India's move to strengthen its defence power has left China shaken and rattled. As the country welcomes its 5 Rafale jets, China's state-backed mouthpiece Global Times released a report claiming that Rafales 'don't stand a chance' against China's J-20 stealth fighter jet. Calling Rafale 'a 3rd-generation jet,' the CPC mouthpiece quoting Zhang Xuefeng, a Chinese military 'expert' claimed that J-20, 'a 4th-generation aircraft' is 'far superior' to Rafale.
"Thanks to its AESA radar, advanced weapons and limited stealth technologies, the Rafale is comparable to other third-plus generation fighter jets used by other countries, but it will find it very difficult to confront a stealth-capable fourth-generation fighter jet," GT quoted Zhang.
What is amusing is that the Chinese expert has himself downgraded Chengdu J-20 to a 4th generation aircraft, rebutting China's own claims, of touting Chengdu J-20 as a '5th generation aircraft.' It is important however to mention that there are only two 5th generation aircraft and the US has both.
Also as China continues to latch on to its claims, a fourth-generation aircraft like Chengdu J-20 does not possess stealth capabilities, even if the Chinese expert believes J-20 is 'stealth-capable'. China's J-20 has on many occasions been tracked down by India's 3rd generation Sukhoi Su-30MKIs in Northeast and the Tibet border.
On the other hand, Rafale is a 4.5 Generation jet, whose capabilities are unmatched when it comes to its comparison with China's 'Mighty Dragon.'
Former Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa on Friday demolished China's claims remarking that Chengdu J-20 was 'no match' for Rafale. Tearing into China's propaganda, the former IAF Chief revealed that Rafale's radar signature and supercruiseaility 'was one of the best' across the world, far superior in comparison to China's self-manufactured Chengdu J-20.
The Rafale is fitted with 14 hardpoints and 13 India-specific enhancements. Its total external load capacity is more than 9 tonnes. Hence, it can lift the equivalent of its own empty weight in payloads. Its loitering capacity is 1.5 times that of the Sukhoi. The range is 780 to 1055 km as against 400-550 km of a Sukhoi jet. Similarly, the Rafale jet can engage in 5 sorties per 24 hours against 3 by the Sukhoi.
Moreover, the Rafale is powered by two SNECMA M88 engines, which helps it attain a range of more than 3,700 km. Having a top speed of 2223 km, it is equipped with laser-guided bombs weighing 900 kg. 2500 rounds per minute can be fired from its internal cannon. Rafale considered as a 4.5 generation aircraft will now lead the IAF's fighter jets. Also, Rafale maintenance time per flight hour is 2.25 hours against 6-8 hrs for other fighters.