Arniepie
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Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Fri Apr 15, 2005 5:56 pm

http://news.ft.com/cms/s/1bffffc4-ad4c-11d9-ad92-00000e2511c8.html/

Apparantly 48 orders and 48 options.
I believe the first export order for this plane.
[edit post]
 
Cheshire
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Fri Apr 15, 2005 8:28 pm

"Saudis pledge to buy French jets in €6bn deal
By Jean-Pierre Neu in Paris
Published: April 15 2005 03:00 | Last updated: April 15 2005 03:00
Saudi Arabia has agreed in principle to acquire up to 96 Rafale combat aircraft from France's Dassault Aviation for some €6bn, Les Echos, the FT's French sister newspaper, has learnt.

The agreement forms the cornerstone of a broader defence, security and industrial accord estimated to be worth up to €20bn ($26bn, £14bn) signed during a meeting in Paris yesterday between Jacques Chirac, French president, and Crown Prince Abdullah, Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler"

Here's an interesting article about recent Saudi fighter purchases

http://www.aiaa.org/aerospace/Articl...m?issuetocid=424&ArchiveIssueID=44

There's a lot to consider with this order.

It could quite possibly be a reward for France's pro-Arab foreign policy. For various reasons, both countries have found themselves on the wrong side of the US since Sep 11. Ordering Rafale is going to seriously annoy the US, but the fact is the US has been attempting to distance itself from Saudi Arabia since Sep 11.

No doubt the French would have thrown some irresistable inducements at a prestigious customer such as the RASF. An export order will give the Rafale some much needed international credibility and, by way of greater volumes and economies of scale, cheaper Rafale spares for the French Air Force and Navy.

And even if Saudi Arabia had entertained the idea of replacing its F-15s with the F/A-22, the pro Israel lobby in Washington would have made such a purchase impossible. This lobby group prevented further Saudi purchases of the F-15 in the early 80s- it's why the Saudis bought the Tornado ADV.

Still, it remains to be seen if the French will sell an uncompromised version of the Rafale to the Saudis.The French, desperate to sell, may well have been happy to see the RSAF get a full spec version, remembering that due to Israeli pressure, the Saudi Arabia was sold a 'dumbed down' export version the F-15E. They would have been keen to avoid a repeat of that scenario no doubt.
 
CaptOveur
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Fri Apr 15, 2005 10:41 pm

Quoting Arniepie (Thread starter):
Apparantly 48 orders and 48 options.

The number of the options they take will vary directly with the price of oil. At least that was their deal with the F-15S.

Quoting Cheshire (Reply 1):
It could quite possibly be a reward for France's pro-Arab foreign policy.

Or Lockheed-Martin and/or the US State department jerked them around on orders for F-22s or F-35s. That is why the RSAF flies Tornados when they wanted F-16s. There is also a possibility they wanted something that was availible now, not 5-10 years from now.

Not like it really matters what they fly, their Air force is just one big flying club for the royal family that never flies in bad weather, and rarely in the dark. I question how serious of a fighting force they really are, no matter how cool their toys are.

Anyone know if the Rafael is AMRAAM compatible or if it can be made AMRAAM compatible? I know money is no object for these guys but with the fleet their Air Force has they must be having issues with all the different weapons systems all their different types use.
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dl021
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Fri Apr 15, 2005 11:39 pm

Saudi needed a replacement for the F-5s and I'm fairly sure they wanted something more than what most of their neighbors bought with the F-16. The Rafale costs more, but you get a newer design with twin engine capability. There is also the political end to think about. This makes sense for the Saudis, as the Rafale should be a good performer. Hopefully it holds up in the desert environment, but it should do as well as the Mirage 2000/F-16s do in the region.

Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 2):
department jerked them around on orders for F-22s or F-35s.

MOre likely they did not want to wait for the F-35 and the F-22 is too cost prohibitive for the numbers they want. Even for the Saudis...they've had some money concerns over the last few years.

Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 2):
There is also a possibility they wanted something that was availible now, not 5-10 years from now.

Oh, you said that!  

Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 2):
Anyone know if the Rafael is AMRAAM compatible or if it can be made AMRAAM compatible?

Yes, theoretically...as long as the recipient nation can both purchase the missiles and convince the US to allow Raytheon to participate in the integration. However, I am certain that the French will be working the Saudis on the MICA missiles.


http://www.rafale-marine.com/fiches/armement.php

[Edited 2005-04-15 17:12:21]
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CaptOveur
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Sat Apr 16, 2005 2:44 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 3):
Yes, theoretically...as long as the recipient nation can both purchase the missiles and convince the US to allow Raytheon to participate in the integration. However, I am certain that the French will be working the Saudis on the MICA missiles.

The reason I asked was.. I am 90% certain the F-15S is AMRAAM capable and we sold them a few missiles. Those things are not cheap, probably several hundred thousand dollars per shot, and they have a shelf life. Plus the black boxes and whatnot have a high cost.. I am betting the MICA system isn't cheap either.. You can see where I am going with this.. Concerns about cost, concerns about lack of commonality adding cost etc...

But yeah.. The F-35 is still a few years off and the F-22 costs so much I can't even believe we are buying it.
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jwenting
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Sat Apr 16, 2005 5:34 am

Unsurprising. Saudi buys from multiple suppliers in order to prevent being stuck with one potentially unreliable channel for supplies.

They now fly Mirages, Tornados and F-15s for example. I'd not be surprised if we see those replaced over a period of time with Rafale, Eurofighter, and F-22.
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dl021
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Sat Apr 16, 2005 5:42 am

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 5):
They now fly Mirages, Tornados and F-15s for example.

Slight mistake here, they do not fly Mirage aircraft. They fly F-5s as well as Tornados, F-15s and Hawks. It's the F-5s (as well as probably the ADV Tornados) that they are replacing here.

They did have some F-1s on the ground during the Gulf War of 91 because the Kuwaitis flew them there. But they don't fly them.
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LMP737
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Sat Apr 16, 2005 7:47 am

Some have suggested that the Rafale was chosen in part due to the US State Department dragging their feet on the F-35 and F-22. Or that Saudi Arabia did not want to have to contend with the Israeli lobby if they tried to order the F-22. My opinion is that the F-22 probably was never on the table. The US remembers what happened with the F-14 sales to Iran in the 1970's. We sold a very capable aircraft, even with the downgrades to the AWG-9 weapons system, to a country that became rather hostile torwards us shortly after delivery of the 79th aircraft.

Now I'm not saying that the Saudi royal family is in imminent danger of being deposed. What I am saying is that it has probably crossed someone's mind in D.C. that if it WERE to happen we would probably not want a hostile regime flying the most deadly fighter out there.
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CaptOveur
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Sat Apr 16, 2005 7:50 am

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 7):
Now I'm not saying that the Saudi royal family is in imminent danger of being deposed.

It could happen tomorow for all we know. A country with that much of a division between the rich and the poor, with the poor getting pissed is ripe for revolution.

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 7):
What I am saying is that it has probably crossed someone's mind in D.C.

It is probably foremost on their mind.. But all the money and airplane sale brings in is also on their mind. These are, of course, the thoughts you don't hear on CNN.
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dl021
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Sat Apr 16, 2005 8:01 am

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 7):
My opinion is that the F-22 probably was never on the table.

While I would agree that the thing was never on the table, it would have been cost prohibitive for them to operate. The Rafale or F-16 were the two real choices for them, and I think they spent more for the Rafales to get the latest tech.
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Ozair
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Sat Apr 16, 2005 10:24 am

Good order for them, I think the Rafale will suit their structure really well. Interesting to see if this will foster other orders now that someone other than the french have bought it. It will at least keep the production line open a while longer.
 
dl021
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Sat Apr 16, 2005 11:30 am

There are some candidates for this airplane. If the F-35 does not work out then the Aussies will need about 50 or 60 of them.

Singapore is currently evaluating the airplane, and there are 4 or 5 more countries looking to upgrade their air forces.
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JasperEMA
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Sat Apr 16, 2005 6:24 pm

The US needs the best in the world ,all the rest of us need is to have better than those next-door.....
 
TSV
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Sun Apr 17, 2005 1:39 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 11):
There are some candidates for this airplane. If the F-35 does not work out then the Aussies will need about 50 or 60 of them.

50 or 60 of what? The Rafale? I think you'l find that all of the eggs are in one basket here and that there is no contemplation (with the exception of one Dr Carlo Kopp whose credibility varies wildly depending on who you talk to) of the F-35 not working out.

And even though we've bought "European" with the Tigers and the NH-90s I am certain after the issues with the Mirage (over our involvement in Vietnam and the absolute hatred of the Atar and being ripped off on the cost of tools and spares over the life of the aircraft) we will never buy a "French" frontline fighter / bomber again.
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dl021
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Sun Apr 17, 2005 1:45 am

Quoting TSV (Reply 13):
50 or 60 of what? The Rafale? I think you'l find that all of the eggs are in one basket here and that there is no contemplation (with the exception of one Dr Carlo Kopp whose credibility varies wildly depending on who you talk to) of the F-35 not working out.

Oh, I believe the F-35 program is going to happen, although in smaller US numbers, and I expect to see Aussie F-35s within 6 or 7 years. Dr. Carlo Kopp notwithstanding, this project has too much momentum and need out there to really fail. I happen to think that this might be the last manned fighter produced in significant numbers, too.

As far as institutional memory of the French behaviour over the Mirage deal on the back end, well.....they did buy Tigers.
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atmx2000
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Sun Apr 17, 2005 2:14 am

Is the F-22 even going to be offered for export?
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TSV
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Sun Apr 17, 2005 2:25 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 14):
As far as institutional memory of the French behaviour over the Mirage deal on the back end, well.....they did buy Tigers.

That's why I differentiated between "European" and "French".

Quoting DL021 (Reply 14):
and I expect to see Aussie F-35s within 6 or 7 years.

I don't think even the most optimistic top brass are expecting to see them that soon.
"I told you I was ill ..." Spike Milligan
 
AirRyan
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Sun Apr 17, 2005 3:40 am

Personnally I'd rather have a Rafale over an F/A-18E, but I like the tandem seat F/A-18F's as they better take over the duties of the Tomcats and Phantoms. Are there any plans for a tandem seat navalized Rafale?

I agree the F-22 will not be exported, if at most to say Britain and that's the only Air Force I could both see able to afford and be cleared for the export of the platform. I guess I could see maybe Japan being cleared for some F22 and having the ability to purchase some, especially as tensions rise between the West and China.

In that case, something tells me the 2008 Olympics don't go off w/o a hitch, if at all. 2007 would be a great time for Taiwan to declare their independance from China, because if China did anything against them or in the region, all that money they just spent on that Olympic stuff is wasted as the Olympics would not happen.
 
dl021
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Sun Apr 17, 2005 4:19 am

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 15):
Is the F-22 even going to be offered for export?

I could see the Japanese buying it in a few years, but not many nations can justify the expense even if they can afford it. The only other possible operators would be Israel, in very limited numbers as a "silver bullet" force, but I seriously doubt that anyone will step up to the plate on the thing anytime real soon. Its too much money for most everyone else, not to mention the security requirements. I really don't see the UK buying it at all. They are too vested in the Typhoon and F-35 project.

Quoting TSV (Reply 16):
I don't think even the most optimistic top brass are expecting to see them that soon.

Aren't they expecting to have them up and running by 2015? Does that not mean they will need their first ones a couple of years prior to the IOC?

Quoting TSV (Reply 16):
That's why I differentiated between "European" and "French".

I know, but the Tigers are made in France, no? The NH's are made in Italy and the manufacturing alliance is different, so that one makes sense. Is the bad feeling about the Mirage that strong still?
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MD-90
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Sun Apr 17, 2005 12:28 pm

Quoting JasperEMA (Reply 12):
The US needs the best in the world ,all the rest of us need is to have better than those next-door.....

Sadly, with regards to the American Empire, that's all too true.
 
Ozair
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Mon Apr 18, 2005 9:02 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 18):
but not many nations can justify the expense even if they can afford it.

I will be interested to see what price Lockheed will try and sell these at, surely at the end of US production and procurement there will be some kind of price reduction to keep the line open for any unlooked for future US orders. They will not need to justify costing for development either.

Even at $120-140mill these would be a steal. Give me one F-22 over 2 JSF anytime.
 
dl021
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Mon Apr 18, 2005 9:14 am

I think that the reduction in production numbers has eliminated the opportunity for Lockheed to really be able to do that without losing money.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 20):
Even at $120-140mill these would be a steal. Give me one F-22 over 2 JSF anytime.

A single 18 aircraft squadron would be an incredible silver bullet force that would allow a nation to keep any potential adversary guessing. Australia will make excellent use of the F-35, though. It does give a slightly reduced stealth element, as well as the advanced weapons capability. I look forward to seeing these airplanes defending freedom throughout the world.
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Ozair
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Mon Apr 18, 2005 12:36 pm

Quoting DL021 (Reply 21):
Australia will make excellent use of the F-35

I don't doubt that we will use them well (especially if we get some b models), the problem with the JSF will be it's ability to compete against the SU-35, which is emerging within the structure of several South Asian air forces. This is something the F-22 has been designed for.
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Mon Apr 18, 2005 2:38 pm

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 17):
Are there any plans for a tandem seat navalized Rafale?

Yes. The Rafale-M entered service back in '01 and will replace the Aéronavale's F-8s and Etendards.
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dl021
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Mon Apr 18, 2005 9:46 pm

Quoting Ozair (Reply 22):
I don't doubt that we will use them well (especially if we get some b models), the problem with the JSF will be it's ability to compete against the SU-35,

I believe that you will find that the F-35 is supermaneuverable (thrust vectoring), very quick, and capable of firing all modern as well as future (has room to grow) BVR and dogfight missiles, all on top of the 25mm cannon it will have for knife fights.

The Sukhois will not find themselves with any serious advantages over the F-35, with the possible exception of some top-end speed, which will be negated by the weapons loads carried as well the semi-stealthiness of the F-35 which should allow it to close the distance prior to being spotted. Any potential adversary for Australia that possesses the SU-27 series and mods are buying them because they are relatively inexpensive and put them in a position to challenge todays aircraft, not so much tomorrows.
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AirRyan
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Tue Apr 19, 2005 12:05 am

As I understood it however, the Rafale M was only a single seat platform. More tandem seat EuroFighters are planned than single seat and while I have seen tandem seat Rafales before, they were not navalized. So, a Rafale-M in a tandem two seat config would be great.
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Tue Apr 19, 2005 2:39 am

AirRyan - there was supposed to be a navalized two seat variant of the Rafale the Rafale N, but the project was cut due to budgetary constraints. Here's a link about it, it's in French, but I can give a rough translation of the last paragraph

http://frenchnavy.free.fr/aircraft/rafale/rafale_fr.htm

Because of the rather impressive workload (managing navigation, the weapon systems, the countermeasures, the radar...) faced by pilots of new aircraft types like the Mirage 2000 or the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, and according to the lessons learned in the conflict in Kosovo, the French Navy decided to study a two-seat version of the Rafale M in the summer of 1999. This version was designated the Rafale BM (two-seater naval). It was redesignated "N" a few months later. The prototype of this new version was to take to the air in 2005. On September 22, 2004, the project was abandoned for technical and budgetary reasons. Indeed, this would have cost over 270 million euros. The distribution between two-seaters and single-seaters was to have been 25/35. At the technical level, this two-seater version would have required the enlarging of the cockpit and the canopy as well as the displacement of certain elements placed behind the pilot. In addition, the cannon would have to have been removed and the fuel capacity reduced by 215 kilograms to reduce catapult weight and thus to remain in the same limits as the single seater.

I know, my French isn't great, but that's the gist of the last paragraph.

[Edited 2005-04-18 19:53:21]
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dl021
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Tue Apr 19, 2005 6:41 am

All that and the extra money was needed to help pay for the second carrier, and money is really tight in the French Navy.
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LMP737
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:10 am

The Eurofighter appears to still be in the running for an order by the Saudi's. That's at least according tot he AV Week. Saudi Arabia seems to be willing to evaluate the aircraft.
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dl021
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Thu Apr 28, 2005 5:50 am

THe latest here is that the Saudis are denying the purchase and Dassault has certainly not been broadcasting this.

Everyone, me included, may be jumping to conclusions.
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AirRyan
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Thu Apr 28, 2005 9:59 pm

Sounds like cheap bargaining tactics and that they are just trying to get the price knocked down!
 
sebolino
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Sat Apr 30, 2005 11:01 pm

Quoting Arniepie (Thread starter):
However, I am certain that the French will be working the Saudis on the MICA missiles.

If I remember well, the Rafale will be available with the long range missile "Meteor".
 
sebolino
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Sat Apr 30, 2005 11:02 pm

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 17):
Are there any plans for a tandem seat navalized Rafale?

It already exists.
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Sun May 01, 2005 12:11 am

Quoting Sebolino (Reply 32):
It already exists.

Navalized? Everything I've read thus far indicates the Rafale N was cancelled - was the program revived?
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bennett123
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Sun May 01, 2005 12:52 am

AirRyan

A lot of people said that there would be no Moscow Olympics in 1980 after the Soviets went into Afghanistan as well.

DL021

A single squadron would cost $1.2Bn, and the F22 is probably no more immune to birdstrike/CFIT/Wirestrike etc. How many would you need to keep 18 aircraft in the air long term.
 
AirRyan
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Sun May 01, 2005 3:05 am

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 34):
A lot of people said that there would be no Moscow Olympics in 1980 after the Soviets went into Afghanistan as well.

There were no Olympics for the US athletes in the 1980 Moscow Olympics per Jimmy Carter if you remember.

If China goes into Taiwan it very likely turns into a regional war very quickly and it would be far different from the situation between the USSR and Afghanistan. The US and her immediate allies, you know - the ones with any real military forces will all go to Taiwan's aid. As soon as China were to attack US forces, it would almost be an all out war against China and her allies, possibly only North Korea and Pakistan (one reason why the US State Dept. wants to sell Pakistan late model F-16's, so as to solidify their relationship with the West that 9/11 had helped begin to rekindle while at the same time not wanting Pakistan to become more and more if not totally dependant on China.)

China would then most likely be thrown out of the UN as well, and the dominoes all begin to fall. I predict that the government of Taiwan knowing this will force China's hand shortly before th '08 Olympics so at least if China does act with force, they will have spent a lot of money on the olympics and at the least, money spent elsewhere besides military arms that otherwise could have been used against Taiwan. This gives Taiwan time to stock up one final time from the US as recently has been reported, and I think they will finnally come to the conclusion that figure this use of force by China to be inevitable and they may as well do it then with the focus of the world on China because of the Olympics rather than continue to look over their shoulder from then after.







[Edited 2005-04-30 20:23:25]
 
columba
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Mon May 02, 2005 6:06 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 18):
I know, but the Tigers are made in France, no? The NH's are made in Italy and the manufacturing alliance is different, so that one makes sense. Is the bad feeling about the Mirage that strong still?

The Tiger is produced by France and Germany, being manufactured in both countries, the NH 90 too is produced in each partner nation (France/Germany/Italy/Netherlands). The aircrafts that are not bought by one of these partner nations will be assembled in the country that negotiated the deal with the export customer.
The Tigers for Australia will be -apart of the first two or three-assembled in Australia by Eurocopter-Australia in Brisbane, at least I think so.
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Ozair
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RE: Saudi Arabia Goes For The Rafale.

Mon May 02, 2005 7:27 am

Quoting Columba (Reply 36):
apart of the first two or three-assembled in Australia by Eurocopter-Australia in Brisbane, at least I think so.

Correct, the first two will be delivered and the rest manufactured in Brisbane. There is also talk that with New Zealand selecting the NH90 they will tack on to the end of production of the Australian ones.

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