What's new

Featured Rafale’s Impact on IAF’s Air Power Capabilities by Air Cdre Kaiser Tufail,

Windjammer

ELITE MEMBER
Nov 9, 2009
34,041
159
116,613
Country
Pakistan
Location
United Kingdom
Rafale’s Impact on IAF’s Air Power Capabilities
September 10, 2020

1599754734054.png



Air Cdre Kaiser Tufail (Retd)

Quite clearly, the inadequacy of IAF’s Su-30MKI and MiG-29 twin-engine fighters in the air superiority role led to the decision to acquire the Rafale, ostensibly a more modern and capable multi-role fighter. While both Russian fighters are highly maneuverable in a visual dogfight, as evidenced in several IAF exercises with RAF Typhoons and USAF F-15s and F-16s, they seem to have shortcomings in network-centric, Beyond Visual Range (BVR) combat. This was noticed during the 27 February 2019 skirmish with PAF F-16s, when a pair of Su-30s failed to establish data link and were of no mutual support to each other. The capabilities of the much-touted N011M ‘Bars’ airborne intercept radar are also suspect as the patrolling Su-30s were unable to launch even a single radar-guided R-77 BVR missiles against two dozen PAF fighters milling in the area on 27 February. While a definitive conclusion about the shortcomings of the Su-30 fire-control radar and missiles cannot be made on the basis of a single engagement, it is clear that they are not at par with the PAF F-16/AMRAAM combo. The IAF was aware of these limitations of the Russian fighters, which is why it had initiated measures for the acquisition of Western multi-role combat aircraft instead of more Su-30s, as far back as 2012.

IAF’s choice fell on the French Rafale, which is, indeed, a formidable multi-role fighter with long range and endurance, along with a sizeable payload in the class of the Su-30, areas that single-engine fighters like the F-16A/B and JF-17 cannot compete in. With a powerful radar and the long-range, radar-guided Meteor BVR missile, it comes at a cost of $120 million apiece. Dollar for dollar, PAF can acquire four JF-17 Blk-III for the cost of one Rafale, thus more than offsetting the latter’s payload capabilities, at least. The range of the Rafale’s Meteor missile claimed by the manufacturer (MBDA) to be 100+ km led the Indian Prime Minister to ruefully state that, “if we had the Rafale, results would have been different [on 27 February].”

Mr. Modi has apparently not yet been briefed by his Air Staff about the JF-17’s upcoming PL-15 BVR missile guided by the new AESA radar, which beats the Rafale’s ramjet-powered Meteor by several tens of kilometers. It is manifest that long range BVR combat will take precedence over close combat in any future conflict, and enemy aircraft will be shot out of the skies while remaining well inside their own territory.

While we are at it, it may be worthwhile to have a cursory line comparison of the Rafale, F-16A and JF-17 in one-on-one visual air combat.

All three aircraft have a ‘clean’ configuration Thrust-to-Weight Ratio of 1:1 and can climb and accelerate equally well. In a turning fight, Aspect Ratio and Wing Loading are critical parameters. The JF-17 and F-16A enjoy better Aspect Ratios of 3.7 each, compared to the Rafale which stands at 2.6. A better Aspect Ratio (square of wing span to wing area) implies better aerodynamic efficiency due to less induced drag during turning. As for Wing Loading, or the weight of the aircraft per unit area, the lesser the better. The Rafale has a slight edge, having 68 lbs/sq ft compared to the JF-17 and F-16A, both of which have Wing Loadings of 77 lbs/sq ft. A lightly loaded wing helps in a tighter turn, though in case of the Rafale, this advantage is overcome by greater induced drag due its lower Aspect Ratio. In sum, all three fighters are at par, more or less, in a turning fight.

Induction of the Rafale in IAF has created considerable media interest, and the impression has been created that with immediate effect, IAF will rule the Indian skies. It must, however, be remembered that it will be at least two years before the Rafale achieves anything close to Full Operational Capability. PAF, on the other hand, has been flying F-16s for 37 years, including hot scenarios during the Afghan War, in local counter-insurgency operations, and the latest Operation ‘Swift Retort,’ downing half a dozen enemy fighters in these operations. The JF-17 has been fully operational for over a decade, and is expected to replace the legacy fighters over the next five years. These combat-proven PAF fighters are fully integrated with the air defence system, and are mutually data-linked, alongside all AEW and ground sensors. Such capabilities are not achieved overnight, and it will be several years before the Rafales can be considered a threat in any real sense.

Any immediate impact of the Rafale on IAF’s air power capabilities is, thus, simply over-hyped. This inference, however, must not be dealt with lightly, as there is a distinct possibility of the Indian Prime Minister using the Rafale for a false-flag operation in a surreptitious manner, to prove his point that, “with the Rafale, the results would have been different,” from those of 27 February 2019.

Air Cdre Kaiser Tufail (Retired) is a former fighter pilot and a writer on military affairs.
 

Amavous

FULL MEMBER
Aug 17, 2012
565
0
1,937
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
JF-17’s upcoming PL-15 BVR missile guided by the new AESA radar, which beats the Rafale’s ramjet-powered Meteor by several tens of kilometers.
Given the highly credible track record of AC KT this statement is more important for me than the rest of the article.
 

Microsoft

FULL MEMBER
Mar 19, 2019
1,666
3
2,910
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
This inference, however, must not be dealt with lightly, as there is a distinct possibility of the Indian Prime Minister using the Rafale for a false-flag operation in a surreptitious manner, to prove his point that, “with the Rafale, the results would have been different,” from those of 27 February 2019.
Oh what a wonderful decision that would be if Modi sends a Rafale pilot for some Tapal
 

FOOLS_NIGHTMARE

SENIOR MEMBER
Sep 26, 2018
4,988
20
12,080
Country
United Kingdom
Location
United Kingdom
Everything in India is overhyped, recent interviews and articles by ex PAF personnel suggest IAF worries are not completely over yet. Maybe one day we will hear from Modi "KASH F-35 HOTA ". Incompetent outfits always seek expensive toys and not professional fighting men.
 

The Maverick

BANNED
Jan 4, 2016
680
-8
462
Country
India
Location
Indonesia
EXPECT to see ANOTHER batch of rafales ordered by IAF in next 12 months

36-40 more will ordered in 2021 delivery starting 2024-2026

India will have 80 rafales operating alongside 120 Tejas mark1a by 2030 = 200 planes

350 SU30MKI/mig29UPG combined


AND 45 mirage2000-5

thats 595 modern fighters
 

Tair-Lahoti

FULL MEMBER
Dec 28, 2019
109
0
106
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
EXPECT to see ANOTHER batch of rafales ordered by IAF in next 12 months

36-40 more will ordered in 2021 delivery starting 2024-2026

India will have 80 rafales operating alongside 120 Tejas mark1a by 2030 = 200 planes

350 SU30MKI/mig29UPG combined


AND 45 mirage2000-5

thats 595 modern fighters
Will PAF be sleeping in the mean time?
We will also be having around 250 jeffs.
70 odd f16s and may be another platform from china till the arrival of FGFA AZM. So, keep calm PAF is awake.
 

m52k85

FULL MEMBER
May 24, 2013
222
0
205
Country
Pakistan
Location
United Kingdom
The range of the Rafale’s Meteor missile claimed by the manufacturer (MBDA) to be 100+ km..

Mr. Modi has apparently not yet been briefed by his Air Staff about the JF-17’s upcoming PL-15 BVR missile guided by the new AESA radar, which beats the Rafale’s ramjet-powered Meteor by several tens of kilometers.

Air Cdre Kaiser Tufail (Retired) is a former fighter pilot and a writer on military affairs.
I dont know what he is getting at saying the PL-15 has better range by serveral tens of kilometers. Unless China has had some sort of technological breakthrough the physics simply does not allow it. Sure there are limitations to a ramjet design but a missile that carries just the fuel and not the fuel and the oxidizer is bound to have more range.

Sohail Aman himself has cleared out that much in his interview on Qalam Camera that outstick does not only mean range, it involves tactics and other things.
 

Marker

FULL MEMBER
Dec 31, 2019
306
4
393
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
I dont know what he is getting at saying the PL-15 has better range by serveral tens of kilometers. Unless China has had some sort of technological breakthrough the physics simply does not allow it. Sure there are limitations to a ramjet design but a missile that carries just the fuel and not the fuel and the oxidizer is bound to have more range.

Sohail Aman himself has cleared out that much in his interview on Qalam Camera that outstick does not only mean range, it involves tactics and other things.
It is not Physics, fuel combustion is a chemical process. Type of fuel, its quantity and its packaging are one of the important factors effecting range of the missile.

Physics is involved when addressing factors such as aerodynamic drag, deployment height and angle (aircraft attitude) and many more.
 

Marker

FULL MEMBER
Dec 31, 2019
306
4
393
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
Rafale’s Impact on IAF’s Air Power Capabilities
September 10, 2020

View attachment 668674


Air Cdre Kaiser Tufail (Retd)

Quite clearly, the inadequacy of IAF’s Su-30MKI and MiG-29 twin-engine fighters in the air superiority role led to the decision to acquire the Rafale, ostensibly a more modern and capable multi-role fighter. While both Russian fighters are highly maneuverable in a visual dogfight, as evidenced in several IAF exercises with RAF Typhoons and USAF F-15s and F-16s, they seem to have shortcomings in network-centric, Beyond Visual Range (BVR) combat. This was noticed during the 27 February 2019 skirmish with PAF F-16s, when a pair of Su-30s failed to establish data link and were of no mutual support to each other. The capabilities of the much-touted N011M ‘Bars’ airborne intercept radar are also suspect as the patrolling Su-30s were unable to launch even a single radar-guided R-77 BVR missiles against two dozen PAF fighters milling in the area on 27 February. While a definitive conclusion about the shortcomings of the Su-30 fire-control radar and missiles cannot be made on the basis of a single engagement, it is clear that they are not at par with the PAF F-16/AMRAAM combo. The IAF was aware of these limitations of the Russian fighters, which is why it had initiated measures for the acquisition of Western multi-role combat aircraft instead of more Su-30s, as far back as 2012.

IAF’s choice fell on the French Rafale, which is, indeed, a formidable multi-role fighter with long range and endurance, along with a sizeable payload in the class of the Su-30, areas that single-engine fighters like the F-16A/B and JF-17 cannot compete in. With a powerful radar and the long-range, radar-guided Meteor BVR missile, it comes at a cost of $120 million apiece. Dollar for dollar, PAF can acquire four JF-17 Blk-III for the cost of one Rafale, thus more than offsetting the latter’s payload capabilities, at least. The range of the Rafale’s Meteor missile claimed by the manufacturer (MBDA) to be 100+ km led the Indian Prime Minister to ruefully state that, “if we had the Rafale, results would have been different [on 27 February].”

Mr. Modi has apparently not yet been briefed by his Air Staff about the JF-17’s upcoming PL-15 BVR missile guided by the new AESA radar, which beats the Rafale’s ramjet-powered Meteor by several tens of kilometers. It is manifest that long range BVR combat will take precedence over close combat in any future conflict, and enemy aircraft will be shot out of the skies while remaining well inside their own territory.

While we are at it, it may be worthwhile to have a cursory line comparison of the Rafale, F-16A and JF-17 in one-on-one visual air combat.

All three aircraft have a ‘clean’ configuration Thrust-to-Weight Ratio of 1:1 and can climb and accelerate equally well. In a turning fight, Aspect Ratio and Wing Loading are critical parameters. The JF-17 and F-16A enjoy better Aspect Ratios of 3.7 each, compared to the Rafale which stands at 2.6. A better Aspect Ratio (square of wing span to wing area) implies better aerodynamic efficiency due to less induced drag during turning. As for Wing Loading, or the weight of the aircraft per unit area, the lesser the better. The Rafale has a slight edge, having 68 lbs/sq ft compared to the JF-17 and F-16A, both of which have Wing Loadings of 77 lbs/sq ft. A lightly loaded wing helps in a tighter turn, though in case of the Rafale, this advantage is overcome by greater induced drag due its lower Aspect Ratio. In sum, all three fighters are at par, more or less, in a turning fight.

Induction of the Rafale in IAF has created considerable media interest, and the impression has been created that with immediate effect, IAF will rule the Indian skies. It must, however, be remembered that it will be at least two years before the Rafale achieves anything close to Full Operational Capability. PAF, on the other hand, has been flying F-16s for 37 years, including hot scenarios during the Afghan War, in local counter-insurgency operations, and the latest Operation ‘Swift Retort,’ downing half a dozen enemy fighters in these operations. The JF-17 has been fully operational for over a decade, and is expected to replace the legacy fighters over the next five years. These combat-proven PAF fighters are fully integrated with the air defence system, and are mutually data-linked, alongside all AEW and ground sensors. Such capabilities are not achieved overnight, and it will be several years before the Rafales can be considered a threat in any real sense.

Any immediate impact of the Rafale on IAF’s air power capabilities is, thus, simply over-hyped. This inference, however, must not be dealt with lightly, as there is a distinct possibility of the Indian Prime Minister using the Rafale for a false-flag operation in a surreptitious manner, to prove his point that, “with the Rafale, the results would have been different,” from those of 27 February 2019.

Air Cdre Kaiser Tufail (Retired) is a former fighter pilot and a writer on military affairs.
Due to induction of BVR technology, there is a huge change in air war tactics. Now pilots will be able to launch missiles to neutralize enemy threats from more than 100 km away. So today threat detection is important.

The agility of an aircraft will be exploited by the pilot to avoid incoming missiles. So agility is only for defensive role,
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)

Top