Dassault's Rafale in U.S. guise? Probably would be hard to come up with a believable plot for this one, but I like to imagine this magnificent aircraft used by the most powerful Navy in the world... so let me just share the picture with you for the fun of it: here is the U.S. Navy's Dassault F-28A Rafale!
© Stéphane Beaumort / AviaDesign 2010
Actually I could see this aircraft purchased for the Aggressor squadrons at Red Flag and Top Gun, since France sells this fighter to countries we may end up fighting one day. The US Aggressor Squadrons that fly in the Red Flag exercises use MiG-23 Floggers and MiG-29 Fulcrums, so why not Rafales?
Absolutely. In the 1980s they used some leased Israeli Kfir aircraft (a variant of the Dassault Mirage V) under the designation F-21A. They could do it again!
This would be so much better with AIM-9Xs shooped on the wingtips.
This would happen if the recession were to continue in the US.
The U.S. procuring a European fighter?? Nah. Can't see this happen myself. Look at the fuss made over the Airbus tanker, the VH-71 presidential helo or the Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota... All three were stopped/canceled/replaced because they were foreign designs!
There was an exception: the Harrier.
True for the AV-8A. But the the AV-8B, just like the T-45, the T-6 and a few others, were all manufactured in the US.
Who knows? With the great sociopolitical, economic, and moral decline that the US is going through, maybe at some point in the future it'd have lost its inhibitions anyhow.
I read that the Rafale was designed to land on French and US carriers, and a number of French pilots are US carrier qualified, so it's not that far fetched.