UAE "5th Gen" Rafale?

fretburner

Banned Member
I didn't see any thread about this yet so... UAE may develop Rafale F4

The article says "The F4 model would be a true "fifth-generation" aircraft, the official said.". Which got me thinking...

1. Can the Rafale be made a true fifth-generation aircraft?
2. What's up with the UAE co-developing Rafales after they've ordered Block 60 F-16s?

I think even with RAM on the Rafale, new engines, modification of intakes, etc. it still won't be able to carry bombs and missiles internally? Or can they, by using conformal fuel tanks with weapons bays like the F-15SE?

And if this cannot be done, why not just buy more Block 60 F-16s and save on costs, especially that the blk 60 already got AESA and will probably be armed with the AIM-120D?
 

swerve

Super Moderator
The UAE uses its Mirage 2000-9s to carry Black Shaheen cruise missiles, among other things. The F-16E can't carry Black Shaheen. The USA will not permit it (or any similar non-US weapon) to be integrated, & will not sell the UAE a weapon of similar performance. The USA also places other restrictions on what the UAE can do with its F-16Es. Similar restrictions would be imposed on any other US aircraft.

Rafale comes with far fewer strings, & the Black Shaheen is already integrated.
 

windscorpion

New Member
Fighter generations are marketing terms at the end of the day, some people get excited about them but they have little real relevance. They can help justify a 5G aircraft be 10s of millions of bucks more than a mere 4G one :p:
 

Spetsznaz

New Member
One thing to keep in mind is that France is one off those countries that have all the stuff that the cool kids do, (Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Submarines, 4++ gen aircraft etc.) So the likelihood of this Rafael 5G coming is very reasonable.
 

jack412

Member
i dont think the rafale can be upgraded to 5th gen, it would take a total redesign being effectively a new aircraft and all that goes with that

upgrading the avionics, spectra self defense to current standard and perhaps cleaning up the frame when they design the new intakes for the engine upgrade will be more than enough to keep them busy
 
Last edited:

winnyfield

New Member
The UAE uses its Mirage 2000-9s to carry Black Shaheen cruise missiles, among other things. The F-16E can't carry Black Shaheen. The USA will not permit it (or any similar non-US weapon) to be integrated, & will not sell the UAE a weapon of similar performance. The USA also places other restrictions on what the UAE can do with its F-16Es. Similar restrictions would be imposed on any other US aircraft.

Rafale comes with far fewer strings, & the Black Shaheen is already integrated.
Gulf countries have always tried to spread their military procurement around. They'd buy protection from everyone.
 

dragonfire

New Member
I am surprised that the UAE is going for a possibly very highly expensive acquisition so close to the Dubai debt default. But UAE has a knack of going for the best possible and customized options, it had cost them a whopping 3 billion dollars just to come up with the Block 60 F-16s apart from the price of the fighters. Also i am guessing Abu Dhabi has a lot of oil money in its coffers to fund acquisitions.

The "5 th Gen Rafale" would be truly world class with clear advantages and unique features compared to the current model which in itself is exceptional. The question here is what could be those additional features. Also additional LO features be integrated into the a/c.
 

fretburner

Banned Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
Rafale comes with far fewer strings, & the Black Shaheen is already integrated.
Why not buy some JASSMs instead? I'm sure the cost savings from buying more Blk60 F-16s can more than offset the "waste" of not being able to use the Black Shaheen on a newer fighter?

I do understand being able to demand more of the aircraft as in the case with the Rafale. But if the Israelis can live with US hardware, maybe they can too? I think their Blk60's are a lot more capable than the F-16I.
 

kev 99

Member
Why not buy some JASSMs instead? I'm sure the cost savings from buying more Blk60 F-16s can more than offset the "waste" of not being able to use the Black Shaheen on a newer fighter?

I do understand being able to demand more of the aircraft as in the case with the Rafale. But if the Israelis can live with US hardware, maybe they can too? I think their Blk60's are a lot more capable than the F-16I.
You might want to re-read what Swerve wrote, the US doesn't want to sell anything similar to the Black Shaheen to the UAE, and JASSM definitely falls into that bracket..
 

swerve

Super Moderator
Exactly. JASSM was asked for & refused.

The Israelis can live with US hardware because the USA pays for it, on condition that most (it used to be all) of the US money is spent in the USA. When the Israelis spend their own money, e.g. on tanks, they do not buy US hardware.
 

LGB

New Member
No

No the Rafale can not be turned into a 5th gen aircraft. It's not clear it can be made into a 4.5 gen for that matter- which is perhaps what you describe below by lowering observability. It will be interesting to see exactly what the UAE is willing to pay to develop. A real 4.5 gen Rafale would be in most respects a new aircraft similar to F/A-18C/D vs F/A-18E/F. One might assume that the UAE is looking for a longer ranged and less observable aircraft than Rafale.


I didn't see any thread about this yet so... UAE may develop Rafale F4

The article says "The F4 model would be a true "fifth-generation" aircraft, the official said.". Which got me thinking...

1. Can the Rafale be made a true fifth-generation aircraft?
2. What's up with the UAE co-developing Rafales after they've ordered Block 60 F-16s?

I think even with RAM on the Rafale, new engines, modification of intakes, etc. it still won't be able to carry bombs and missiles internally? Or can they, by using conformal fuel tanks with weapons bays like the F-15SE?

And if this cannot be done, why not just buy more Block 60 F-16s and save on costs, especially that the blk 60 already got AESA and will probably be armed with the AIM-120D?
 

Zaphael

New Member
No the Rafale can not be turned into a 5th gen aircraft. It's not clear it can be made into a 4.5 gen for that matter- which is perhaps what you describe below by lowering observability. It will be interesting to see exactly what the UAE is willing to pay to develop. A real 4.5 gen Rafale would be in most respects a new aircraft similar to F/A-18C/D vs F/A-18E/F. One might assume that the UAE is looking for a longer ranged and less observable aircraft than Rafale.
Why would they need to have so much LO capability to deliver a stand off weapon like the SCALP/Storm Shadow etc...? I'm not even sure the UAE needs 5th gen capabilities given that the potential basket case and "axis of evil" states are barely 4th gen capable. And I seriously don't think the Israelis have any ambitions towards UAE...
 
I don't understand why some people are so determined that Europe is incapable of making a 5th Gen Aircraft? The main reason they haven't so far has been a lack of cash and necessity not a lack of technical ability.
I'm sure with funding and a willing customer all of Europe's new aircraft could be made 5th Gen if they really wanted to.
 

Bonza

Super Moderator
Staff member
I don't understand why some people are so determined that Europe is incapable of making a 5th Gen Aircraft? The main reason they haven't so far has been a lack of cash and necessity not a lack of technical ability.
I'm sure with funding and a willing customer all of Europe's new aircraft could be made 5th Gen if they really wanted to.
I don't think Europe is incapable of producing extremely advanced aircraft, but I am extremely doubtful that the Rafale is capable of being upgraded to the point where it would be considered a "5th generation" aircraft (predominantly due to the lack of LO shaping). I realise the whole 5th generation thing is essentially a marketing term but going by examples such as the F-22 and F-35 I think it's reasonable to include significant LO features in the definition.

However, while I don't think the Rafale will ever fit that particular bill, I certainly don't think it's out of Dassault's reach. Just look at the nEUROn...
 
I don't think Europe is incapable of producing extremely advanced aircraft, but I am extremely doubtful that the Rafale is capable of being upgraded to the point where it would be considered a "5th generation" aircraft (predominantly due to the lack of LO shaping)...
also, what is the point of having a 5th gen platform if you don't have the proper support/back-end systems to support/supplement it - as being 5th gen is about being more than just the fighter/platform itself ... but how it integrates into the rest of the system, no?
 

swerve

Super Moderator
also, what is the point of having a 5th gen platform if you don't have the proper support/back-end systems to support/supplement it - as being 5th gen is about being more than just the fighter/platform itself ... but how it integrates into the rest of the system, no?
What relevance does this have to the post it was in reply to? Was it meant to imply that European countries don't have the systems you refer to?
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
I don't understand why some people are so determined that Europe is incapable of making a 5th Gen Aircraft? The main reason they haven't so far has been a lack of cash and necessity not a lack of technical ability.
I'm sure with funding and a willing customer all of Europe's new aircraft could be made 5th Gen if they really wanted to.
It's a matter of time, first off. Second off it's a matter of market. Third off it's costs.
 

Zaphael

New Member
I figured it was a matter of political will. The Typhoons are just becoming operational across various European air forces, and the French have just closed their first few Rafale deals. Currently, they don't really see the Russian Air Forces as a threat that their Typhoons and Rafales can't compete against, so I figured they won't be motivated to bring up their stealth designs yet.

I am pretty sure that somebody somewhere, be it EADS or Dassault, has conducted some research into 5th gen fighter designs. Just that theres no "urgency" in pushing that up when there's no apparent threat and a still adolescent 4.5 gen fighter production ongoing.
 
Top