With the rather recent news of India and Qatar purchasing Rafales from Dassault Aviation to bolster their airforces, and the more recent new of Schwarzesmarken getting animated later this year, it’s pretty good time to celebrate the more obscure side of Muv-Luv a little bit, if obscure even is a thing when it comes to this franchise.
Rafale, the fighter, is pretty damn neat. It’s a multi-role fighter to some extent, able to do both short and long range missions, dogfight, attack land and sea targets and if necessary, enact a nuclear strike. It’s a fighter bred and born in France, developed by major French defence contractors. There is something French in the shape of the fuselage, with all the slight curves one would want to caress with interesting details to explore. It should be noted that prior to Rafale’s development, French Air Force and French Navy had a need for a proper next generation fighter. Due to this fact, it was chosen to combine the two projects into one, which would explain why Rafale is Duke’s wet dream coming true, able to fight in the land, sea and air. Still, the original project fell through due to multiple nations being part of the project, which is without the doubt why French took it to themselves to tackle the project. Nevertheless, the Rafale is a successful result despite all this and essentially has been replacing numerous different fighters the French forces have been using, including classics like F-8P Crusader.
The Tactical Surface Fighter mirrors the real life fighter in this nature. France was part of a multi-national project to replace Second and earlier generations TSF, that could not meet the need to tackle BETA to the needed extent. The European Front is different from America and even from Japan. It’s more akin to Kamchatka we saw in Total Eclipse, with constant threat from BETA from everywhere. There’s not much water to use in the middle of the continent, whereas Japan is a set of islands that can make use of Navy when needed. The rivers and lakes aren’t the best place to bring your naval support. Just like in real world, French dropped from the multi- national project because there was a disagreement on the engines of the Jump Units.
The Rafale and EF-2000 Typhoon share a lot same elements, as they were built from the same set of data and all that. The Rafale as a TSF has curved surfaces to it than the Typhoon, though the two have comparable performance in how they slay BETA. Indeed, both of them were built to kill them invaders by the dozen, and combined with the A-10C Thunderbolt II squadrons, both Rafale and Typhoon are pretty damn effective in their intended role of kicking ass and taking names. Their high-mobility design puts them well on par with the rest of the third generation machines and a good Surface Pilot could do whatever insane stuff is needed to weave through the enemy lines.
However, as Rafale is designed to fight the BETA, it lacks any notion of stealth. Stealth is useless against BETA, but against human targets it offers good leverage. I could see a future where Semi-fourth generation and actual Fourth generation European TSFs would employ stealth as one of their secondary capabilities just to counter the the possible battles they would have against the US forces. Knowing how much the US wants to fuck with the rest of the world for their own ends, there’s very little doubt that at some point after Alternative we would get at least minor wars between human fronts using TSFs.
Outside what reads on the chart, there’s not much to say about Rafale’s design. Its groin guard lacks the fighter’s nose, but outside that it incorporates all the elements the archetypical TSF takes from the planes. I would argue that the torso the design has should be more shaped to looks similar to the plane. While the EF-2000 Typhoon is related to the Rafale in visual concepts, the torsos are far too similar and making Rafale smoother with curved surfaces would’ve made a larger impact on the viewer. The geometry is more complex to create, but that would’ve been a small price to pay. It also lacks the flight refuelling probe, but there wasn’t much they could done with it with the TSFs, and as it is removable, it was dropped.
There’s few things I’d like to put out there. I aim to use illustrations from the books as much as possible as not all TSFs or TSAs have sprites. In case of Rafale I could have used some of the sprites, but for uniform look I’ll stick with scanned illustrations, if possible. Secondly, despite I wanted to to write about the Falcate Sword the Rafale works, but that’s just slightly out of topic. There will be a post or two about TSF weapons at some point, as they could make a decent post on whether or not they are actually practical. For Falcate Sword, I’ll just say that’s it’s pretty damn retarded weapon, and that scythes don’t do too well on the battlefield due to obvious reasons.
Next time in TSF comparisons we’re going back in time to check out either MiG-21 or branch off to TSAs and check out what sort of elements the A-10 Thunderbold II has.