The dynamics of the rotating vortex taking place in the discharge ring of a Francis turbine for partial flow rate operating conditions and cavitation free conditions is studied by carrying out both experimental flow survey and numerical simulations. 2D laser Doppler velocimetry, 3D particle image velocimetry, and unsteady wall pressure measurements are performs to investigate thoroughly the velocity and pressure fields in the discharge ring and to give access to the vortex dynamics. Unsteady RANS simulation are performed and compared to the experimental results. The computing flow domain includes the rotating runner and the elbow draft tube. The mesh size of 500,000 nodes for the 17 flow passages of the runner and 420,000 nodes for the draft tube is optimized to achieve reasonable CPU time for a good representation of the studied phenomena. The comparisons between the detailed experimental flow field and the CFD solution yield to a very good validation of the modeling of the draft tube rotating vortex and, then, validate the presented approach for industrial purpose applications.