Dassault Rafale is, in my humble opinion, the dark horse of the HX-campaign. Dassault does not toot their own horn that vigorously, but their product is top of the line. And If one considers JUST the interdiction/Close Air Support or general ground splashing would be the contested winner of the the bunch: Great load carrying capability, and good range. Maybe a bit on the slow side, but still a great asset all around.
Also I read yesterday from Kauhava airshow pages, that Rafale is going to have a performance there in 28-30.8.2020 (28th to 30th of August for Anglican world). Kauhava is sort of my home base, as my very late Grandfather was a flight instructor there during the wars and into 1950’ies.
This scenario is https://epamuodikkaitaajatuksia.com/2020/05/06/blind-mans-bluff-in-suursaari-casino/ . In this scenario Finnish Air force is destroyng Area surveillance and and area missile threat to southern Finland and surface vessels in middle-eastern Gulf of Finland area. Read the article linked, to get a more comprehensive view.
Rafale is meant to be Armee del Air’s primary fighter for untill 2050ies, and has enjoyed some export successes internationally. It shares the common origins with Eurofighter typhoon, but as when the French wanted to go towards strike fighter optimized platform, the British wanted to have air superiority optimized platform. This is visible on the positioning and size of Canards: Typhoon has them far in the front and relatively small for speed and manouverability, Rafale has the canards close to the main wings and quite large for carrying capability.
As for the task in hand Rafale has a quite good selection of AS weaponry and , most notably the SCALP EG/ Storm Shadow stealth cruise missile. This will be used to take out the Pantsir and TOR systems protecting the S-300 and Air surveillance radar, and of course the anti ship battery. After that French AASM/HAMMER glide bombs with M82 500lb (250kg) warheads will be used. There will not be aerial threats present.
In some discussions there has been a concern about “Rafale only uses French weapons. The point is not quite as important as it would seem on two accounts: Firstly Weapons like Meteor ARE integrated to Rafale platform, and as Meteor will be the BWR missile of FAF, (barring the selection of F/A-18 E/F/G) you can’t really say that you are married to French weapons manufacture. (MBDA is pan-European company). Also as AASM/HAMMER is clearly superior in performance to PAVEWAY-series, you MIGHT want to use them anyway. Also as a side note Meteor is itself compatible with earlier AMRAAM data link, so you are sort of married to western technology than a certain manufacturer. This MIGHT affect FAF if Finns want to use airborne anti ship missiles, because then Rafales are sort of married to Exocet-missiles. Although I’m sure that with time and money you can get anything integrated.
Again the 59N6 Protivnik sees the Rafales pretty much as soon as they have left the aerodrome and risen to sufficient height to have cleared the radar horizon. This demonstrates the problem with this kind of radar amply: It makes all kinds of transporting and shift of airborne assets more costly, as the planes have to fly low and use more fuel.
One thing about the video: The lost Rafale C. I have no clue WHY it started doing honor laps around the island. I had ordered it away, and to drop a couple of AASM on the S-300. It did neither. So it is quite possible, that it is just a hick up in the simulation. I do know SPECTRE system is really top notch protection suite, but obviously you cannot rely on it keeping your plane safe no matter what. It seems to me that when planes are flying in formations of 3 Command lets the one fly off to some direction, and it is quite hard to command single plane (if it is a part of the flight) to change directions. Thus I think 2 losses for Rafales in rundown are due the simulation SW, rather than the plane.
The Pantsir’s are unable to engage the SCALP EGs with missile, but they can try to shoot them down with cannon fire when they come into electro-optical systems range. This capability could further deteriorate if sufficient water vapor was present in air. Say fog or rainfall. Pantrirs are capable of engaging AASM HAMMERS with missiles from further out, but this capability might be neutralized with sufficiently powerful and right directional jamming.
After the Pantsirs are down taking the S-300 and rest of the assets on Hogland is pretty straightforward practise. You can quite handily pull this off by use of AASM Hammers: When you drop a salvo, 5 pieces of ordnance, the last usually get through after the Pantsir has exhausted missiles and guns.
Also Millenium 7* history tech, a fellow you tuber who makes really good technical/historical evaluation of the aeroplanes present in HX-competition released a video on Dassault Rafale on 29.7.2020. I link it here, so you can have a look.
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