Sunday, November 7, 2010

Which weapons should be integrated on the Rafale

Here are the results of our last pool (83 voters) :

To the question "which weapon(s) should be integrated to the Rafale to enhance its export sales" the 2 big winners with more than 40% of votes are the US made AIM-120C7 amraam and the JDAM family of GPS bombs. As a matter of fact, the last version of the amraam is seen as a big advantage on export markets. It is  worth noting that all the main western concurrents of the Rafale (F-16/15/18/35, Typhoon and Gripen) use this missile.

As far as as JDAM family is concerned, it is most likely a question of price. Indeed, those GPS guided bombs are mass produced for the US forces allowing  very low prices for export. As good as the Rafale AASM GPS bombs are, they are certainly a bit of an overkill for the current low intensity conflicts.

Boeing JDAM bomb
Next most wanted weapons with more than 20% of votes appear to be short range air-to-air missiles like the European Iris-T , the Israeli Python V and the US AIM-9X. It seems that the Mica IR currently used for the role on the Rafale is not considered to be the best option, or that it should be complemented by a less expensive alternative.
Also in the "top five" is the US Anti radar missile AGM-88 HARM, a class of weapon that the Rafale simply does not have in its inventory yet.

Just below 20% of votes, we can also cite the SDB and the Brimstone, 2 interresting weapons for CAS missions.

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