Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Typhoon, Rafale : A&C answers to Eurofighter

On Monday, Jean-Marc Tanguy indicated that the next deployment of Rafale in UK (this week) should be shorter than expected, with less coverage. The reason ? Rafale bashing...
A&C just published an article by Guillaume Steuer which could be seen as an answer to the Eurofighter's publication (see here).

The article essentially confirms that French pilots are fed up with Rafale bashing which has been running for years now.

Remembering that Eurofighter said that " in almost all the encounters, Typhoon emerged with significantly better performances", those claims are qualified as baseless with no argument.

Referring to the anecdote with Italian Typhoon engaging the Rafale successfully, A&C brings details : those were MN Flotille 12F Rafale, and it happened above the Tyrrhenian Sea in early 2012. French pilots do not agree with their Italian counterparts, as they want to remind that the Pk used for the Amraam were more "permissive" than those used for Mica. This details seems to indicate that Typhoon were not exactly undetected as suggested by Italian pilots... However, French pilots admits that Captor is a better air-to-air radar (than the RBE-2 PESA), but they still question the claimed superiority of Typhoon.

What about the RAF ?
Last time RAF Typhoon really trained against the Rafale was in 2009, in Solenzara. A bit later, some 2 on 2 BVR engagements were simulated, and French pilots who participated claim that the results were well favourable to Rafale.

Displeased, the RAF no longer want to "fight" against Rafale. In early March, British pilots outright refused to oppose the Rafale. RAF has already indicated that no Typhoon will be available for training on the 11th this month (May).

But still, the Rafale bashing goes on, as demonstrated by the newspapers which claimed that Rafale was still unable to self-illuminate targets during operation Harmattan, or by the recent Eurofighter World issue.

Link to the article :


  1. This seems a little like hypocrisy. The article in Eurofighter World was very much less critical of Rafale than some French officers have been of Typhoon.

    RAF pilots have been extremely reticent to say anything about Rafale - unlike Lt Col Granclaudon and Captain Romain, who have certainly engaged in 'Typhoon Bashing'.

    Behind the scenes they have indicated that much of what has been said and written about ATLC and Solenzara is inaccurate, but have refrained from 'Rafale Bashing'.

    It's also ironic that in an article that complains about Rafale bashing a new allegation (that the RAF have refused to fight Rafale) should be trotted out.

    If the French side don't want accusations to be answered (and answered in kind) then perhaps they should stop making them.

    1. Hi Mr Lake,

      "RAF pilots have been extremely reticent to say anything about Rafale - unlike Lt Col Granclaudon and Captain Romain, who have certainly engaged in 'Typhoon Bashing'. "
      Nice example from 2007, thanks to Mr Francis Tusa :
      Who knows how far it went, "behind the scenes" ?
      The French may have the right to dispute widespread (partly thanks to you) generally accepted ideas.

    2. Eurofighter com, spins on fantasmagoric superiority and persistant bashing of rafale .
      French pilot reported factual counter examples to the eurofighter's ill theory of Typhoon superiority.

      See the difference ?

    3. 10 years of Uk bashing about Rafale on different forums without facts.
      Time over Mr Lake. Uk have prefered to spend money in F35 before finish Eurofighter. Therefore, for the next 10 years, Rafale and F22 are the best. Lybia, ATLC, Red Flag, Afghanistan, MMRCA are the reality.


    4. Well... Please, calm down, I don't want this blog to be ruined.

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. It's easy for some anonymous clown to impugn one's professionalism and ethics on an internet bulletin board, but not very honourable.

      It's the usual 'play the man, not the ball' tactics that I've come to expect from a certain category of Rafale fan.

      With regard to supposed conflicts of interest, I'd simply say that there aren't any. I'm a freelance, and one of the things that I do involves reporting UK industry news for an industry publication. (And I have had no approach from ADS nor from any of its members attempting to influence anything that I write).

      I've done work for the in-house magazines of lots of aircraft manufacturers, and have even worked for Sukhoi, way back when. Even for a certain French company. But I have never, ever received one penny from BAE Systems.


      Believing A&C in this instance would be a mistake.

      The recent deployment of four Rafales to Coningsby (I was on-base on the day and saw them arrive) was timed to coincide with No.3 Squadron's centennial celebrations, and was a purely 'social' visit made in connection with those celebrations. This was made clear by Wing Commander Patounas, No.3 Squadron's CO.

      The Rafales arrived on Friday (while most of 3 were still practising for a standards parade!) and left on Monday after the weekend of festivities. No training was offered by the RAF, nor was it requested by the French, and so none was scheduled. You should remember that QRA, Falklands and Afghanistan aside, today's RAF is largely a Monday-Friday operation, and a weekend deployment is never going to allow much in the way of training opportunities. The suggestion that the RAF refused to "fight against Rafale" is simply incorrect, as well as being pretty offensive.

      The earlier visit by No.3 Squadron to St Dizier was made on the same basis, though the two types did fly together, as EC 1/7 mounted an escort on the way in, in order to obtain air-to-air photos.

    7. Seem to me , you are candid on this one. There are or shall I say ought to be far more than making social visit here . Fact that it ends up being a social visit , resonates more implicitly agreement between both side to get it over with , as painless as possible and without alienating too much the politics. Still far from the cooperation as advertized.

      Anyway , Eurofighter com must have been totally confused , as they report on St dizier visit : "The two aircraft have met several times during Dissimilar Air Combat Training and in almost all the encounters, Typhoon emerged with significantly better performances." Somehow both you and A&C are in agreement that it did indeed never occured in the occurence.

    8. Mr Lake told to the Daily Telegraph about the indian victory of the Rafale :
      “For the Indians it’s all about credibility. If they believe what the Typhoon consortium told them, then by 2018 Typhoon will do everything that Rafale does now. But they clearly don’t believe it, and I don’t blame them, given the programme’s history of delays and cost overruns.
      “At the moment, Typhoon can drop a laser-guided bomb, and that’s it. The combination of Typhoon and Tornado was quite effective in Libya. But on its own, Typhoon was less versatile than the Rafale.”

  2. article from A&C translated by olybrius :

  3. Check the sources:
    On one side: Eurofighter World, a propaganda magazine financed by industry...
    On the other side: Air & Cosmos, an independent magazine Boycotted by Edelstenne for years and which does not receive any more advertising from Dassault since they have criticized the Rafale ...

    Easy to know who is telling the truth ...

  4. Air & Cosmos is a very serious magazine, they are normally pro EADS, because many news and article are writed on EADS product,they are not good relation ship with Dassault, it is rare to get wrong news from Air & Cosmos in favor or in defavor on any aicraft.
    If A&C say RAF refuse any confrontation because the typhoon is to bad for fight rafale. I believe it. A&C or Air-Fan or DSI are good news paper.

  5. Such pecking is so pediatrics.

    Why can't they grow up and realize that the two (oh, three! Gripen) European 4th gen deltas complement each other?

    All these marketing or ego orientated claims and counter-claims are rotting the morale and spirit of collaboration. If these European air forces stay divided, they are already defeated if and when the next major war comes.

  6. Jon Lake aka Jackonicko's profile reads : "I'm a freelance aerospace writer and journalist, twice winner of the Boeing IDS Award for best defence submission in the Aerospace Journalist of the Year Awards, and the defence editor of 'Arabian Aerospace' and 'ADS Advance' (the magazine of ADS - the trade organisation responsible for advancing the UK Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space industries, previously known to most of us as the SBAC!)."

    Note the second part - he is editor - "'ADS Advance' (the magazine of ADS - the trade organisation responsible for advancing the UK Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space industries, previously known to most of us as the SBAC!)."

    Not a conflict of interest, eh? Agenda clear and out there in the open as to why this man keeps playing up the EF every chance he gets and bashing the Rafale, the one threat to the EF in the export market before the JSF rolls in..

  7. I think the French are poor losers. This is what Eurofighter actually wrote about the Rafale:

    "Some people (probably the French?) admit that Typhoon is in-
    deed a superb air superiority fighter, second only to the mythical F-22, but incapable of any other roles beside air-to-air (Typhoon bashing?). They compare it with the self-styled omnirole Rafale and conclude that Typhoon is a lesser fighter because at present it cannot fire
    an anti-ship or a cruise missile (sounds like French Eurofighter bashing!?).

    Such a judgment, based exclusively on a certain point in time, is flawed as it measures only the timing of introduction of given capability and is not based on the inherent potential of a design. Nobody doubts the capability of the Eurofighter consortium of integrating a cruise missile or a recce pod on Typhoon. With a weapon system lifetime measured in half
    centuries, such a concentration on the present, rather than on the overall balance is rather short-sighted. The true discriminator
    instead is looking at what will not be achieved in a given design, at any time, because of its in-built limitations. For example Rafale will
    never be able to have a big AESA radar antenna because of its small frontal section. And even more impossible to have it mounted on a swivel mechanism, so as to increase its scan volume and consequently the fight-
    er combat effectiveness. The propulsion shortcomings is another well recognised critical area where changes are extremely expensive and so far have proven fruitless. Understanding the operational requirement and the relevant design cardinal points will help clear the air and dispel
    some of these misunderstandings."

    I think this is a response to the criticism voiced in relation to the Typhoon from the French. I find it strange from the French to expect that Eurofighter wouldn't respond to such a criticism in a rational and respectful manner.

    1. IAF and Swiss evaluation both indicate that EuroFighter and Rafale are very similar in performance and even price point. In hindsight, the two could have been one. Imagine an "EuroRafale" that encompasses the best attribute of both aircraft. Common engine bay and modular avionic architecture (both not unheardof these days) can accommodate the powerplant (EJ2000/M88) and avionic (Captor/RBE2) of the user's choice.

    2. No Indian and swiss evaluation indicated that Rafale is superior in all specifications compared to Eurofighter, just read correctly the reports that are available on web.