response to a specific query.
Apart from the Rafale, the F/A-18 and the Typhoon, the other aircraft in the fray are the Lockheed Martin F-16, the Saab Grippen and the MiG-35, which is essentially an upgraded version of the MiG-29 that the IAF already operates.
The IAF had floated its global tender for the jets in September 2007 and these were opened earlier this year. The technical bids are currently being evaluated after which all the six aircraft will be put through a rigorous testing process in Bangalore, Jaisalmer and Leh.
The first is meant to gauge the aircraft's ability to operate in the humid conditions of south, the second their effectiveness in the deserts of Rajasthan and the third to study their suitability in the icy Himalayan heights of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.
By the time the evaluation process is complete, the size of the order is likely to rise to around 200 jets, as the IAF, which is down to 32 squadrons from a high of 39-1/2, is expected to see a further depletion of its fleet due to the retirement of some its ageing Soviet-era MiG-21 aircraft. The IAF has a sanctioned strength of 45 squadrons.
Chabriol also pointed out that being 100 percent French gave Dassault a distinct edge over its competitors on the technology transfer issue.
"The Gripen is powered by a US engine and has other US components too. Similar is the case with the Eurofighter, which has quite a few American parts. So, they would have to first seek the US government's approval. In the case of the F-18, approval would have to be sought not only of the government but also of parliament (the US Congress).
"This legislative approval is not an issue in our case," Chabriol added.
LOL I was just on my way to post these (just saw them at air-defense forums) you're a fast one Mat!
Good news for the AESA !