why aint the Rafale selling?

Discussion in 'Modern' started by The Basket, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,318
    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    48
    What the French done wrong here?

    Consider the Mirage family sold like ice cream on a hot day.

    Why has the Rafale not sold?
     
  2. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Messages:
    6,976
    Likes Received:
    570
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Bioinformatician
    Location:
    Dordrecht
    It's not compatible with international standards. Buying the plane means you're stuck buying French weapon systems.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2005
    Messages:
    6,160
    Likes Received:
    128
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Consellor
    Location:
    Lincolnshire
    The Mirage sold like hot cakes but France also got a reputation for appalling support, however that was in the past and I doubt that it is a major impact on the Rafale discussion.

    Its only a guess but I suspect a major problem was that the entire development was done and paid for in France whereas the Typhoon and Gripen spilt the development across a number of countries. For the Typhoon this guaranteed a larger order book reducing the cost per plane. For the Gripen using major parts such as the engine from the USA reduced the development cost and the UK for assistance in wing design also reduced the development cost. Both these would have made a more economical project.

    The Rafale is caught between two stools. Its probably more expensive than the Gripen and not far short of the Typhoon in cost but it lacks the all round performance of the Typhoon. The Rafale has one significant plus in that is carrier capable, but even here a naval version of the Gripen has been designed and Brasil might go for it, as they have a ship capable of operating aircraft. I cannot see Brasil buying both the Gripen for the Airforce and Rafal for the Navy, the support costs would be huge.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    36,727
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Nightshift picker
    Location:
    A Swede living in Glasgow, Scotland
    Home Page:
    As for the engine in the Gripen, the early versions, it's the General Electric F404, which us Swedes call RM12, developed by GE Aviation and partners Volvo Aero, the F404 was developed into the larger F414, used in the F-18E/F Super Hornet and the experimental civil version GE36...
    Already there, as already mentioned, you've saved a few bob in development and testing....
     
  5. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,318
    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    48
    If you look at the list of former and current Mirage users...it huge. Dozens of countries.
    and the problems of supply and French only weapons were a problem then.
    Although to my understanding Rafale can use current NATO AAMs.

    the problem is as I see it is that the French went alone which not only increases the risk but makes it very specific to French designs. Plus its too rich for most Mirage users and other nations can buy Eurofighter or F-35.
     
  6. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,631
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Why does any country in South America need top of the line fighters? There are no important territorial disputes among them that would be cause for a war.
     
  7. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,318
    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Argentina would disagree.
    But they can only afford ropey Mirage F1 from Spain.
     
  8. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,676
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    #8 parsifal, Dec 22, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
    Australia purcahsed the Mirage IIIes in the 60's, and it is an expereience we will remember with regret for a very long time. When I worked at the DoD it was an expereience we talked about fairly regulalry.

    There wqaas not that much wrong with the aircraft, though in comparison to contemporary US types, like the F4, its onboard electronics and combat systems were pretty basic and simple. The French also less than honest about its range limitation.

    But the clanger came when the french government threatened to slap embargoes on spares if we deployed our Mirages to Vietnam. That was unnacceptable control of our national interests and priorities. Given, that my generation was learning how cavalier the french were prepred to treat our region at the time these lesseons were being learned, it should come as no surprise that the RAAF has sworn never to buy anything French ever again.

    ive heard the RAAC had similar expereiences with the leopard. We purcahsed those tanks in the late 60's, and had intended them to go to Vietnam in the early 70's. In the end they were late in delivery, we had problems with the reliability of secondary armamaent, and the targetting systems. we also found the armour to be over brittle, which led to to chroinic fatigue issues in our tank park. The army during the joint procurement meetings was never keen to utilise any equipment of European manufacture, where we could not undertake the manufacture ourselves.

    Weve also had issues with the Rapier air defence systems, and before that the Bloodhound SAM system. The British had promised vast improvements with Rapier, but it took a very long time to get to the point of a workable system. To be fair, the British at least did offer good after sales service. This is in contrast to Kockums, the crownd that sold us the Collins class. Their "fix" for the cavitation problems in this design was not a fix at all, and when it became obvious that it would need a lot more than what they had on the table, they walked away from their customers.

    Weve purchased our LPHs from Navantia along with our Air Warfare Destroyers. The company thus far has been pretty good, in terms of the quality of product offered and after sales issues like local content. The spaniards seem keen to avoid the mistakes made by their other EU partners, but I have my doubts. The Air Warfare destoyers were not the RANs first choice.....we wanted the far more capable Arleigh Burkes, but these ships really are frightenly expensive, and Ive heard (but not confirmed) they have serviceability issues

    Australian armed forces are not keen to take Euopean equipment of any kind. It is generally overpriced, and routinely sufferes technical problems. Add toi that the near routine political interference, and you have unsaleable image problems although there will always be suckers in the market. That includes Australia. When we compare that with the Us product, which is generally excellent with matching back up service, to say nothing of compatibility issues, it will take a LOT of convincing to get the Australian Military to soften thei opinions. We wil prefer US equipment nearly every time. US equipment tends to be pricey, but its also good, as a rule. Whilst the exchange rate remains good, US prices shouldnt be an issue. if the exchange rate goes down, we are likley to source from anything other than core Euro nations like Germany, france or even England.

    Deal with your image problems guys. You have the french to thank for that.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,318
    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    48
    The RAAF has plenty European
    Airbus, hawk pc9 euro copter.
     
  10. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    36,727
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Nightshift picker
    Location:
    A Swede living in Glasgow, Scotland
    Home Page:
    ....and a few Europeans are living there, right? :lol:
     
  11. Alex .

    Alex . Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2013
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Occupation:
    University Student
    Location:
    West Midlands, UK / Gwynedd, Land of Dragons
    ...and serving in the Aussie armed forces. Isn't the Austrian Steyr AUG the standard issue for you guys still too?
     
  12. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,676
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    There have been some good products, I will concede. Hawks replaced the aermacchhi which we were very happy with. I dont think we have had the eurocopters long enough to say much....they are not really old enough to have much in the way of feedback. I dont even think they are operational yet.

    Airbus ...we have some transpport aircraft which i am not too familiar with. Hercules "J" models continue to do most of our heavy lifting in tactical sense There are some airbus aircraft purchased for Qantas, which have proven a bit of a disaster with turbine problems mostly.

    Steyr rifles are standard issue in Australia, and are all locally made. Most of the grunts i have talked to about them like them very much, though they are a bit temperamental. Most of the older diggers preferred far more the SLR.

    Trust me, European gear is NOT liked in the procurement side of the Australian military. You cannot act like the French, the Swedes, and the Germans and then expect your customers to be enthusiastic return customers. You can either learn from this advice, or continue to spend vast amounts of your taxpayer dollars on defence industries that are heavily subsidised and unable to compete in the open market because they have this massive image problem, not because the gear is that bad.
     
  13. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,743
    Likes Received:
    439
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Engineer
    Location:
    Nelson
    The Aussies also had the choice of the F-104 when they chose the Mirage - in fact , Lockheed's marketing was deemed to be so effective that everyone believed that the F-104 was a shoe-in, but the Mirage beat it.

    Airbus are an airframer, not an engine manufacturer. Airbuses are good aircraft; I've worked on both 737s and A320s and both have their benefits and drawbacks. the thing is with European aircraft compared to US ones is that the Euros choose to do things slightly differently, but in some ways these differences are better that the US methond, although sometimes its the other way round. Airbus use standard American parts and also have stuck with imperial tooling, so any airline that has used Boeings for its fleet requirements and choose to change to Airbus can do so without the added expediture of staff re-equipping personal tooling.

    One issue with European equipment is the supply train. Getting parts from the USA and US suppliers is cheaper and faster. I've also worked on ATRs, which are a different kettle of fish to other contemporary aircraft of their type. ATR prefers things to be done a particular way, which, like Airbus is distinctly European, but its supply train is far less reliable than using aircraft with a US supply base. ATR is different in that its parts are on the whole not interchangeable with US stock. ATR also like to have greater control over maintenance issues in terms of manuals, updates, repair drawings and all that stuff, which can be frustrating and time consuming, compared to North American manufacturers.

    I would suspect, although I don't know, that dealing with Dassault might be like dealing with ATR compared with dealing with the likes of Boeing or Lockheed Martin. Not all Euro manufacturers are/were as frustrating, though. Although I've only done a small amount of work on the F-27, to my knowledge, Fokker were an easy firm to deal with. Also the kinds of problems that affect European military equipment are also prevalent in US manufacturers, as well.

    Part of the problem the Aussie armed forces face is the demands the military staff place on the equipment and expectations - a manufacturer is of course going to endeavour to meet those demands. The Australian armed forces nominally ask for off-the-shelf, but want things to be built in Australia and modified to meet Australian needs. In some cases the Aussies have placed too much expectation on a piece of equipment - look at the Seasprite fiasco. Despite Kaman desperately attempting to produce the aircraft the Aussies wanted (the Aussie Seasprites were re-engineered old models with the work carried out by New Zealand contractors working for Kaman in Connecticut), it could not - partially because the expectations were too great. The Kiwis never had the same problem with their Seasprites as the Aussies did because they ordered off-the-shelf, whereas the Aussies did not. The British have ahd a similar problem with its Chinook upgrades, too.

    In saying that, however, NHI are having issues with several countries and their new NH-90 helicopters - called the MRH-90 in Australia.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    7,878
    Likes Received:
    637
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    Fascinating. And no one has mentioned the F-111.
     
  15. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,318
    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Never open wounds.
    Anyhoo wasnt Lockheed using other means of selling 104?
    Reading between the lines...even today. ..procurement is about brown envelopes and huge wads of cash.
    nice work if you can get it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Alex .

    Alex . Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2013
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Occupation:
    University Student
    Location:
    West Midlands, UK / Gwynedd, Land of Dragons
    Ah. Fair enough. All the oldies moan on about the SLR being superior to the SA80A2, it's the same over here. Most have never touched an SA80...
     
  17. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,318
    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    48
    The French stopped all Super Etendard/Exocet support during Falklands War.

    So that good.

    The Indians are said to be happy with their Mirage 2000 so may go Rafale. So that could be a saviour for them
     
  18. FalkeEins

    FalkeEins Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    ex- Air France dispatcher LGW
    Location:
    Capel-le-Ferne, Kent, England
    Rafale is simply too expensive - it has to be , it hasn't sold at all yet, Dassault are dragging out the last remaining French examples just to try and keep the line open, whereas Typhoon orders stand at, what, approx 400
     
  19. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,234
    Likes Received:
    411
    Trophy Points:
    83
    On another thread Brasil has gone for the Grippen, having worked on a Brazilian contract I think the technology transfer would be a major part of the deal. Brazil wants to be a local power.
     
  20. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,743
    Likes Received:
    439
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Engineer
    Location:
    Nelson
    #20 nuuumannn, Dec 23, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
    I think the issues with the F-111 were there before the Aussies bought it. The British cancelled its orders for the F-111 because of the rising cost of the programme after ordering it instead of the TSR.2, which incidentally the Aussies were looking to buy, but chose the TFX instead when rumblings of its cancellation were going on. Aside from the weaknesses of the F-111s swing wing pins, throughout its entire service career the problems with air intake boundary layer seperation were never cured.

    It's what makes the world go round. The F-104 was extensively marketed and became the result of the 'Sale of the Century' with European/Nato countries snapping them up like hot cakes. At the time the British were attempting to market the Buccaneer to a number of European countries, also the Saunders SR.177 jet/rocket interceptor, which was offered to the Germans in particular, but that was cancelled. The British had too many hang-ups with offering advanced technology - radar equipment and such like to foreign powers.
     
Loading...
Similar Threads
  1. Lucky13
    Replies:
    20
    Views:
    1,972
  2. Lucky13
    Replies:
    10
    Views:
    1,348
  3. Lucky13
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    1,354
  4. sunny91
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    1,625
  5. Aggie08
    Replies:
    35
    Views:
    4,149

Share This Page