Curiosity, Lightning, Rafale

FRANCO-AMERICAN COOPERATION IS A GOOD THING

Military-Industrial Corruption A treacherous Friend Of Plutocracy?

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CURIOSITY SATISFYING:

Amazingly, the large “Curiosity” rover landed on Mars in one piece after a silly “sky crane” trick. Actually, the sky crane is not that silly; it was only 7.5 meters high, and landing on rockets causes a lot of little problems: the thick atmosphere is unstable next to the ground, and dust, rocks could have damaged the rover.

The technical achievement was great. The largest supersonic parachute ever made (16 meters across, 50 meters long, 80 suspensions, 30 tons of braking power), was deployed at Mach 2.2 (and photographed from orbit! The parachute was made by a unit of a French corporation, Zodiacareospace, which makes the famous Zodiac inflatable boats… a company founded in 1896!)

No less than 76 pyrotechnic devices and the eight rocket engines had to perform exquisitely.

This successful landing on Mars demonstrates the superiority of the USA in robotics and other advanced manufacturing (when it is tapped!)

But not just that. Hundreds of thousands of people, around the world, seven countries, worked on the project. This is exactly how the world economy ought to work: tap the best abilities, and make them collaborate. Two and a half billion dollars were spent on Earth, by the USA alone to make Curiosity (and the ongoing exploration, just starting, will cost even more). It is good economic activity. Mars has many answers about how planets evolve, just as we push our poor planet to do so, at a frantic pace. Moreover Mars makes an obvious candidate for colonization (how is not clear yet!)

Curiosity carries ten experiments, with contributions from all over the world, even Russia. Spain, very despised these days, built the high gain antenna.

France contributed two major experiments, including the crucial SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) and Chem Cam. The Chem Cam can analyze chemical composition of rocks from 9 meters away: it fires a hyper powerful laser (conceived by French CEA, realized by French Thales), that rises the temperature of rocks to nearly twice that of the surface of the sun in a billionth of a second, and then the camera analyzes the exploded plasma.    

For the first time in the history of NASA, a NASA mission will be co-piloted from the outside of the USA, in Toulouse, France.

I want to propose more of the same, further collaboration. This is the advantage of trade: different places, from different choices, hence history, develop different skills.

In fighter-bombers, the USA and France’s maverick company, Dassault have followed very different paths in the last decades. The path chosen by the USA looks like a, very costly, blind alley.

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THE F35 SCANDALOUS ERROR:

The F35 Lightning II is a plane obviously completely inadequate, for its stated missions of defense and attack. Not has one single specimen yet (really) deployed. “Training” is not allowed, yet, but may start in 2013. And the first weapon has not been dropped by an F35. Yet. But soon, soon… One would not want the plane to come apart when it opens its little doors at supersonic speeds…

Yet, 400 billion dollars has already been spent on that hopeless machine,  mostly made of plastic and glue (I am not kidding), which has never fired a weapon.

More than 3,000 F35s are supposed to be built (at 300 million to 800 million dollars apiece). An admiral of the U.S. Navy suggested to develop a “truck” instead. The admiral calls for new military thinking and questions stealth technology (which is, objectively, known not to work against sophisticated adversaries).

Such a flying truck already exists, a fifth generation fighter-bomber with an extremely advanced ACTIVE stealth system. It has been deployed in combat for years, and attacked Libyan armor when it was protected by fully functional air defenses, something the USA has been certifiably unable to do, even with the F22 Raptor (which has never seen combat, or even CAP overseas).

Here is a “truck“:

A Rafale can carry more than its weight

A Rafale going to war with plenty of goodies

French Rafales Do Not Go To Combat Naked (as the F35s do!).

Buying the French Rafale, and building it under license, would save the Western defense system trillions. American capabilities would be better put into use developing other extremely advanced weapons: space devices, drones and anti-missiles. The USA are years ahead in drones. (As the Curiosity success demonstrates!)

Another advantage of purchasing the Rafale is that the more entangled with itself the military industrial of the West is, the more a situation of co-dependency, and thus strength. For example the supreme air-air missile is the European built Mach 5 Meteor, a long range air breathing rocket with a range beyond 100 kilometers (thanks to its breathing). The Meteor is so superior that engineers are now trying to make it smaller to fit it inside a F35. American planners had not believed in a super fast very long range missile, as, in their minds, it was all about stealth, approaching without being seen.

The reason the USA will not surrender, and buy the Rafale, as it should, is corruption, something that comes to dominate imperial plutocracies, often causing their demise.

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PLUTOCRATS ARE NOT REALLY MORE PATRIOTIC THAN CROCODILES:

In his farewell address, president Eisenhower, having served two full terms, warned against the military-industrial complex. (Ike did this at seven and half minutes of his full discourse, which is well worth listening to. He warned also against the political-scientific elite as a potential enemy of democracy…)

Corruption finds a home in the military-industrial complex. It can become so extensive that the Japanese and Nazi plutocracies were riddled with it in the Second World War. To the point that their war efforts became extremely enfeebled. In both cases hundreds of weapons were semi-developed, to spread the money around, as the enrichment, or empowerment, of those involved was paramount. Enormous money was spent, and little produced, or then even weapons that hindered the war effort.

For example Hitler insisted to make the Messerschmitt 262, a superlative interceptor, into a bomber. That delayed the apparition of the Me 262 by nearly two years (my own dad, officer in an anti-aircraft unit, was attacked and bombed by Me 262). Good it did for the Allies, because the Pentagon anticipated that the Me 262 would have allowed the Nazis to recover air supremacy! (It would take years for the allies to make planes as good as the Me 262, although they had seized and dissected plenty, and also captured their makers…)

The Nazis developed dozens of other, hopeless flying machines, that robbed the effort that should (from the Nazi point of view!) have been put in the Me 262. The Third Reich was full of decadent plutocrats, and all of them wanted a stream of money and power to come their way.

By contrast to the corrupted mess that the Nazi and Japanese military-industrial complexes were, the British and American weapon procurement in WWII was kept lean, mean, and smart. That allowed mass production to a much greater extent. For example the USA developed only one main battle tank, the Sherman. It was not as good as the best Nazi models, the Panther, Tiger and Super Tiger, (and others I have forgotten the name of), not at all as good, but plenty were produced. Ten Shermans against one Panther meant a dead Panther. The Nazis lost on quantity, not quality.

In general, the weapons made in the USA in WWII were all very clever. The aircraft carriers with their armored decks and nitrogen full fuel pipes were marvels of smarts, and the crews were stupendously trained. Several American carriers suffered bomb and torpedo damage that would have sent a Japanese carrier to the bottom of the sea. But American rescue crews were as good as the Japanese ones were bad.   

Nowadays some weapon systems are sufficient to defend the USA (the strategic nuclear subs, as for France, UK and Russia). But corruption is rife in other areas of defense. And the corruption extends far out.

The USA succeeded to enlist eight other countries in the F35 program.

***

F35 LIGHTNING II VERSUS FRENCH RAFALE:

A few facts:

1) A stealth F117 bomber of the USAF was shot years ago, in Serbia, using a Czech anti-aircraft system. That system simply used multiple radars, centralized the information, and computed (the method has been long used in astrophysics). Many countries have laughed for years about USA “stealth”, saying such systems with distributed radars and centralized computing were readily available. The wing of the F117 was shot through by a shell, not shrapnel, indicative of the fact that the location of the F117 had been asserted with precision.

2) A few years back, in a war game a United Arab Emirate Mirage flown by a French pilot, “shot down” a F22 Raptor. One has to know that the F22 is the top of the line interceptor of the USA. It is forbidden to export it. The F35 is supposed to be a smaller, cheaper, much less capable version of the F22.

The French Rafale runs circles around the French Mirage. So, if a Mirage can shoot down an F22 Raptor… The Raptor is a large plane, whereas the Rafale is compact and is equipped for extremely high accelerations, up to 11 gs (same as the Mercury space capsule). This is thanks in part to its seat which inclines at 29 degrees (the pilot sees all very well, thanks to the heads up holographic display).

The F35 does, at most, 9 gs (and only 7 gs in the marine version). The F35 is not capable of “supercruise“. That means that, to go supersonic, the F35 needs to use post combustion (more easily detected, a gas guzzler, and unsustainable). Concorde supercruised at Mach 2. A fully armed Rafale (see pictures above and below) can supercruise at Mach 1.4.

3) The French “omnirole” fifth generation fighter bomber, the Rafale, is equipped with passive stealth (its reflectivity is much less than a square meter). One also calls “stealth”, “low observability“, nowadays, because, after all, the Rafale, the F35 and the F22 can all be observed.

But the Rafale can do something that the other two cannot do. The Rafale is endowed with ACTIVE STEALTH“. The plane is covered with antennae, even in the leading edges of its canards, and analyzes continually the electromagnetic environment. Fast electronics allows it to make anti-noise (the Spectra system of Thales, the same company whose laser is going to zap Martian rocks, in a parody of war of the worlds).

The Spectra system detects the direction of a threat, with a precision of one degree, and actively suppresses it. So the Rafale is a plane which can be stealthy without losing its aerodynamics (American style stealth allows radar reflections, but only on some very sharp angles, as the planes are made with few planes, the way is diamond is cut.) Moreover active stealth can be perfected to be 100% effective, which “low observability” is not, by definition.

4) During the war in Libya, the dictator Qadhafi dispatched onto Benghazi his entire armored force, accompanied by all his mobile missile batteries. As that force entered the suburbs of Benghazi while talks were pursued in Paris, the French president gave the order to kill it. At the time all the Libyan air defense system was fully functional, adding to all the anti-aircraft capability to the charging armor. Mirages carrying bombs were escorted by Rafales attacking and confusing the missile system. The Libyan force was annihilated, demonstrating, in combat, the superiority of active stealth.

5) Rafales have conducted bombing missions in Afghanistan for years. By contrast the F22 never flew a combat mission.

6) The Rafale is a flying truck. It carries more than its own weight in bombs, fuel and reconnaissance pods. For example its naval version can carry 14 tons of weapons, whereas the F18 super Hornet (the present fighter-bomber of the U.S. Navy, a larger plane) carries only 11 tons (the F22 carries much much less in its stealthy mode and less than 11 tons, if it hanged stuff below its wings… which the Rafale can do while staying stealthy!)

Indeed, with active stealth one can hang whatever below the wings and keep the whole thing invisible. To carry significant armament, the F35 will also have to hang stuff below its wings, and then it will be as stealthy as a B52, a flying light house… 

Rafale in a combat mission in Afghanistan (see the glaciers below).

7) The F35 statistics are miserable: it carries nearly no armament and has less range than some of the fighters the USA engaged against Nazi Germany to escort its bombers. The F35’s performance statistics are all in ways comparable to a F 105 Thunderchief, a plane with just one engine that failed miserably during the Vietnam war. On top of that, the F35 is slow relative a Rafale, by at least 500 kilometers an hour. (There is a good reason for that: the leading edges of the Rafale are in Titanium; it beats plastics and epoxy any day!)

Did I mention the Rafale has two engines, whereas the F35 has just one? This explains that a laden Rafale accelerates better than a naked F35. Anybody who has to fly over water will tell you they much prefer two engines rather than one.

8) The American style stealth has consisted in sharp angles (to reflect radar only in a few directions), glue and plastics (to swallow radar radiation). Four drawbacks: very fragile (B2 can’t take the rain), easily melted (can’t go fast), exaggerated stress on poor aerodynamics (some leading edges on the F22 had to be replaced by titanium, ruining stealth), everything has to be hidden inside, from fuels, to rockets, to bombs (so, whereas a Rafale, with its superior aerodynamics and active stealth can be bristling with weapons, and fuel a F35 will go to combat with just 4 missiles inside).

***

Conclusion: The Navy of the USA ought to buy Rafales, and, with the money saved develop anti ballistic missile system and drones. It goes without saying that it will not happen. Instead astounding amounts of money will be spent on an ineffectual weapon system. (Which is supposed to last… 60 years!)

Thinking that one can get away with massive corruption is a mark of hubristic imperial plutocracy.

The F35 is supposed to go to combat naked, as represented here, so it can stay stealthy. Two rather small compartments open up to reveal the tiny weapons, losing stealth at that instant.

The F35 program is a case of “Too Big To Fail”, outside of finance and economics. One of these cases when the commanding oligarchies just go on, because they are too far along to admit error, or simply, having their logical circuitries ossified and calcified, a case of being in a tight logical box. To keep on doing what one has done before, being dragged along by what one has engaged in, is a basic consequence of mental architecture. The inner mental space has been con-formed by, is built from, what has been happening, it’s a sort of re-production of the perceived world. To be changed, one needs un-reason, as I argued, a jolt out of the box to create new dimensions. Maybe that French laser on Mars can zap away at the calcified contempt all too many American leaders have for French weaponery.

The Curiosity lander demonstrates the advance of the USA in robotics. Purchase Rafales, and sell drones to the Europeans (both sides would sell each other technologies in these mutual collaborations, and make the weapons on location).

***

It may seem strange that Euro-American collaboration in defense ought to be a philosophical subject. Yet, war, assuredly is (except if one is Socrates, with a plutocratic agenda one cannot justify, so one talks of other things). World War One and Two were made possible by a dearth of cooperation and collaboration between the sister republics, France and the USA. August 6 is the anniversary of Hiroshima, and there would have no Hiroshima if the USA had joined France in declaring war to Hitler in 1939 (as Great Britain and many nations, including India, did).

That cognitive mess, World War II, Nazism, was clearly caused, fundamentally, by a lack of Curiosity. So this August 6, 2012, is a rare case where things are heading the right way, satisfying curiosity, the fundamental, specifically human activity.

***

Patrice Ayme

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29 Responses to “Curiosity, Lightning, Rafale”

  1. anonymous Says:

    You sound a lot like a plutocrat, dictating where the stolen money needs to go (France).

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Anonymous: Ah the ambiguity of man, mi-ange, mi-bete, as Pascal put it… Half angel, half beast. Takes one to know one, too, as the saying goes.

      I do no contest the need for a first class fighter-bomber: democracy does not just need to be defended, it ought to go on the attack: France in 1939, or the campaign against the dictator Qaddafi are two excellent examples. Or one could look at the campaign against the Barbary pirates in North Africa, started by George Washington (no less!) and the U.S. Navy. It was then pursued by the British and the French (on a grander scale). In parallel, Napoleon invaded zones controlled by the Ottoman empire centered around Egypt. That actually led to the independence of Egypt (which would not have happened if the Ottomans were still there!)

      That part the Neocons got right (but only that part, and they ran away with it, to turn it into its opposite!)

      The Rafale would be much more effective and much cheaper. The difference could be put in the most advanced weapons. It is because the West had extremely advanced weapons realized or in development in 1939, that most people did not end in Auschwitz. Dictating the truth is a grace, the error as consensus, a terror.
      PA

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      The rover is actually Plutonium powered, demonstrating once again that Pluto is not intrinsically evil (a subtility that did not escape the Greeks).
      And as far as the money going to France, there is plenty of USA technologies France wants to buy, as she did for generations (from the 747 to Westhinghouse nuclear plant engineering).
      PA

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  2. Michael Dunne Says:

    Could you please explain the “active stealth” bit again?

    Is this more along the lines of an electronic counter measure?

    Just want to make sure this isn’t like that “plasma” bs that was put out by the Russians and Indians with the Sukhoi PAK FA.

    Otherwise, are you a marketer or tied in some way with the marketing of the Rafale, or just a fanboy? Don’t mean to sound negative, but the enthusiasm is a bit overflowing here –

    kind of a Rafale schwarmerei

    I have no problem with that – I am very enthusiastic about such planes and technologies, much to the annoyance of my wife…

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Michael:
      Electromagnetic radiation is made of waves. Just like sound waves. Waves add up, and substract. Sound waves can be analyzed, and a microphone driven by fast electronics can create a wave, just like the incoming one, but with a minus sign. The two waves then add up, to create silence. That is how sound suppressing headphones work.
      The Rafale operates like a giant sound cancelling microphone, except the sound is the incoming electromagnetic wave. The cancellation is also made in the direction of the threat(s) with a precision of one degree (so the effect is mighty).

      My web site is called “Some Thoughts”. Maybe I should have called my website “Some Truths”, but that would sound too arrogant, but this is what it is all about. I am not trying to sell anything. Truth is its own reward.

      I am not just enthusiatic about the Rafale, I am also fair about the corruption in the military-industrial complex of the USA. The B2, F22 and F35 were just tricks to extract huge amounts of money from taxpayers. The fact that the F22 was never engaged in a combat mission is proof enough (latest: the Obama adminstration, suddenly aware of this glaring ridicule, is trying to send some F22s overseas to fly CAP!).

      The Pentagon still depends upon the old workhorses: B52 (!), F15, F16, etc…
      The F35 is clearly vastly inferior to both the F15 and F16, and F18, especially the Super Hornet. And of course the Rafale runs circles about all these. Literally as it can pull 11 gs…

      The Super Hornet (who is greatly passive stealth) is the best of the lot, but did not make it to the penultimate round of fighter-bomber selection by India.

      A F35 on a bombing mission would be a comical thing: it would carry two tiny rockets for defense, and two tiny bombs, for attack.

      Rafales taking off against Libya were instead carrying more than their own weight empty in various ordonance below their wings… And some were enormous bombs.
      PA

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  3. Michael Dunne Says:

    Michael Dunne
    in reply to Tyranosopher

    Sounds like active cancellation then (and not the plasma bit), no?

    Based on this definition:

    “Active cancellation means preventing a radar from detecting a target by firing back a deception signal with the same frequency as the reflection, but precisely one-half wavelength out of phase with it. Result: the returned energy reaching the radar has no frequency and can’t be detected.”

    You seem to use the word “operating” but I understood that no active cancellation system is currently operational.

    I heard noise years back about contractors for the B2 and a prior project for the Rafale failing to make sufficient headway (don’t know if it is hearsay or true though).

    I got the sense this is another stab at a demonstration project.

    Also, I thought the bar was rising for active cancellation techniques with wider deployments of AESA type radar systems?

    How come the Rafale is not listed as a stealth aircraft in places (while the apparently not totally stealthy J-20 Chengdu is)? Thought Rafale D was supposed to focused on reducing radar cross sections (D for Discret?), but then the sense is conveyed that current models are “stealthier?”

    As for agility, I understood that 9Gs is the limit for a person, so does it matter that a Rafele can do 11 Gs (bolt away quickly but black out, and pray to wake up in time to stay alive?)

    Otherwise, I thought the F-15 has better range, speed and ceiling stats than the Rafale. Granted it seems discrepancies in such information crop up between different sources (books, magazines, dvds, wikipedia, etc)…

    For example, one source had the Rafale C with having a range of about 1,500 Km…Not sure if that is the combat radius. Wikipedia gave the Rafale a combat radius of 1,800 plus km.

    F-35 combat radii are at 1,000 Km for the standard model, while the short take off and landing is like at 800 Km (pulled these from wikipedia).

    Agree about the F35’s poor payload stats.

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Combat radius depends upon whether one flies at high altitude or just off the ground, and whether one carries weapons or not. High altitude combat radius for the Rafale is 1850 kms (1000 nautical miles), about TWICE the combat radius of the F35. Rafales are made for refueling though, and can refuel each other. Also it can carrry 6 tons of fuel outside (and stay stealthy). (I don’t know if the F35 can carry outside fuel.) The Eurofighter (another partly French plane!) has only 1350kms range, and the F16C, 1390 kms. F18 Super Hornet has a large 3000 kms radius.

      The Anglo-Saxon aerospace industry controlled media is not going to sing the praises of the Rafale as a stealth plane. But one can easily make the argument that there is only one true stealth plane, and that is the Rafale.
      A hint: The US Air Force refused to engage the Rafale in mock figthing with the full electronics turned on. Lockeed-Martin and the U.S. defense establishment is not keen to show that the French flying truck (on take-off, it can be as heavy as an F22, but can carry 14 tons of weapons!) can out do the F22 where the F22 is supposedly superior…

      Thales and the French defense ministry are not keen to explain all the capabilities of the Spectra system. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:RafaleSpectra.png
      Spectra creates anti-radar noise cancellation with a precision of one degree, and can do so on many sources. The plane is literally covered with emitting sources of several kinds.

      Moreover considering the successful destruction of Qaddafi’s armor while the latter was fully covered by the highest concentration of modern anti aircraft systems, it’s pretty clear that the active cancellation is fully operational.

      Blacking out or not depends upon the anti g suits used, and the inclination of the seat. It is rumored that the suits used in the F22 have lots of problems. The fact is Rafales have pulled 11gs, when doing this pilots are reclining at 59 degrees.
      The F35 is a deeply ridiculous plane. They say it’s as good in acceleration etc. as the… F16. Impressive, until one discovers that this comparison is made with the F16 equipped with its huge belly fuel tank (which it obviously does not have in combat!)

      Anglo-Saxon media is not keen to fully reveal the capabilities of the Rafale. For example the F22 can attack only two planes simultaneously, whereas the Rafale can track 40 and Rafale can attack 8 (eight!) enemy planes simultaneously.

      The maximum speed reached by an F35 has been 1.61 mach, which seems real low to me. All the more as it does not have supercruise capability (as Concorde had… at Mach 2). A fully loaded Rafale can supercruise at 1.4 mach… And has two engines (the F35 has just one).
      The combat radius of the Rafale is nearly double that of the F35.

      The accelerations and take off weight capabilities of the Rafale are at least 20% superior to those of the F35 (the Rafale has more engines, and more wing).
      Moreover, when taking off with max load, the F35 will have stuff hanging from its wings, so will not be stealth at all (without the active stealth of the Rafale!)
      And so on.
      the fact the USA spent 400 billion developing an inappropriate, subperforming plane, with the rafale below its nose, all boils down to corruption, and, to some extent, anti-French sentiment.

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  4. Old Geezer Says:

    The MIC was created by William Knudsen from Chevrolet. In 1939 at the request of FDR. Seeing that war was imminent, he put Knudsen in charge. It was Knudsen’s idea to “spread the work around” so as to develop competition for prices and ideas. FDR just wanted to have a government program, but Knudsen talked him out of it. In 18 months (just before Pearl Harbor), the US MIC was up and running.

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      The MIC, Military Industrial Complex, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military%E2%80%93industrial_complex, existed before in Germany and France. After WWI, Citroen had a giant lighted advertizing covering the entire Eiffel tower. They had made lots of shells in WWI, enough to send the Prussian army to hell in the Second Batttle of the Marnes (July 1918). Also the Bank Of England was created in the late 17C to finance Her Majesty’s Ships…

      But of course there is nothing wrong with the MIC intrinsically. Just it should develop the best weapons, and militarizable technology, to start with, and what needs to be financed is the likes of drones and NASA (when it does edgy things, such as “Curiosity”). MIC should not fall into corruption, as it did with the F35 (or arguably with inappropriate aircraft carriers). Lockeed-Martin should build the Rafale under licence… or may be they should build a few to save face and survive, while Boeing could build the Rafale under licence… Or maybe be Northrop-Grumann… (Which good subsystems for the F35)

      MIC is necessary to defend democracy against plutocracy, but, when the MIC itself is colonized by plutocracy, we have a situation similar to AIDS, which feeds on the immune system supposed to fight it…
      PA

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  5. Michael Dunne Says:

    Let me politely note that you didn’t explain how active cancellation would work with AESA though..

    And I am not sure an operation in Libya is indicative of an active cancellation system being operational. Especially if you are referring to operations around Benghazi, were the Libyan government forces were returning to previously lost ground (and hence probably had holes in their anti-aircraft systems there).

    Otherwise I suggest you check on the G’s. I don’t buy 11 Gs, no matter how the seat is configure. If you have an credible source from the an air force organization I would be more than happy to review it. I think 8 is the limit to be honest.

    Not sure I understand the reference to the F-16; but it has had a decent combat service record for the modern era (since 1980s). Just like the Rafale seems to have a decent, initial service record of late with Afghanistan and Libya in a ground attack role.

    Just curious, what do you believe the Rafale’s combat radius to be on internal fuel only, no refueling or external tanks, loaded with just air-to-air missiles?

    Now are you saying there is no corruption in France? Are you trying to say there is more corruption in America than in France with the A&D business? Not sure what is meant by “anti-French sentiment” or that the Anglo-Saxon media is somehow holding back on information?

    Are you stating those things because of the mix record to date in export bids?

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Michael:
      Sorry, I did not see that I was asked about the AESA…
      AESA = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_Electronically_Scanned_Array
      This is a problem even more with passive stealth planes, of course. So what does the F22 Raptor does? Well, it listens passively. So does the Rafale.
      Now the Rafale (and other European planes: Grippen, Eurofighter) are equipped with existing (MICA for Rafale), or in development: the Meteor (which all interceptors made in Europe will carry) VERY LONG RANGE missiles. The USA disdained developping such missiles, on the erroneous theory that they could approach anybody in a stealthy manner, so closely that they could be easily destroyed.

      So what can a Rafale do? Turn on its AESA, fire its Meteor. It can do that in two ways: either fire and forget, and turn tail at Mach2, or then it can guide the Meteor for 50 kilometers (that is, 35 seconds!). After that, the Meteor will take charge, and keep charging on its own…

      The F35 system has nothing of the sort, no very long range missile such as the Meteor (the Meteor has been fired, and is an existing missile). Engineers are now scrambling to make the Meteor smaller so that it would fit inside the F35… It remains to be seen if it can still fly, after making its wings smaller… And how the F35 could be adapted to fire it. Meanwhile Israel has cut down its order from 75 F35s down to 19, and calls the F35 style plane a “niche”…
      PA

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Michael: The key is the word “PERCEPTION“. The French are looking for evidence of corruption all over their society, and are gleeful when they find some. Citizens of the USA avert their eyes from the glaring corruption around them, from their money grabbing president, continually socializing with the biggest plutocrats he can find to give him a bed and three meals a day. So the citizens of the USA avert their minds from evidence of corruption, so they don’t perceive it, indeed, and they find the USA very much non corrupt.

      In the USSR, I mean Putinland, aka “Russia”, if people make an anti Putin prayer, or have an anti Purtin website, they risk many years in jail, and are put on trial. Most Russians (aka “Putinists”) perceive this as just. Most Germans, 70 years ago perceived the Jews as war mongers.

      As I pointed out explicitly, the political system in the USA is abominably corrupt (look at “citizens united“). By French standards, the Supreme Court of the U.S. would be arrested, for corruption. (Something like that happened in France already, BTW, several years ago: the Constitutional Court president had to resign, and was “examined”).

      You do not understand how SPECTRA works: it actively cancels with a precision of one degree.

      I recommend my site(s) for further understanding of WWII. Repeating slogans and comfortable notions is not repeating the truth. The USA, Congress and president took measures against France and Britain in 1939.

      And the lead tetra ethyl support by the USA to Hitler was no small potatoes. A the time 45 French divisions were engaged in combat, and Poland was fighting for its life.

      If Hitler Air Force had been grounded in September 1939 when fighting France and Poland, thanks to lack of lead tetraethyl, as it was in front of Moscow in December 1941, because of the extreme cold, things would have turned out quite differently (Moscow was the first severe defeat of the Werhmacht, after several Pyrrhus like victories… Such as the battle of France, where Hitler’s war machine, after all, even after underevaluating its losses, suffered no less than 200,000 CASUALTIES! Or the conquest of crete, where the victorious Nazi paratroops were basically annihilated!).

      The purchasing of USA planes by France happened in 1940, under “Cash and Carry”. They were obsolete planes, relative to the latest French, German or British fighters, and had no impact on the war. The real problem was that 50% of the French Air Force was outside of France. Many of the purchased USA planes were captured by the Nazis, and sent to Finland, or used by the Vichy putchists (which had been recognized by Roosevelt as the French gov.)
      PA

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  6. GH1618 Says:

    GH1618 writes:
    Some remarks on your comments on stealth:

    1. The loss of one F-117 in combat does not disprove the value of stealth. The F-117 has performed many successful missions before being retired with only one loss. That is an excellent record for any aircraft, and this was a new type.

    2. The war game to which you refer was a gun training exercise. The F-22 is not optimized for dogfighting, so such training exercises are not predictors of its chances for success in an actual combat situation. Also, one incident cannot establish a trend.

    In actual combat, the F-22 is designed to control the airspace without coming into visual range of the enemy, and with minimum risk of detection by radar. That is how it must be judged.

    3. Internal-only weapons are required for maximum stealth, when the object is
    to clear the airspace and destroy air defenses. When the airspace is
    sufficiently safe, both the F22 and F-35 can carry external weapons and fuel for greater capability although with reduced stealth.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      GH1618:
      1) It’s not the fact that one stealth F-117 was shot down, so long ago. It’s HOW it got shot down: the shell did not explode, so the stealthiness worked, in the sense that the proximity fuse system inside the conventional shell did not detect the plane.
      But the multiple radar based integrating system on the ground knew very well where the plane was, as proven by the fact the shell was directed very precisely.

      2) Because of thrust vectoring, partisans of the F22 have always sung the praises of the F22 maneuvrability. Pictures taken from Rafales show the F22 desperately thrusting and vectoring, while in Rafale’s gunsights (there is a famous such picture).

      Oh, also, whereas the Rafale is very compact, its maximum take-off mass is equal to that of the F22: it can carry much more weapons and fuel.

      Although the USA was willing to let Rafale and F22 engage in combat, the Americans absolutely refused to engage Rafales in long range electronic combat. And the reasons are plain:

      a) they did not want the Rafale to exhibit its superiority.

      b) at long range (above, say, 50 kilometers, and, certainly above 100 kilometers), the F22, or, actually, the USA, has simply NO missile to engage a Rafale with. Existing MICAs (used in Libya, where they shot down at least one Libyan plane), and the soon deployed Meteor can do this.

      The USA’s theory was that stealth would allow the F22 and F35 to come, stealthily, within 50 kilometers, so they did not need long range missiles!

      That is particularly ridiculous, especially in light of the fact that the F35 does not have supersonic supercruise (which the Rafale has used a lot, fully armed).

      In other words, it’s not clear the F35 could be used even against a distant subsonic civil airline (and it could never have caught Concorde!). In such a situation, the ability to fire a very long range, hypersonic missle such as the Meteor is crucial.

      Moreover, the Rafale can use its ASEA to guide the Meteor up to 50 kilometers (and can do this with 8 targets!), before the Mach 5 Meteor takes over.

      3) In practice, war does not work on USA schedule. In Libya, Qaddafi rushed its entire armor, with all its mobile missiles SA5 and SA8 batteries for supplementary cover towards Benghazi. it was a question of ONE hour, maximum, to save Benghazi when Sarkozy gave the order of attack. The rafale themselves, using Spectra for defense and attack, wiped out the missiles while the Mirages disintegrated the entire column.

      The war was concluded when a column of two hundred (200)vehicules rushing out of Qaddafi’s stronghold and birthplace was observed by, and then attacked, Rafales flying CAP. ONE, a single tiny USA drone joined in.

      The convoy was smashed by the Rafales, entirely destroyed. The Toyota SUV in which Qaddafi was, got hit by shrapnel and rendered inoperable, airbags deployed. A wounded Qaddafi escaped on foot. His main bodyguard, unconscious, would wake up in the hospital.
      Partisans later found Qaddafi had joined those rats he despised so much, in a tunnel.

      When F22 and F35 carry exterior weapons, they have zero stealth. Those weapons are made of metal. When a Rafale carries exteriro weapons, its Spectra is still fully operational, and it can apply radar suppression with a precision of one degree, against multiple sources.

      The USA has obviously been terrified to admit that the F22 emperor had no clothes, and no weapons. That’s why it was never engaged in a hostile environment. Not once.

      That’s also why a cheaper version of the F22 was evolved, the F35. The reasoning apparently has been that, since the F22 did not work, having more of them will allow some to get through.

      As a USA military planner said, sometimes he wakes up at night in a terror, thinking that he would send F35 pilots into combat with just two tiny missiles…

      PA

      Like

  7. Dominique Deux Says:

    There are some topics which will, very fast and very automatically, elicit quite predictable posts from non-habitual posters. Rafale vs F35 is only one of them.

    Of course it can be happenstance, or a very stimulating subject… But having seen it happen again and again, I rather suspect extended use of internet watch techniques by committed groups or interests..

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Yes, that is very clear. I have observed it many times. Long ago, I was dazzled by several elaborated multi page comments after I had written an essay on Tibet. The commenters were obviously employees of the PRC.
      More worryingly, the search engines manipulate the classifications. Once, long ago, I had essays on top when I typed some key words. I was checking often, because i was (proud &) suspicious. And then one day, I disappeared from several search engines simultaneously (it was during Bush’s assault against Iraq, which I disapproved of, while I detested the propaganda directed against France).

      Fellow bloggers have also noted sudden changes of classifications. An impopular site becomes suddenly popular, just because it is freshened up daily, or so Google decides. This encourages superficial thinking.

      Plenty of dirty tricks are in usage around many blogs. There are pseudo left sites (some set-up…by CIA (“ex”-)employees!). They of course all block me as a dangerous whatever (although the epithet “trolls” and “racist” were used).

      A site set-up by (French) bankers blocked me because I demonstrated that American plutocrats had financed Hitler (no kidding, it’s called the “European Tribune“). That was apparently a terrible no-no. I am still seething… But it was most instructive: second knives protect their masters well…

      A “philosophy” site managed by some of my (pseudo) philosophical enemies (Searl, etc.) barred me for “theft of intellectual property“. By this they meant that I had used on their site something suspiciously similar to what was on my site, an obvious case of I stealing from me. Sinking or thinking, that is not the question.
      PA

      Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      dear DD: I answered the corporate USA stealth guy, BTW… I hope his masters enjoy the answer. Maybe I should make a post out of it! “How Rafales Take Out F22s“;-)!

      Like

  8. AukbPK Says:

    Your internet website is incredibly constructed

    Like

    • de Foucaud Paul Says:

      As active suppression looks as a mystery,
      The facts are : no Rafale fighters shot down within air ops over Afganistan, Lybia and Mali.
      Great silence about a F 15’s crash over Libya air ops …
      Remember all, that the French Air Force enters “en premier” over the Lybia contested airspace.
      Later on US send crise missiles as the French and UK do also.
      But the job was completed by the FAF.
      No F 22 in the air…
      Is passive stealth usefull ?

      Like

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Paul: Passive stealth clearly does not work. Zillions of reasons for that.

        But now we have experimental proof, as Typhoon German pilots (Luftwaffe) had what one of them called “Raptor Salad for lunch“, in exercises in Alaska. So the fact a lowly Mirage III had shot down a F22 Raptor in mock combat in Dubai was no accident.

        Passive stealth has enormous cost in aerodynamics (the plane is made of facets, and various sharp planes), so they get quickly demolish by aero loads, in speed (resins don’t hold above a temperature that has got to be pretty low, thus limiting excursions to Mach 2), and then low carrying capacity, etc…

        The way active stealth works in the Rafale is apparently by focusing countermeasures to very narrow beams, so when the French attacked Qaddafi entire armor dashing to benghazi with full missile air cover, the Rafales were able to neutralize the missiles while hitting armor, and allowing the Mirages to bomb.

        Passive stealth is a huge mistake: it can be detected in all sorts of ways, for example with Infrared, as the Typhoons do. Some day passive stealth will work, using metamaterials (but those are still in the lab, although Intellectual Ventures, a patent farm based in Seattle, intents to commercialize them before the end of 2013)
        PA

        Like

  9. Paul de Foucaud Says:

    As I wrote as an answer for the purpose of one of your other post :
    -the US stealth concept is just working in a narrow banwidth of the electromagnetic spectrum (X band) and is depending from the aspect angle from view (front).
    – US fighters don’t have any BVR IIR missiles ; cause of that the planers think it is just a need within the EM spectrum.
    Then they have a big hole in their bag to counter that threat.
    One video opposing a F-22 against a Rafale clearly shows that before a to be gun shot the F-22 was fox 3 with an IIR BVR MICA.
    Good luck guys with the F-35.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      This F35 situation is incredibly nutty. Now the Pluto gov in Australia want 100 of them.
      Something to meditate:

      Like

      • paul051 Says:

        Today,
        After the F-35 missings at RIAT and Farnborough air show 2014 one thing about we are sure : it is invisible !
        The LM communication was : ” tomorrow you will see it and more affordable…
        Then, if that is true, the F-35 just recover a so limited enveloppe clearance that it is looking as à liner.
        So testing points will slow BTW.
        The F-35 program is looking as becoming the greatest disarmement Tacair within Allied Nations History.

        Like

  10. Paul. De Foucaud Says:

    Correction Patrice :
    over Dubaï, that was a Mirage 2000-9 against the F-22.

    Like

  11. Yves Pagot Says:

    Absolutely Paul, and the pilot wasn’t emirati…

    Like

  12. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Vijay 🌐 ‏@vi7jay
    @tyranosopher the mighty USA building a foreign fighter jet? it will be an utter humiliation.. #nochance

    Like

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