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Saturday, June 30, 2012

"it was the Dassault Rafale's apparently clear superiority over rival Eurofighter Typhoon that came as the biggest surprise to most observers & analysts"

Words of praise for the Rafale fighter aircraft's performance during recent evaluation trials.

Two recent articles that have lauded the superiority of the French Dassault Rafale fighter vis-à-vis the other contemporary aircraft that it had been pitted against, especially, rival Eurofighter Typhoon, that it recently went ahead of in India's MMRCA acquisition programme. Both article have been written by veteran defence journalist Jon Lake.

  • Rafale Resurgent!

Summarises the leaked Swiss evaluation report, that found the Rafale performing exceedingly well, and by a great margin, coming up trumps in nearly every parameter it was evaluated against, going by the report. The article appeared in the AirForces monthly magazine.

  • Rafale riding high

A similar article that expands upon the Swiss report & Indian evaluation, putting it in context of greater political imperatives & overall roadway for future development of the respective birds for the Combat Aircraft monthly magazine.

A point that needs to be clarified, is towards the assertion that a Typhoon, after having undergone future upgrades, if & when they do go through [uncertain, it appears], would emerge as a much superior platform to the Rafale. While this may indeed be true, it must be kept in mind that these aircrafts are primarily being inducted to make up the IAF'S numbers in quick time, along with providing the force with significant capability upgrade. The Rafale is not being considered to become the country's frontline fighter aircraft. Towards that end, India is in collaboration with Russia to develop & induct a twin-seat Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft [FGFA], along with a certain number of single seat-PAK-FA fighters. India has also embarked on developing a 5th generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft [AMCA], expected to be in the same mid-weight league as the Rafale, to replace legacy aircrafts like the Mirage 2000, SEPECAT Jaguar and MiG-27 fighters. Thus, the promise of future superior Eurofighter would not likely turn the tables in the Eurofighter's favour in India.


Related: Know your Rafale: India's latest Fighter Aircraft acquisition [MMRCA winner, most likely]