RAFALE vs Typhoon/Eurofighter, F-16s, and even F-22Raptor! Guess which gives the others a rough ride?

French Navy RAFALE fighter aircraft takeoff from a carrier aircraft deck
RAFALE to defeat any other fighter aircraft? Photo:©  Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ricardo J. Reyes

Strange as it may seem, the French have not managed to export Rafale fighter aircraft so far… However, the Rafale has been deemed to be an excellent fighter aircraft so many times – formidable in dogfighting, awesome when it strikes, and its superb CATIA-designed streamlining turns it into a feline grace nonetheless redoubtable whenever it is to be challenged in the skies.

There have already been rumours such as:

Rafales – thanks to its RCS (Radar Cross Section) –  would have beaten F/A-18s Hornet.

– After several dogfights reported between the Rafale and the Raptor, ( Rafale vs F-22 Raptor:  1 – 1 , according to the rumours ) BVR engagement exercises would have been cancelled. Another version deems that F-22s never took part in such exercises, so what did they do there at that time? Sightseeing? Not to mention the F-22’s withdrawal at the Paris Air Show 2009…

– The Rafale was onboard American CVs (aircraft carriers) in 2007, 2008, and 2009. The rumour in forums spread about American fighter aircraft that could not stand the Rafales’ level of performance during exercises.

But who knows, actually? However, some other elements have also been reported. They do not come from forums or blogs. So, can they be called « rumours »?

For instance, I still remember an article from The New York Times dated July 16th 2006. It was reported that the Rafales could outfly F-15, F-16 and F-18 opponents in dogfights. They also won against F-15s and Eurofighter Typhoons in technical and performance evaluations . The American media paid tribute to the French jet but almost nobody knew that in France at that time. How bizarre… Well, it must be admitted that there is a curious fad in France that consists in criticizing everything that works.

Remember, according to French TF1 channel in 2008… This was the balance sheet:

FAF Rafales vs USAF F-16s :  6 – 2

Moreover, the former Red Arrows team leader – Peter Collins – stated last month that it should be done justice to this aircraft for the Rafale would be according to him – as he had just flown a standard F3 Rafale – a « war-fighter par excellence ». He added that he deemed the Rafale to be the best and most complete combat aircraft that he had ever flown. He concluded in saying that if he had to go into combat, on any mission, against anyone, he would, without question, choose the Rafale.

Last but not least, the French Rafales would have slammed – if I may put it this way – the other aircraft in an exercise in the UAE – United Arab Emirates. Even the F-22 Raptor – though 5th generation fighter – could hardly do anything to « tame » this tough challenger. According to Jean-Marc Tanguy’s information, defence journalist, the balance sheet lies in the figures hereafter:

Dogfighting (with Rafale weapons system’s performance lowered on purpose):

FAF Rafales vs RAF Typhoons :  4 – 0

Dogfighting with further Rafale weapons system reduction:

FAF Rafales vs RAF Typhoons :  3 – 1

Final balance sheet (in both scenarii the Rafales did not have full weapons systems…):

FAF Rafales vs RAF Typhoons :  7 – 1

Not to mention Rafales outperform F-16CJs in targeting while in air-to-air and ground attacks thanks to the Rafale’s FSO – Front Sector Optronic.

I read from a remarkable Swiss aviation specialist’s website: AVIA NEWS. Pascal – AVIA NEWS webmaster – let me quote his analysis according to which the Rafale obtained the best score (95%) among the fighter aircraft evaluated for choosing which will replace the Swiss Air Force’s F-5 Tiger. The other two competitors were the SAAB JAS-39 Gripen, and the Eurofighter / Typhoon.

Furthermore, the Dutch did compare various fighter aircraft in 2002. Who remembers? The RNLAF – the Royal Netherlands Air Force – carried out this study and the balance sheet came out in the Dutch press:

Here are the ratings reported:

F-35 = 6.97

RAFALE = 6.95

Eurofighter = 5.83

F-16 Block 60 = 5.80

Well, we must admit that the JSF / F-35 Lightning II is the best fighter among those that were assessed. However it was a close shave, wasn’t it?

You will find an excerpt below of Jean-Marc Tanguy’s post from his blog « Le Mamouth« :

French Navy's Rafale multirole fighter aircraft on deck with shooter
Rafale on deck – U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ricardo J. Reyes

La première confrontation engageant quatre Rafale contre quatre Typhoon s’est terminée par un 4-0 en faveur des Français. Malgré, explique-t-on, l’emport d’un armement air-air fictivement dégradé. Après avoir un peu dégradé encore l’armement, le Rafale l’a encore emporté, 3-1.
Le Rafale a été confronté au F22 lors d’un vol, mais dans un cadre limité au combat air-air à vue. Il n’aurait été dans le collimateur du chasseur américain qu’ à une reprise, explique t-on aussi. CLIQUEZ ICI pour lire L’ARTICLE ENTIER en français

Citation du Mamouth – Le Mamouth courtesy

Photos: U.S. Air Force Link

Rafales on movie below:

You can read more recent information here: http://airforces.fr/2010/02/14/french-fighter-aircraft-performance/

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F-35 Lightning II goes Supersonic

F-35 JSF Joint Strike Fighter

U.S. Navy photo: Chief Petty Officer Eric A. Clement

Written on November 15, 2008  8:00 am by Frontier India Strategic and Defence

USA flag billowing The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter flew supersonic for the first time yesterday, achieving another milestone. The aircraft accelerated to Mach 1.05, or about 680 miles per hour. The test validated the F-35 Lightning II’s capability to operate beyond the speed of sound and was accomplished with a full internal load of inert or « dummy » weapons on the one-hour flight.

« The F-35 transitioned from subsonic to supersonic just as our engineers and our computer modeling had predicted, » said Jon Beesley, Lockheed Martin’s chief F-35 test pilot. « I continue to be impressed with the aircraft’s power and strong acceleration, F-35 JSF Joint Strike Fighterand I’m pleased that its precise handling qualities are retained in supersonic flight, even with a payload of 5,400 pounds (2,450 kilograms) in the weapons bays. »

F-35  USAF photo  Senior Airman Julius Delos Reyes

Beesley said it was also a significant achievement for a test aircraft to fly supersonic for the first time with the weight of a full internal load of weapons. The milestone was achieved on the 69th flight of F-35 aircraft AA-1. Beesley climbed to 30,000 feet (9,144 meters) and accelerated to Mach 1.05, or about 680 miles per hour, over a rural area in north Texas. The F-35 accomplished four transitions through the sound barrier, spending a total of eight minutes in supersonic flight. The flight was preceded by a high-subsonic mission earlier in the day. Future testing will gradually expand the flight envelope out to the aircraft’s top speed of Mach 1.6, which the F-35 is designed to achieve with a full internal load of weapons.

F-35 AA-1, a conventional takeoff and landing variant (CTOL), and F-35 BF-1, a short takeoff/vertical landing variant (STOVL), together have combined for 83 test flights.

X-35 JSF fighter aircraftThe F-35 is a supersonic, multi-role, 5th generation stealth fighter. Three F-35 variants derived from a common design, developed together and using the same sustainment infrastructure worldwide will replace at least 13 types of aircraft for 11 nations initially, making the Lightning II the most cost-effective fighter program in history.

X-35 JSF – U.S. Air Force photo

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F-35 Completes Air-Start Test at Edwards

F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft just above runway

An F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, marked AA-1, lands Oct. 23 at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The F-35 Integrated Test Force staff concluded an air-start test. (U.S. Air Force photo / Senior Airman Julius Delos Reyes)

(AIR FORCE LINK) by  Senior Airman Julius Delos Reyes
95th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

10/24/2008 – EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) — The prototype F-35 Joint Strike Fighter AA-1 completed an air-start test validating the aircraft’s ability to shut down and restart its engine in flight Oct. 23 here. This ensures the aircraft, which is called the F-35 Lightning II for the Air Force, can regain power and fly safely in the event of an unanticipated engine flameout.

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