Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Dassault Rafale Ranks No. 4 in terms of BVR

By: Daniel Maillet, CAF Dispatch author

I have posted on several occasions that I believe the Dassault Rafale is an ideal candidate as a replacement to the ageing CF-18 Hornets of the RCAF.

Well here is yet another reason by the Rafale stands out; in a recent update to its annual ranking of fighter-jets, Hush-Kit  has ranked the Rafale as the no. 4 fighter in the world in terms of Beyond Visual Range (BVR).

According to Hush-Kit, "[t]o excel in Beyond Visual Range air combat a fighter must be well-armed and equipped with capable avionics. It must be able to fly high and fast to impart the maximum range to its missiles, allowing them to hit the enemy before he is even aware of their presence. The aircraft must give its crews good enough situational awareness not to shoot their friends down, and be easy to operate so it can deploy its weapons quickly and accurately. The black magic of the aircraft’s electronic warfare suite can also come in to its own, reducing the opponent’s situation awareness."

In its original BVR ranking in 2013, Hush-Kit ranked the Rafale no. 7.  "The Rafale has leapt from no. 7 to no. 4 thanks to the new RBE2 AESA radar. The Rafale has great agility, one of the lowest radar cross sections of a ‘conventional’ aircraft and its defensive systems are generally considered superior to those of its arch-rival, the Typhoon. It falls down in its main armament, the MICA, which is generally considered to have a lower maximum range than later model AMRAAMs. It has a little less poke than the Typhoon in terms of thrust-to-weight ratio leading some potential customers in hot countries to demand an engine upgrade. It has yet to be integrated with a helmet cueing system in operational service." 

If/when Dassault upgrades to a helmet that includes a cueing system - it will only make the Rafale a stronger aircraft.

One more reason for the Rafale  to be the next fighter for Canada. I think it is pertinent to note, the other leading contender to replace the CF-18's; the F/A-18 Super Hornet ranked no. 9. In terms of BVR - the Super Hornet is already beginning to show its age; and will need expensive upgrades added to any purchase to keep it competitive.

The top 5 BVR fighters were:
5. Sukhoi Su-35S
4. Dassault Rafale
3. Eurofighter Typhoon
2. Saab Gripen C/D
1. Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor

You can read the entire top 10 ranking here:

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