Dassault Rafale not interrested or ready to throw in the towel?

I have been most disappointed with the Dassault’s quietness in the HX-Program of Finland. Swedish SAAB and Eurofighter consortium have been very active in there campaign to secure procurement for about 60 to 100 of their planes for Finish Air Force.

I have regarded the Rafale as the black horse of the race. It won the Eurofighter Typhoon in Switzerland when they were making their assessment of these Fighters. The Swiss acknowledged that the Eurofighter Typhoon they had for the evaluation was “Monday morning specimen” and had all kinds of little trouble through the evaluation process. this of course leads one to think that maybe you row fighter has quality control problems. these quality control problems have been seen in the current Finnish Air Force (well ARMY helicopters as a matter of fact) helicopter replacement program with NH-90 helicopters that are many years behind the schedule.

The report the Swiss gave out on their evaluation program lauded Dassault Rafale as an excellent airplane all together. It had done the best in all scenarios they have evaluated. (Link to english version of the report) these scenarios might have some bearing in a Finnish Air Force scenarios as well but as I have not seen the Finnish request for bids I cannot really venture to guess. Nevertheless Rafale was the favorite among the pilots in Switzerland.

One reason for the apparent lack of enthusiasm and with Dassault might be that they feel that they may overbooked their capacity for aircraft production. They will be building the over 80 fighters for India, Egypt and Qatar they may feel that they 60+ airplanes faf would need all a bit of excess. personally I find this quite hard to believe as the assembly at least would be done in Finland.

SAAB and Eurofighter have already announced that they will be having and appearance in Finnish main flight exhibit in Seinäjoki in early June. Lockheed and Boeing have not announced anything as on early April. BTW Boeing also announced that Advanced Super hornets would be assembled in Finland, as was the case with the F/A-18 Cs in 1990’ies.

But one must Wonder what is going on in the Dassault headquarters.

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About epamuodikkaitaajatuksia

Reilu nelikymppinen jannu, joka on huolissaan siitä miten maanpuolustus ja turvallisuus makaa Lapissa, Suomessa ja Euroopassa. Harrastuksina Amerikkalainen jalkapallo, ja SRA ammunta. A guy about 45, who has a "thang" for military current issues, defense and shooting. Not to forget American football.
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5 Responses to Dassault Rafale not interrested or ready to throw in the towel?

  1. Ah the Frenchmen… You know they can be very discrete in their actions, n’est ce pas? Taking part in aviation shows should play no role in our fighter procurement anyway. Good point re the helicopter procurement; the European multinational aviation programs do have a history in political issues becoming more important than practical and military ones. Thus I believe in one aircraft-one nation principle, which supports the Rafale, Gripen and Americans but leaves the Eurofighter only a role in said airshows etc. You know how bad it is if you need the Red Arrows to sell your plane? I will go and see them, though… 🙂

    • Indeed, But stillit is the airshows where you build the rapport with the deciders: politicos and generals. What might be “the best plane” might not be the “politically best deal” or “financially most feasible”. Thus you need the “panem et circenses” to build up good feeling and show flag to help drive their competitor across. Rafale is of course the most mature fighter in HX today (F/A-18E/F/G may be too much so) followed by Typhoon. But which one is the best plane in 2040’ies is much open to debate. I hope to get to Seinäjoki as well..8)

  2. …but it appears the french are bringing some Rafales to show their capabilities in ACE17. That´s not a PR occasion but a perfect place for professionals.
    http://ilmavoimat.fi/artikkeli/-/asset_publisher/arctic-challenge-exercise-17-lentotoimintaharjoituksen-lentavat-joukot-ja-tukikohdat

  3. Maybe I was/am naive and too optimistic believing in our Air Force professionals judging the participants with facts only (and not alternative facts, I hope). Politics… sigh 😦

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