Dismiss Notice
Welcome to IDF- Indian Defence Forum , register for free to join this friendly community of defence enthusiastic from around the world. Make your opinion heard and appreciated.

Eurofighter Typhoon v/s Dassault Rafale - Analysis

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by jagjitnatt, Apr 29, 2011.

?

which aircraft do you prefer

  1. RAFALE

    177 vote(s)
    54.1%
  2. TYPHOON

    150 vote(s)
    45.9%
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. jagjitnatt

    jagjitnatt Major ELITE MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Messages:
    3,352
    Likes Received:
    1,563
    [​IMG]

    So its official that the long awaited MMRCA competition has come into its final stage and two aircraft have been down selected which will go head to head to win this $10 billion deal. So is it gonna be the Eurofighter Typhoon, or is it gonna be the Dassault Rafale. I don't exactly have an answer to that question, but what I am gonna answer today is which of there aircraft should IAF select. So without any delays, I will get to the analysis.

    AIRFRAME
    Both these aircraft are very advanced delta canard config aircraft. They have seen quite some action and have been favorites of air forces all over the world. Although the aircraft look similar on the out, the airframe is completely different, and every component on it serves a different purpose.

    [​IMG]

    The Typhoon is a formidably built aircraft. Its tough, has a huge canard which is placed at an angle to the ground. And its canards are up front on the nose, Now this really helps it pull up quick. What this does is that it creates a virtual tail heavy feeling for the aircraft which allows it to point its nose in any direction very quickly like the Flanker.

    Another thing worth a mention is its canopy. It has a bubble canopy that offers a clear view for the pilot. The intakes are placed below the fuselage. Although these have its own benefits like ability to fly at slow speeds, they do tend to create problems at high speeds. At high speed turns, the airframe goes through great amount of stresses. But the airframe of the Typhoon is very strong, and designed in a beautiful way, and its perfectly capable of handling those stresses. The only downside is the maintenance that would be required to keep it in good shape.

    [​IMG]

    One look at the wings, and its clear that the Brits wanted this to be one maneuverable machine. Everything about the aircraft screams speed and maneuverability. The wings are not straight, they are slight curved upwards to increase their strength, and be able to handle low speeds in a better way. Even the slats are controlled through powerful motor screws which require less space and move quickly and firmly. The vertical stabilizer is conventional though.

    [​IMG]

    The Typhoon has a variable intake, which means that the intake on the Typhoon can open up or close a little to control the amount of air entering the engines. This is a great feature which allows the aircraft to be just as efficient at high speeds, as it is at low speeds.
    When the aircraft reaches higher speeds, a lot of air at high velocities starts to enter the intakes. It becomes very difficult to combust all this air, so a lot of fuel starts to go waste, and the engine starts to lose thrust. This can be avoided by reducing the inlet size, so less air enters at high speed, and when it reaches the combustion chamber, it slows down due to the larger size of the chamber, so it ignites properly and thrust is maintained.

    The Rafale is a different beast. It isn't as complex, but its sturdy. It is designed in a way that makes it look beautiful and rigid at the same time. The canards of Rafale are not as big as that of the Typhoon, and they are placed near the wings, which suggests that their is little help that the aircraft can expect of the canards. But this configuration helps the Rafale be a beautiful handler. It would be great for low altitude fast flying. At fast speeds, this configuration will offer least resistance and allow it to reach Mach 2+ speeds.

    [​IMG]

    The Rafale isn't as radical as the Typhoon. It uses conventional technology in its airframe. Everything about it is tried and tested. And it wouldn't be as maneuverable as Typhoon. In fact, Typhoon would be miles above Rafale when it comes to maneuverability.

    The intakes on the Rafale are also conventional. They look cool but there isn't anything revolutionary about it. It isn't a bad thing, but the Typhoon takes the cake here too.

    ENGINES
    The Typhoon has 2 EJ-200 engines with a dry thrust of 60 KN and a wet thrust of 90 KN. These are respectable numbers and with a great airframe and powerful wings, the engines are well complemented. There are news that the engines might be upgraded with TVC engines, but I don't think it will happen as the current engines are good enough and canards do the job of TVC very nicely on the Typhoon.

    [​IMG]

    Not again. That is what those millions of Rafale fans would be saying reading this. Why couldn't Dassault put in a bigger engine? Maybe because it didn't need it. The current engines on the Rafale are fine, BUT when compared to the latest 4.5 gen aircraft, the thrust does seem to be on the lower side. The Snecma M88-2 engines with 50 KN dry thrust and 75 KN thrust with afterburners are high efficiency engines but with lower thrust. Dassault has promised to replace the engines with high thrust engines, but since its not here yet, I wouldn't consider that.

    The Typhoon again wins the round hands down.

    AVIONICS

    The Typhoon has a CAPTOR radar, which is a mechanically steered Pulse Doppler radar. Now most of the people who know something about radars would know that this is an old technology. In fact technology wise, these type of radars are two generation behind the AESAs and one generation behind the PESAs. But what EF has done is that they have tweaked it, increased the size of the antenna and that has increased its performance by a lot. It can detect aircraft sized targets at ranges up to 160 kms. But since its a MSA radar, it also has a few disadvantages. It can not scan many targets at a time, and it can be jammed. It has the ability to interleave, this I think I will discuss sometime later.

    The Rafale on the other hand scores nicely here. Its RBE2 radar is a PESA radar which is a good thing. But the size of the nose of Rafale restricts the radar sizes which makes the radar detect aircraft sized targets at a range of 140-150 kms. The radar gets beaten by the Typhoon in range, but it does make up for it in technology. The radar is completely automated. When in interceptor mode, it automatically selects high, medium or low pulse repetition frequencies for best reception. The radar will soon be replaced by an AESA variant, which would have a range of 160-170 kms and would be very advanced, the same can not be said about Typhoon. An AESA variant is planned for Typhoon also but recent reports suggest that it may not be shipped on Tranche 3, but could be available as an upgrade.

    [​IMG]

    The radar is a tie here. Both are good radars, nothing groundbreaking about them.

    RADAR CROSS SECTION REDUCTION FEATURES
    The EF Typhoon has implemented several features to reduce the frontal rcs of the aircraft. But mind you, its just the frontal rcs that is reduced. From the side, the rcs is comparable to other modern aircraft. The frontal rcs should be a 0.5-1 sq meter. A lot of people expect it to be 0.1, which is almost impossible and more of a net rumor.

    [​IMG]

    The rcs would be reduced further if an AESA is employed.

    The Rafale on the other hand has a higher rcs due to less composites used. The shape of the airframe is another problem. It should have a much higher rcs from sides too. The rcs of Rafale should be around 1.5-2 sq meter.

    ARMAMENT
    This is a very important aspect of a fighter aircraft. And both the Eurocanards have recently employed new missiles. The Typhoon is going to use Meteor, with ASRAAM in the future, and the Rafale will use Meteor with MICA as its missile.
    The missiles in use by both the aircraft are top quality missiles, but what makes the Typhoon a better package is its compatibility with AIM9-Sidewinder and AIM120-AMRAAM. Although MICA and Meteor are more than capable to match these missiles, but it does narrow down Rafale's options.

    Both the aircraft are compatible with loads of air-ground munitions. Many people believe that Typhoon isn't a very capable Air-ground platform, but this isn't true. Typhoons are perfectly capable of taking out any ground mission. The problem is with training of pilots. The number of pilots flying Typhoon are very low, and they have not been trained for ground missions. Only a minority of pilots are capable of it as of now.

    [​IMG]

    Something that deserves a mention here is the SPECTRA system on Rafale. It is a software system that increases the chances of survival for the aircraft but automating most of the tasks. It allows seamless integration and communication with other aircraft and ground assets. Typhoon also has a capable EW suite but SPECTRA is believed to be a bit better.

    So this round is another tie.

    I guess this is where I would sum it all up. The Rafale is a great aircraft, but the Typhoon seems to be just a little bit better. They are both expensive planes, and we couldn't go wrong with either of these aircraft. But if it was left to me, I'd pick the Typhoon any day.
     
    39 people like this.
  2. Desi Jatt

    Desi Jatt Captain ELITE MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,819
    Likes Received:
    341
    poll added
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Varad

    Varad Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    658
    Likes Received:
    81
    If it was'nt for that CAG report on EFT, i would have given 200% support to typhoon.
     
  4. Vritra

    Vritra Major ELITE MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    2,109
    Likes Received:
    908
    Incorrect.


    The Rafale’s canards, apart from providing additional control surfaces, are positioned to ensure that the airflow is channelled directly into the apex of the aerofoil, which creates a vortex effect that make it very, very manoeuvrable at all speeds. The Typhoon’s canards help manoeuvrability but aren’t aerodynamically very effective. Because of this, the Rafale has better instantaneous and sustained turn rates than the Typhoon, i.e. its turn radius is smaller.




    Both the M88 and EJ200 have the same engine profile. While in total the Eurofighter puts out about 178kN, higher than the Rafale’s 150kN, it counts towards very little as far as the end result is concerned: the Rafale can carry a superior weapons load, and has almost the same thrust/weight ratio as its cousin.
    The Rafale is much more fuel efficient, but the EJ200 retains its power in high mach numbers, giving the Typhoon superior acceleration post Mach 1.5. Even though the M88s can function in limited airflow at high altitudes, they loose some of their punch, which limits the Rafale to speeds of Mach 1.8-1.9, while the Typhoon can go well past Mach 2.
    Future upgrades to the M88 (M88-4E) is intended to improve thrust, supersonic acceleration, and overhaul time. Haven’t heard much about EJ200 upgrades, but probably because the nations flying it are happy with its performance.
    So in terms of pure thrust the Eurojets win, yes. In terms of fuel efficiency and limited airflow performance, the M88s come out on top.



    With the Rafale’s limited aperture size, the RBE2 AESA, even with powerful radar nodes, will be limited to cloaking, SAR, and search/track missions. It will be invulnerable to jamming, and allow for up to 40 targets to be tracked at once at a range of nearly 200 Km.

    The Typhoon, on the other hand, has a radar aperture of the same size as the Super Hornet (700mm vs Rafale’s 600mm). The CAESAR (CAPTOR AESA Radar) is intended to give the Typhoon dynamic swing-role performance, and is being designed to perform SAR, GMTI/MMTI, aerial search/track, anti-missile EW, and so on, so already, technologically, it is being designed to be superior to the Thales radar. It will be an AESA radar mounted on an adjustable faceplate, rather than the fixed-plate type of radar the RBE2 is, which would give the CAESAR a wider detection area than the RBE2.
    However, the Rafale has an integrated EW suite and externally mounted pods to make up for the lack of GMTI/MMTI etc., whereas the Typhoon will rely on it’s radar to do most of the avionics work. Therefore the CAESAR will most likely have superior performance to the RBE2, provided they get it working.



    Either of these aircraft having an RCS under 1 metre square is a myth. However, despite composites, the shape of the Typhoons canards and air intakes give it a larger RCS than the Rafale, which has significantly better shaping: the intakes in the Rafale, for example, do a much better job of hiding the turbofan face from probing radar waves than in the Typhoon.


    Will talk about weapons later.
     
    15 people like this.
  5. Hashu

    Hashu Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    797
    Likes Received:
    145
    no country has ever bought the Rafale but the Typhoon, being a lot more expensive, has been very successful in getting sales!
     
  6. Dilemma

    Dilemma Captain SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,402
    Likes Received:
    360
    I think you should add an option saying "Pick any, both of them are wonderful birds".

    But yeah, I am a bit torn apart on this one. No matter which bird India chooses, it will be a win-win situation.
    The Rafale has proved itself in Libya and has clearly demonstrated the fact that it is a true multirole fighter. The Typhoon only stuck to air policing but now it seems as it has joined the multirole campaign.

    The Rafale's AESA is ready and going to be fielded next year while EFT's AESA will not see the light of day before 2014 (time the first jets start arriving). But yeah one of the greatest aspects about picking the EFT would be its tremendous offsets. I'm pretty sure the MoD will not let go on a golden chance of being part of the consortium.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. @speaks

    @speaks Captain SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,180
    Likes Received:
    306
  8. RoYaN

    RoYaN Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    6,454
    Likes Received:
    917
    Proven It self against long obsolete air-force and air-defense, wonder How that is a credential!??
    Rafale does have EFT beet in the AESA development front.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Dilemma

    Dilemma Captain SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,402
    Likes Received:
    360
    I'm talking in context of demonstrating multirole capabilities, where again, the Rafale bettered the EFT.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. chachachoudhary

    chachachoudhary Captain SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Messages:
    1,137
    Likes Received:
    460
    Rafale is almost a winner. Typhoon's presence in saudi airfoce goes strongly against it. IAF knows that if it supports Rafale with 126 + 100 orderbook, French will try to keep the bird out of bound to countries not in good book of india. French will surely appreciate and reward india's strong will to resist US pressure.

    In short, IAF loves the bird. It is available. It is so tailormade for them.

    Britain itself is finding hard to commit 100% with EF and is heavily tilted towards F-35.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2011
    2 people like this.
  11. tariqkhan18

    tariqkhan18 Major Staff Member ADMINISTRATOR

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Messages:
    2,449
    Likes Received:
    715
    Country Flag:
    India
    MMRCA must be AESA ready, and this is why i believe Rafale will be the best choice.
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. jagjitnatt

    jagjitnatt Major ELITE MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Messages:
    3,352
    Likes Received:
    1,563
    Would like to correct you there. The closer the canards to the wings, the less is its effect. For the Rafale, the canards perform the function similar to the slats. Look at the pic.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    There is very little effect it would have while pulling up. And that's what canards are for, pulling up. The Rafale uses canards for purposes other than maneuverability. The canards on the Rafale give it stability and not maneuverability.

    Rafale as many believe is not more maneuverable than the Typhoon. The Typhoon turns at a higher degree, at a faster speed with similar loads. Rafale's low thrust makes it take an eternity to complete a vertical loop when compared to the Typhoon. And for the instantaneous turn rates, I'd say Rafale is behind Typhoon again. Typhoon's canards are designed to add drag when used, but that makes it very effective too. They are big and positioned up front to channel the air for the wings to do the rest of the job.

    The Rafale can carry a higher payload because of its stability. Typhoon on the other hand is all for maneuverability. The Typhoon has a much better acceleration rate than the Rafale and even when Rafale is stable, it can not go past Mach 1.8, that really tells you something.
    And I don't know where you heard the limited airflow performance thing, but the EJ-200 is way superior to the M-88-2. The EJ-200 is one of the best engines in the world today. Their fuel consumption is lower than most engines out there.

    The Rafale's tracking range would be less than 200 kms. The AESA isn't a huge improvement over a PESA in terms of range. In fact there is no difference in terms of range. The newer AESA is being tweaked to provide a higher range by 10-15 percent. So its range would be around 160-170 kms.

    Technologically, Rafale's radar is superior to Typhoon's right now. CAPTOR AESA would be better than RBE2 though, by a large margin. Its range is expected to be around 200-220 kms. Also Typhoon won't just rely on its radar for everything, it has a load of sensors mounted all over it. Where Rafale takes a software approach, Typhoon will detect anything first, know about it first, and probably react first.

    Yeah, Rafale doesn't have an rcs under 1 sq m. But the Typhoon's frontal rcs does drop below 1. I wouldn't agree with your theory of Typhoon having a larger rcs. The Rafale isn't designed to have a low rcs. Its side profile is devastatingly bad for a low rcs aircraft. Typhoons canards will never return much to be a problem. The canards and the inlet of the engines have been treated with RAM, and completely made of composites.

    Typhoon's inlet hides the engines blades perfectly, and are no less than Rafale's. In fact Typhoon's inlets are better designed than Rafale's. Its variable intake allows for better engine performance at all altitudes.

    I'd recommend you don't read much on the internet. There are all sorts of fanboys who write down anything to favor their aircraft, sometimes in nicely, professionally written documents and slides. They are just fanboys who try to prove their favorite the best.
     
    1 person likes this.
  13. jagjitnatt

    jagjitnatt Major ELITE MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Messages:
    3,352
    Likes Received:
    1,563
    The French are a different breed mate. They try to sell whatever they can and to whoever they can. Even if we bought Rafale, they will look for investors in it, and they won't stop if they found someone in our neighborhood.
     
    2 people like this.
  14. Ved Mishra

    Ved Mishra Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    955
    Likes Received:
    251
    Country Flag:
    India
    I completely agree with the analysis of Jagjit. Superb analysis particularly the role of canards.:yahoo:

    EFT will indeed win although its engine EJ200 lost to GE414 in the Tejas engine bid. This time they will be careful in cost given they have qualified in all almost all parameters.:coffee:
     
    1 person likes this.
  15. Ved Mishra

    Ved Mishra Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    955
    Likes Received:
    251
    Country Flag:
    India

    This is not a political purchase other wise it could have been done the FMS route. Its IAF's choice must have had even the Pentagon wondering the thorough and professional approach taken by IAF and its analysis of all the fighters with detailed explanation on each of the 600+ parameters.

    The only tailormade jet for India till date is the su30mki and Tejas.
    Add Eurofighter and the trio makes a deadly combination.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page