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France considers selling advanced weapons to China

France Selling Weapons China

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#1 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 04 April 2004 - 03:19 PM

Bless our two faced allies in France. :devil:

L’Année de la Chine: Will Europe arm Red China?

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The reason: Our European allies might well approve plans to sell China advanced weaponry at the March 25-26 European Union summit that begins today. The repercussions would be disastrous. Not only could China use new weapons from Europe against Taiwan, but Chinese generals have said they're prepared to confront U.S. forces in the Pacific if America tries to help Taiwan.

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Senior Chinese diplomats recently held talks with EU officials to persuade them to lift the ban. They hint that if the EU lifts the sanctions, China will steer its big-ticket civilian purchases, including aircraft, power stations, and mass transit, away from American vendors to EU firms.

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Not to be outdone, French President Jacques Chirac invited Chinese President Hu Jintao to Paris. Ignoring the complaints of French human-rights groups, Chirac designated 2004 the "Year of China" and threw one of the most extravagant receptions France has ever given a foreign leader. One highlight: the Eiffel Tower bathed in red floodlights, a first ever for the Parisian landmark.

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Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department seems unsure how to approach EU allies. According to Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, the United States has "talked with Europeans about the wisdom of lifting the embargo because of our concerns about human rights." A review of the State Department's annual human-rights reports from 1990 to 2003 shows that China either has made no progress from year to year or has grown worse.

But the defense ramifications loom even larger. A senior Pentagon official recently warned Congress that "China's ability to acquire, integrate and thereby multiply its force posture has really increased dramatically." Most worrisome, he said, is the fact that "there are scenarios where we could actually be involved in [the defense of Taiwan], so any contribution to the other side of the equation complicates our position and that is why we're opposed."

Wonderful all we need is for China to get their hands on a few hundred Rafales.  Every single fighter plane we have in service right now would be hard pressed to take on the Rafale.  None of these aircraft are going to stand well against a well handled* EF-2000 or Rafale.  If you want a reason why France should not be trusted and blocked at every turn then you have it if they go through with this.

In addition if France and the EU goes through with this the reasons for building the F-35 JSF and F/A-22 Raptor have just tripled.  The F-35 should be able to just top the Rafale and Eurofighter.  The F/A-22 Raptor should be able to walk all over both of them.      

*Debatable how inferior Chinese pilots are compared to the USAF or USN.
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#2 Rov Judicata

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Posted 04 April 2004 - 03:21 PM

It's also an excellent reason NOT to cut defense spending. :). Sooner or later, China is going to have to be dealt with, whether it be from within or without.

Edited by Javert Rovinski, 04 April 2004 - 03:23 PM.

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#3 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 04 April 2004 - 03:29 PM

Javert Rovinski, on Apr 4 2004, 03:19 PM, said:

It's also an excellent reason NOT to cut defense spending. :).
Problem is France has a slight jump on us with the Rafale.  The aircraft is slightly ahead of the F/A-22 Raptor in terms of production.  We could catch up pretty quickly by jumping the F/A-22 into mass production if they agreed on a contract with China.  

The JSF though is years from being ready for deployment.  Until then our carrier aircraft with be hard pressed to match a potential PLAAF armed with larger numbers of Rafales.  The only thing that might be able to make a dent was the F-15 and AIM-54 Phoenix combination.  The Phoenix is getting old and faulty and the F-14 is being removed from service.  Kitty Hawk in the Pacific has Super Hornets rather than F-14s.  I don’t have faith in the Super Hornet for that match up.   Even with the JSF the carriers of the 7th Fleet would be hard pressed in terms of air superiority.  More potential reason for a Sea Raptor.
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#4 tennyson

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Posted 04 April 2004 - 03:30 PM

I find this both distrurbing and a little ironic since China's most advanced weapon systems are already either French or Russian in origin, the Exocet, Matra Magic and Crotale missiles were all bought from France and now arm ships and planes across China. The Crotale even formed the core of China's first shipmounted surface to air missile system. The Super Frelon, Dauphin and Ecuriel helicopters are all French designs that China now manufactures under liscence and there has been a lot of technology transfer.

#5 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 04 April 2004 - 03:32 PM

^ This could open up the floodgates....  The French and German Goverments are slimy enough that they might sell of the AMRAAM, ASRAAM , or Sidewinder with the Rafale....

Oh what odds do you give the JSF against a Rafale Tennyson?  I was thinking 1:1.5 to 1:2 in favor of the JSF.

Edited by CJ AEGIS, 04 April 2004 - 04:22 PM.

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#6 tennyson

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Posted 04 April 2004 - 03:49 PM

Actually, I think an AIM-120C AMRAAM armed Block 60 or F-16E/F as they are now calling it could take a Rafale one on one at least until all the pieces come together. The Rafale is still mostly hype with its radar and long range weapons not fully integrated yet the last time I checked. The F-16 Block 60 has an infared search and track system, a helmetmounted sight, significant offboresight capability and upgraded radar as well as improved tankage and new engines. It doesn't have true thrust vectoring or supercruise but then neither does the Rafale or Typhoon. MICA is probably about as good as AMRAAM but there might be some range differences.

Although I wouldn't worry about the French selling the Chinese AMRAAM or a decent Sidewinder version. As far as I am aware we've never sold AMRAAM to France and the last Sidewinders they used were on the F-8 Crusaders. Although ASRAAM is a different story as well as MICA and its drivatives.
It's an odd thing when there is the potential for two fighters made by the same manufacterer to fight each other since Taiwan has Mirage 2000s and the PRC could get even more French equipment.

#7 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 04 April 2004 - 04:23 PM

I’m a little doubtful of the capability of the F-15 and F-16 against the Rafale assuming equal pilots.  The F-16 E/F  might be able to achieve a fair kill ratio if the Rafale suffer from that many design flaws.  But I still would not give it much better than 1:1 in those conditions.  If Dassault gets their act together and quick the Rafale could easily jump ahead of either fighter rather than being on somewhat equal terms.  In some simulations by British Aerospace and the British Defense Research Agency they put an F-15C, Rafale, and F/A-22 up against the SU-35.  The Rafale managed 1:1, the F/A-22 was 10:1, and the F-15C got smacked pretty bad in that 1.3 Eagles was lost to every SU-35.  Simulations are far from perfect but it still does not bode well for our current fighters.

On the issue of the AMRAAM I was thinking in terms of it would not surprise if Germany toed in behind France on this one.  Germany has access to the AMRAAM and the Sidewinder both.
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#8 Palisades

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Posted 04 April 2004 - 04:34 PM

^ Does Germany have the capability to manufacture the AMRAAM and Sidewinder? If not, the threat of us stopping selling them to Germany should keep them from selling them to China.
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#9 tennyson

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Posted 04 April 2004 - 04:45 PM

Hmmm, I wasn't aware of those simulations. The last time I checked the first Rafales were operating with Mirage 2000 radar because their dedicated radar wasn't ready yet and they were planning a gradual phase in of capabilities and they couldn't use MICA so they were being loaded with older AAMs. But they may have dealt with the problems by now.
I can't remember but was Rafale supposed to have an infared search and track system? Here's a simple writeup from Combat Aircraft for the F-16E/F from Combat Aircraft magazine, "The fighter is powered by a single General Electric F110-GE-132 turbofan that produces 32,500lb-st(144.6kN) and features a new avionics suite that includes an electronic warfare suite, AN/APG-80 agile beam radar(ABR) and an intergrated FLIR targeting(FTS)". I know this is the variant Greece, Poland and the UAE are buying although I'm not sure if the Air Force is going to do much with it.
But the older variants wouldn't be able to hold thier own definitely and the F-15 is in worse shape since it hasn't had a major upgrade since the attempt to bring all the radars up to F-15E AN/APG-70 standard.

The Su-35 is really that good?

#10 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 04 April 2004 - 05:11 PM

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QF:^ Does Germany have the capability to manufacture the AMRAAM and Sidewinder? If not, the threat of us stopping selling them to Germany should keep them from selling them to China.

They don’t have the capability to produce the AMRAAM.  That said China has proven pretty good at reverse engineering weapons technology so they might be able to do the same with the AMRAAM if they could get their hands on them.  I would hope our threat of cutting sales to them would be sufficient to discourage such a course.  If they did sellout the AMRAAM they could probably equip their F-4s with French missiles that are only slightly less capable than the AMRAAM.  When it comes to something as valuable as the AMRAAM I don’t like the idea of trusting Germany to not be tempted to move ahead if they decided to.  Selling off the AMRAAM would probably bring more than just the threat of cutting off the supply.  

It would be a bad move for Germany in terms of ticking off the US but then France considering this isn’t much better.


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Tennyson: Hmmm, I wasn't aware of those simulations.

I found a little on fas.org about it:
F-15
The F-15C has an air combat victory ratio of 95-0 making it one of the most effective air superiority aircraft ever developed. The US Air Force claims the F-15C is in several respects inferior to, or at best equal to, the MiG-29, Su-27, Su-35/37, Rafale, and EF-2000, which are variously superior in acceleration, maneuverability, engine thrust, rate of climb, avionics, firepower, radar signature, or range. Although the F-15C and Su-27P series are similar in many categories, the Su-27 can outperform the F-15C at both long and short ranges. In long-range encounters, with its superiorr radar the Su-27 can launch a missile before the F-15C does, so from a purely kinematic standpoint, the Russian fighters outperform the F-15C in the beyond-visual-range fight. The Su-35 phased array radar is superior to the APG-63 Doppler radar in both detection range and tracking capabilities. Additionally, the Su-35 propulsion system increases the aircraft’s maneuverability with thrust vectoring nozzles. Simulations conducted by British Aerospace and the British Defense Research Agency compared the effectiveness of the F-15C, Rafale, EF-2000, and F-22 against the Russian Su-35 armed with active radar missiles similar to the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM). The Rafale achieved a 1:1 kill ratio (1 Su-35 destroyed for each Rafale lost). The EF-2000 kill ratio was 4.5:1 while the F-22 achieved a ratio of 10:1. In stark contrast was the F-15C, losing 1.3 Eagles for each Su-35 destroyed.

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Tennyson: The last time I checked the first Rafales were operating with Mirage 2000 radar because their dedicated radar wasn't ready yet and they were planning a gradual phase in of capabilities and they couldn't use MICA so they were being loaded with older AAMs. But they may have dealt with the problems by now.

I think the fully capable version of the Rafale is set for delivery in 2007.  So the current ones are still using the Mirage 2000 radar.  Even in that form they would be dangerous to the F-16 and F-15.  The good news is if the F/A-22 stays on track we should have a fair number of Raptors in service by then.      

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Tennyson: I can't remember but was Rafale supposed to have an infared search and track system?

From what I can find they have a Thales/SAGEM OSF infrared search and track system.

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Tennyson: I know this is the variant Greece, Poland and the UAE are buying although I'm not sure if the Air Force is going to do much with it.  But the older variants wouldn't be able to hold thier own definitely and the F-15 is in worse shape since it hasn't had a major upgrade since the attempt to bring all the radars up to F-15E AN/APG-70 standard.

I doubt we will see many F-16E/F variants for the USAF since the JSF is supposed to replace it. And I agree on the older variants of both the F-15 and F-16.  I doubt their ability to hold up to even the current Rafale much less what we will see in 2007.

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Tennyson: The Su-35 is really that good?

Depends on who you ask...  I would give it a win over the F-16 and F-15 close in.  At medium ranges I think a F-15 and F-16 can still take it out.  Problem is the SU-35 is pretty good in long range engagements and supposedly can engage before the F-15 and F-16 can.
"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
        -Fleet Admiral Nimitz
"Their sailors say they should have flight pay and sub pay both -- they're in the air half the time, under the water the other half""
        - Ernie Pyle: Aboard a DE

#11 Delvo

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Posted 04 April 2004 - 05:25 PM

How is "Rafale" supposed to be pronounced? "Ra-FALL" with no third syllable?

#12 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 05 April 2004 - 03:19 PM

Some more on the topic and something that did catch my eye.

US aims to block lift on China arms ban

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The US has launched a diplomatic campaign to block the lifting of an EU arms ban on China.  According to the Financial Times, Washington has demanded a series of formal talks with European capitals on the issue.

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Some in the Bush administration are believed to be concerned that the UK is not showing more forceful opposition to the move.

It is odd that the UK is not saying much yet...
"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
        -Fleet Admiral Nimitz
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        - Ernie Pyle: Aboard a DE

#13 Ilphi

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Posted 05 April 2004 - 04:19 PM

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CJ AEGIS
It is odd that the UK is not saying much yet...

Not really when you consider the UK's self-proclaimed role - "Bridge" between Old Europe and USA. Most likely UK leaders are buying their time, but if our hand is called I'd bet my bottom dollar we'll come down on the side of the USA.
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#14 G1223

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Posted 05 April 2004 - 07:39 PM

France can we place them on the unfriendly trade status?
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#15 Beldame

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 01:32 AM

Quote CJ AegisI
t is odd that the UK is not saying much yet...


Not really. We won't oppose it loudly because obviously if Europe is going to be selling weapons to China we will want them to buy from us, not the French. Keep quiet, see who wins...
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#16 Orpheus

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 02:34 AM

I simple had to pop in to report that I misread the article title as "TRANCE considers selling advanced weapons to China..."

#17 Ilphi

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 03:11 AM

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Beldame
Not really. We won't oppose it loudly because obviously if Europe is going to be selling weapons to China we will want them to buy from us, not the French. Keep quiet, see who wins...

God bless British pragmatism!
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And for this I will answer, O people, answer here and hereafter,
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#18 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 08:16 AM

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Ilphi: Not really when you consider the UK's self-proclaimed role - "Bridge" between Old Europe and USA. Most likely UK leaders are buying their time, but if our hand is called I'd bet my bottom dollar we'll come down on the side of the USA.

Hopefully that shall be the case since our Eastern European Allies who would oppose such a move in the EU on our bequest are hardly powerful enough to pull it off against Germany and France alone I think if this play is going to be stopped in the EU the UK will have to step up and say something too.

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Beldame: Not really. We won't oppose it loudly because obviously if Europe is going to be selling weapons to China we will want them to buy from us, not the French. Keep quiet, see who wins...

I somehow doubt a government in the UK would do that one considering how much that would send the US Government into a fit.  Justifiably so since we share so many defense systems and secrets with the UK.
"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
        -Fleet Admiral Nimitz
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        - Ernie Pyle: Aboard a DE

#19 Gefiltefishmon

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 09:27 AM

Oi!

I read this thread and realize that while we are all speaking English I don't understand what you are saying. Why would anyone sell advanced weapons to the Chinese? I can't believe the French are that stupid (well, actually yes I can) to actually believe the Chinese would be content to just "keep the advanced weapons around" and not use them on their neighbors!!!!!!

Hey France, next time you have a revolution, try not to kill all the smart people, you apparently need them.
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#20 Godeskian

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 12:00 PM

I wouldn't put it past the French goverment to be essentially selling them to china just to piss off bush,

Lord knows, from their perspective Bush's given them enough to be PO'd about.

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