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Royal Navy Considers Purchasing Rafale Fighters  
User currently offlinechuchoteur From France, joined Sep 2006, 762 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 8694 times:

http://www.marianne2.fr/blogsecretde...vy-s-interesse-au-Rafale_a509.html

Sorry, in French only.

Adm. Trevor Soar (Royal Navy No2) has been quoted in The Times, suggesting that the Royal Navy may need an intermediate aircract from 2019, with F35 deliveries pushed back to 2030.

Apparently this would be a core question addressed during the stragic defense review in 2015.

[Edited 2012-01-30 01:18:34]

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinekeuleatr72 From Germany, joined Apr 2008, 97 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 8691 times:

IIRC, the Eurofighter Company offered the Indian Navy a carrier based Typhoon. Now I know that the Typhoon would need some modifications, but wouldn´t be the Typhoon a more logical choice for an interim aircraft? Considering the large numbers of Typhoons ordered by the RAF? So the RN and the RAF would have some fleet communality.

User currently offlineflagon From France, joined May 2007, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 8683 times:

Quoting keuleatr72 (Reply 1):
but wouldn´t be the Typhoon a more logical choice for an interim aircraft?

For a permanent solution maybe yes, for a interim solution certainly not.
Modifying a Typhoon to be complying with a navy standard is a whole revolution in terms of program effort. Besides the plane exist only on paper, Rafale N is already operational long time ago and combat proven.

Quoting chuchoteur (Thread starter):
suggesting that the Royal Navy may need an intermediate aircract from 2019

I think the Rafale chance on that one are very slim anyway. If antything this news would be most probably to put some pressure on the decision makers involved in the F35C rather than a really serious solution.
Besides I seem to have read that the Time article was not reliable as wrongly reporting what Soar actually said...



Stephane
User currently offlinejollo From Italy, joined Aug 2011, 212 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 8624 times:

I always thought that an all-European mix, with Eurofighters for land-based missions and Rafales for carrier operations, would be a great solution for all of the Old Continent's defense needs. Expensive, to be sure, but being home-grown industrial benefits would offest much of the (still to be proven) economic advantage of a F-35 A/C mix. And higher numbers would drive the per-unit costs down to more reasonable levels. Capable? Hell, yes! And good for the next 10-15 years too.

Of course, since it makes sense, it has close to zero probability to become reality...


User currently offlineflagon From France, joined May 2007, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 8586 times:

Quoting jollo (Reply 3):
it has close to zero probability to become reality...

I agree, no chance



Stephane
User currently offlineCHRISBA777ER From UK - England, joined Mar 2001, 5964 posts, RR: 62
Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 8433 times:

I'd absolutely love this.

For me, Rafale does everything we need our carrier-borne multi-role air solution to do - is better than anything else we're ever likely to have to fight, is far cheaper, combat proven, upgradable and probably a better performer than the Sea-Typhoon as offered to the IAF.

I've been really hoping we dump the F35 nonsense ASAP and go with Rhinos or Rafales. Makes far too much sense though - the civil serpents wont go for it, sadly.

Symptomatic of broken Britain - there is a solution that ticks all the boxes and the bureaucrats wont let it happen as they dont want to look stupid.

I still think its more likely than people realise. Rhinos even more likely if you ask me. Keeps the Yanks onside if nothing else.



What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
User currently offlineflagon From France, joined May 2007, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 8422 times:

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 5):
I still think its more likely than people realise. Rhinos even more likely if you ask me. Keeps the Yanks onside if nothing else.

To me that would be the most likely scenario.
BTW I believe that's what the Aussies have done as an interim solution before being enabled on F35?



Stephane
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 8333 times:

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 5):
Sea-Typhoon as offered to the IAF.

Now that I would love to see!

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 5):
I've been really hoping we dump the F35 nonsense ASAP and go with Rhinos or Rafales. Makes far too much sense though - the civil serpents wont go for it, sadly.

Just like I would love to see the RN dump the helicopter in the AEW role and get the E-2D.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13168 posts, RR: 78
Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 8275 times:

The Navy Typhoon offered to India is, it seems, a different beast to previous proposals.
Thrust vectoring allowing carrier approaches without the no doubt expensive and problematic flight control software changes as mooted before, far less mods all round.

My own view remains that it was a stupid move to entirely axe F-35B for the UK in 2010, since then it's had successful trials on a USN Amphibious Carrier, much one suspects to the annoyance of it's detractors.
Though a F-35C buy has merit as a partial RAF Tornado replacement and longer term for RN operation too.

The first CVF should be competed as planned originally for F-35B with some surplus Merlin's not upgraded to the latest RN standards, with the Cerebus package transferred from the Sea Kings.
You'd have an operational air-group rather sooner than the current plans, whether the official 2019/2020 date is likely or not, as one report has claimed.

Then the second one outfitted for CTOL, around 2020.
Then explore a joint RN/French Navy buy and operation of a batch of E-2D's.

Fact is, the government are wedded to an eventual Typhoon/F-35 fleet, I see no prospect of adding either the F-18E/F or Rafale to that, or leaving the F-35 altogether. The UK wants the low observable/sensor fusion capabilities of that aircraft.
If they cannot have that, they won't bother at all.

Worth remembering that Cameron really wanted to axe the CVF completely, until it was found that the contract cancellation clauses meant no money would be saved and that the gap of work from the Type 45 Destroyers to the Type 26 Frigates would be a huge one. (Which had very serious cost and delay effects with the gap between the last Trident sub and the first Astute class).
So in an act of political spite, quite in keeping with Cameron's general character, at the last minute both Ark Royal and the Harriers were axed, despite the problems of the gap in experience this would cause fast jet naval aviation.

What might happen is a lease of some French Navy Rafales to the RN, though there would be some political embarrassment there.
Despite the problems of the F-35B, despite the politically motivated short term cost saving moves with the VSTOL CVF's, with their completions in 2016 and 2018 respectively, this was still a less risky plan than the one which superseded it in October 2010.


User currently offlinechuchoteur From France, joined Sep 2006, 762 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 8233 times:

***UPDATE***
Rees Ward, CEO of ADS, has since said that The Times' reporting of the comments had been "inaccurate".

"The Admiral's comments were wrongly attributed and in certain cases not even raised during the course of his speech or at the event itself as the article alleges," said Ward.

"Had the journalist sought to contact ADS, we could have verified whether these comments were made, but their lack of contact suggests they have accepted at face value the second hand reporting of what has turned out to be an unreliable source. In doing so they have potentially damaged the reputation of a senior member of our armed forces - certainly they have thrown into question their own personal credibility and ultimately the paper for which they write."


User currently offlineLGWflyer From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2011, 2348 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 8199 times:

I would love to see the RN get some F18E/F Super Hornet's.

Quoting chuchoteur (Thread starter):
with F35 deliveries pushed back to 2030.

Wow nearly 20 years until expected delievery! I think its too long to wait!!!



3 words... I Love Aviation!!!
User currently onlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7459 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 8175 times:

GDB

How much was the "hole" in the MOD budget when the coalition came in?.

The figure of £38BN seems familiar.

Clearly something had to give.


User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4373 posts, RR: 19
Reply 12, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 8163 times:

Makes a lot of sense. Forget the overweight, overcomplicated, unreliable, extremely slow compromise that is the F35 and
go with the proven Rafale.


IMHO one of the best looking Aircraft ever made.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineflagon From France, joined May 2007, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 8099 times:

Quoting chuchoteur (Reply 9):
Rees Ward, CEO of ADS, has since said that The Times' reporting of the comments had been "inaccurate".

I said in my first post (reply 2)...



Stephane
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1679 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7959 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 12):
Makes a lot of sense. Forget the overweight, overcomplicated, unreliable, extremely slow compromise that is the F35 and
go with the proven Rafale.


IMHO one of the best looking Aircraft ever made.

Except that Rafale is also extremely expensive and is right now at a developmental dead end.

The UK is planning on moving towards having two types in service as their premier fighter in the future; Eurofighter and F-35. They are stuck with Eurofighter because of the investments and the commitments that they have made. They need F-35 to service as their premier long range strike aircraft, replacing the Tornado.

There is a massive incentive for the Brits to continue with their purchase of F-35's, and at the original numbers (maybe over a longer period of time). Around 15 per cent of the value of every F-35 built will be earned by British companies. A reduced UK order would not only make unit costs higher for all the other nations, it would probably lead to calls to take a lot of that workload away from British industry. As such, from my understanding, the UK government has been telling LM that they still plan on 138 F-35's.


User currently offlineflagon From France, joined May 2007, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 7893 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 14):
Except that Rafale is also extremely expensive

Can you let us know the price of a Rafale N that could be offered to the RN and how it compares with its peers, if possible with the support of reliable sources? Your comment suggests that you are well informed on the matter....



Stephane
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13168 posts, RR: 78
Reply 16, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 7608 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 14):
As such, from my understanding, the UK government has been telling LM that they still plan on 138 F-35's.

Officially yes, though to get near that number will mean smaller batches ordered over a long period.
Certainly it's hard to see more than 40 being ordered before the end of the decade.

However, with all the prospective customers, F-35 will likely be around for a long time as a production program.
Rafale may not be, though the increased prospect of an Indian order might improve on that.

Nothing wrong with Rafale, I just don't see it in UK service, even if the financial constraints were not there.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1679 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 7448 times:

Quoting flagon (Reply 15):

Can you let us know the price of a Rafale N that could be offered to the RN and how it compares with its peers, if possible with the support of reliable sources? Your comment suggests that you are well informed on the matter....
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/dae...uniques/FighterCostFinalJuly06.pdf
I will point out that the F/A-18E/F's numbers is skewed; the GAO estimated that the Super Hornet costs around $106.1 million last year:
http://www.gao.gov/assets/320/317081.pdf


User currently offlineflagon From France, joined May 2007, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 7352 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 17):
I will point out that the F/A-18E/F's numbers is skewed; the GAO estimated that the Super Hornet costs around $106.1 million last year:

It would appear according to The Times that the price of the Rafale N that would be offered to Royal Navy is $90.5 million?
If that's true that would be even cheaper than the offer made recently to switzerland...

On the other hand I wonder whether the size of the RN carriers are compatible with the weight of the Super Hornet?



Stephane
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 52
Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 6691 times:

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 5):
I still think its more likely than people realise. Rhinos even more likely if you ask me.

I agree

Quoting flagon (Reply 6):
BTW I believe that's what the Aussies have done as an interim solution before being enabled on F35?

Yeap.

Additionally, the F/A-18E/F can be fitted with (mostly) British built engines. The Eurojet EJ200 engine is in the same class as the GE F-414 that currently powers the F/A-18E/F, with a slightly smaller diameter (EJ200 is about 30" and the F-414 is about 35"). The EJ200 is about 300 lbs lighter in weight that the F-414 and they both produce about the same amount of thrust.

Then again the Rafale is a lot lighter in MTOW (54,000 lbs) compared to the Super Hornet (66,000 lbs) so its M88 engines don't need as much thrust. But the Super Hornet does carry a heavier weapons load.

I think a F/A-18E/F, with EJ200 engines (making it an F/A-18J/K) would be a better operational fit for both the RN and the RAF.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13168 posts, RR: 78
Reply 20, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 6601 times:

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 11):
GDB

How much was the "hole" in the MOD budget when the coalition came in?.

The figure of £38BN seems familiar.

Clearly something had to give.

Want to know a dirty little not so secret? The MoD has had black holes in spending, for much of time, since the early 1950's!
They've varied in size, though back then the hole was truly cavernous.

I don't disagree that something was going to give, however it does in part come down to political/economic ideology. If you think that across government, not just defence, the Coalition are cutting yes, but too far and fast, or not. (How are Osborne's projected growth figures set in 2010 for right now, looking for instance?)
Myself, I think 8% over four years is excessive, 5% over five years more sustainable,

But they all too often seem to be axing important capabilities, such as maritime patrol, while not actually saving a great deal of money. How much will axing the nearly new, proven in Afghanistan, vital in Libya, Sentinel aircraft save? They've already been brought and paid for. Like the Ark and Harriers and nearly all in the case of the Nimrods.

A major reason that the £38 billion hole emerged is not such a new one, quite simply that after the large expansion in operations after 2001, the defence budget as a proportion if GDP, did not rise to match it.
To keep, with the exception of several billions on Urgent Operational Requirements from the government contingency fund, roughly the same level of % of GDP on defence after pitching the country into Afghanistan, then Iraq, then Afghanistan in much greater force, was bound to store up trouble.

Bringing home the remaining forces from Germany is welcome and overdue. It was due after the Kosovo operation ran down. But empty facilities such as married quarters had already been sold off for a song. Hence the use of RAF stations now mooted.
Me, I'd concentrate on more long term savings.

Trident. The next subs will have 6-8 missile tubes, 16, or 12 as is suggested for new ones, is a Cold War relic. Meaning the design could be an adaptation of the Astute boats not an expensive clean sheet. 3 not 4 of them, since the Astutes design does not have the big reactor refuelling need of previous boats, this by itself increases availability.
Also, if by the mid 2020's there is a more comprehensive international nuclear arms agreement, they don't become white elephants since they'd be more easily and afford-ably adapted for house Cruise Missile and/or even UCAV's.

I'd run down the Tornado GR.4 force from 2014/15, ageing and increasingly expensive to maintain, falling availability.
Put the their weapons on to Tranche 2 and 3 Typhoons, if the figures quoted in 2010 for Tornado supports costs out to 2020 are correct, you could buy another batch of Tranche 3's, say about 18-20, and still save a few billion. Half the aircrew needed too.
Use existing, relatively new, brought and paid for assets to the max.

Just a few ideas off the top of my head!


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1679 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 6509 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 19):
I agree

Disagree. F-35 is not only replacing the Harrier force, but also the Tornado fleet as well. F/A-18E/F is a major gap in capabilities in all metrics compared to the Tornado, and the UK wants to use the F-35 as their premier strike aircraft.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 19):
Yeap.

Additionally, the F/A-18E/F can be fitted with (mostly) British built engines. The Eurojet EJ200 engine is in the same class as the GE F-414 that currently powers the F/A-18E/F, with a slightly smaller diameter (EJ200 is about 30" and the F-414 is about 35"). The EJ200 is about 300 lbs lighter in weight that the F-414 and they both produce about the same amount of thrust.

Then again the Rafale is a lot lighter in MTOW (54,000 lbs) compared to the Super Hornet (66,000 lbs) so its M88 engines don't need as much thrust. But the Super Hornet does carry a heavier weapons load.

I think a F/A-18E/F, with EJ200 engines (making it an F/A-18J/K) would be a better operational fit for both the RN and the RAF.

How much would THAT cost, once you factor in development for a small order? The structural modifications necessary to adapt to a new engine would be significant, and so would the changes to the flight envelope. All of this would require re-certification of the entire flight regime, and that easily double the unit costs to around $200 million dollars per aircraft, or more.


User currently offlinespudh From Ireland, joined Jul 2009, 300 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 6327 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 21):
How much would THAT cost, once you factor in development for a small order? The structural modifications necessary to adapt to a new engine would be significant, and so would the changes to the flight envelope. All of this would require re-certification of the entire flight regime, and that easily double the unit costs to around $200 million dollars per aircraft, or more.

While I agree with you in principle, there is history there with Spey engined Phantoms and a single engine type would have huge long term cost benefits.

Interesting concept though, how does the EJ200 compare on fuel burn to the GE F-414? Lower weight coupled with better fuel economy could add a nice little bump to the Superbugs range.
Having said that you'd have to marinise the EJ200 so the weight saving might not be as much as the 300lbs above and you're looking at engine development costs too.


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 23, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 6272 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 20):
Trident. The next subs will have 6-8 missile tubes, 16, or 12 as is suggested for new ones, is a Cold War relic. Meaning the design could be an adaptation of the Astute boats not an expensive clean sheet. 3 not 4 of them, since the Astutes design does not have the big reactor refuelling need of previous boats, this by itself increases availability.
Also, if by the mid 2020's there is a more comprehensive international nuclear arms agreement, they don't become white elephants since they'd be more easily and afford-ably adapted for house Cruise Missile and/or even UCAV's.

Could AIP subs be used as ballistic missile submarines ? And would it save capital spending ?

Quoting GDB (Reply 20):
But they all too often seem to be axing important capabilities, such as maritime patrol, while not actually saving a great deal of money. How much will axing the nearly new, proven in Afghanistan, vital in Libya, Sentinel aircraft save? They've already been brought and paid for. Like the Ark and Harriers and nearly all in the case of the Nimrods.

Yes, axing the Sentinel seems a real waste of money. But I really think Canada would be interested.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 21):
How much would THAT cost, once you factor in development for a small order? The structural modifications necessary to adapt to a new engine would be significant, and so would the changes to the flight envelope. All of this would require re-certification of the entire flight regime, and that easily double the unit costs to around $200 million dollars per aircraft, or more.
Quoting spudh (Reply 22):
While I agree with you in principle, there is history there with Spey engined Phantoms and a single engine type would have huge long term cost benefits.

I'll agree with Pointblank on that topic. The cost could be really substantial. As for the Spey Phantom, that was a costly politically-driven decision resulting in an aircraft that did not perform as well as a stock Phantom.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 52
Reply 24, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 6177 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 21):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 19):
I agree

Disagree. F-35 is not only replacing the Harrier force, but also the Tornado fleet as well. F/A-18E/F is a major gap in capabilities in all metrics compared to the Tornado, and the UK wants to use the F-35 as their premier strike aircraft.

U didn't say it, but my suggestion would only be a replacement for the RN F-35Cs. The RAF and RN F-35Bs would still be bought to replace the Harriers (which are all retired now, some were sold to the USN/USMC)

Quoting spudh (Reply 22):
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 21):
How much would THAT cost, once you factor in development for a small order? The structural modifications necessary to adapt to a new engine would be significant, and so would the changes to the flight envelope. All of this would require re-certification of the entire flight regime, and that easily double the unit costs to around $200 million dollars per aircraft, or more.

While I agree with you in principle, there is history there with Spey engined Phantoms and a single engine type would have huge long term cost benefits.

Correct. The EJ200 is the same class of engines as the F-404/F-414. The EJ200 seems to have just as wide a flight envelope in the Typhoon as the F-414 does in the Super Hornet.

Quoting spudh (Reply 22):
Interesting concept though, how does the EJ200 compare on fuel burn to the GE F-414? Lower weight coupled with better fuel economy could add a nice little bump to the Superbugs range.

I don't know because I cannot find the SFC for the F-414 engines, but the EJ200 in the Typhoon has a SFC of 21–23 g/kNs dry thrust / 47–49 g/kNs with reheat. The RAF and RN would save money by not having to maintane a seperate engine type, and have a common engine with the Typhoon.


25 GDB : The RN is an all nuclear powered sub force, post Cold War. They won't want the expense of a second form of propulsion. I mooted the idea of an Astute
26 ThePointblank : The UK would not be interested in introducing a new subtype, due to budgetary concerns. However, to develop a UK specific F/A-18 would be very costly
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