Why PAF is confident that PL-15 will outflank Indian Rafale Jets
5 Rafale’s or 500, Pakistan is ‘Absolutely Ready’ For India was the official answer of Pakistan’s DG ISPR when asked about their country’s answer to the Indian procurement of the Dassault Rafale. Pakistani military analysts and former Pakistan Air Force pilots are pretty much convinced that Chinese made PL-15 BVRAAMs on JF-17 Block-III fighter jets gives them an absolute edge over the Indian Dassault Rafale fighter jet because of the so-called deadly combo of alleged 200 km range of the PL-15 with AESA Radar of the JF-17 Block-III.
The PL-15 missile, which is a radar-guided weapon, is touted as having a greater range than contemporary systems like the US-built AMRAAM, used in the recent India-Pakistan skirmishes, and the Russian R-77, which is in service with the Indian Air Force. The AIM-120D variant of the AMRAAM is thought to have range of about 100 miles (approximately 160km).
While precise figures are unavailable, experts have estimated the PL-15 missile to have a range in excess of 200km.
Kills of the future
With a length of over 4metres, the PL-15 is significantly longer than the AMRAAM and has a powerful radar and rocket motor. Military experts in China and overseas claim the primary role of the PL-15 may be to destroy ‘high-value’ targets such as airborne early-warning aircraft and aerial refuelling aircraft, which could decisively handicap adversaries such as the US in a conflict in the Pacific. reasons for concern is the PL-15’s range. By incorporating a ramjet engine, its range could reach 150-200km, was well as its terminal maneuverability. That would out-range existing American air-to-air missiles, making the PL-15 not just a threat to fighters like the F-35, but also to US bombers and aerial tankers critical to American air operations across the vast Pacific.
PL-15 Missile Against Rafale
PL-15 missile will be used big targets like transport aircrafts, AWACS, Air refueling aircrafts etc. These aircrafts are not maneuverable target. These type of missiles also does not design to hit maneuverable targets like fighter aircrafts. So there is no question that China will ever use PL-15 agaist Rafale. Rafael can easily escape with high maneuver flying.
Irrespective of range Chinese air to air missiles are dangerous. Rafale has answer for that. Rafale has SPECTRA protection system.
- SPECTRA is equipped with AESA jammer. Which can jam hostile missile from a long stand off range.
- It has Active Cancellation techniques. In this technique SPECTRA system indentify the hostile systems radar signals. Than it generates equivalent signals with same intensity but reverse phase. As result hostile radars signals become weak and RCS of Rafael reduce significantly. As result detection range of hostile radars reduces very much. Which maker harder for them to target Rafael at long range.So it will be difficult task for Chinese fighter to target and destroy Rafael. Even their J-20 will face a lot trouble to attack and destroy Rafale.
Meteor BVR missiles-
Meteor’s most impressive feature is its propulsion concept. Think of the Meteor more as an air-to-air cruise missile than as a traditional guided air-to-air rocket. For propulsion, it uses a solid fuel, variable flow, ducted rocket—also referred to as a ramjet—instead of a traditional rocket motor. What this means is that Meteor can throttle its engine during different phases of flight whereas a rocket delivers all of its potential energy in one continuous unmodulated burn cycle. This capability may not sound like a huge deal, but it is.
Meteor Vs PL-15:
The PL-15 uses a conventional rocket motor, unlike the European-origin MBDA Meteor missile, which will arm the Indian Air Force’s fleet of Rafale fighters. The Meteor uses an air-breathing ramjet motor and has greater manoeuvrability as it approaches a target when compared with rocket-propelled missiles. The Meteor has a stated range of “well in excess of 100km” according to its manufacturers, but is also smaller in length than the PL-15. Therefore, China watchers have argued the PL-15 may have greater range than the Meteor on account of its higher fuel capacity.
While most agree that PL-15 might still have a range of 200 km for a wide-bodied aircraft like AWACS, Flight Refueling Aircraft (FRA) and Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) which usually fly deep inside its airspace and can be an effective weapon platform which can be used to target force multipliers of India in event of war with china and pakistan , but same can’t be said against a fighter size target, but PL-15 is still has improved air to air missile technology coming out of China and with improved AESA Seeker and improved Electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM) still is dangerous towards a fighter jets in its range and India needs to fast track its development of Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) which will have a range of 340 km and Air-to-Air variant of BrahMos-A will have a range of 500km range.