The strength of a country is defined by its Airforce. The country with modern fighter jets is considered more powerful and can easily wage a war against countries that are far away from it. India recently received 5 rafale jets. France is designing and building it for about 33 years. India was trying to get these aircraft for a long time. On 25 February 2019 when Pakistan shot down two Indian fighter jets, Prime minister of India Narendra Modi said if we had rafale then things would be different. India booked 36 Rafale aircraft in France, out of which it received a batch of first five aircraft. Rafale is upgraded version 4th generation aircraft. It was never used in a dogfight till now, though it was used for bombardment over Iraq. Pakistan rebuilds its JF 17 thunder with the assistance of China, Pakistan military currently deploys two major variants of the fighter, Block 1 variant which entered the fleet in 2007 and Block 2 variant which entered the production in 2013. In 2020 Pakistan launched block 3 version of JF-17. We will compare rafale, jf 17 block 3 version, and F 16 in different aspects, but before we start, subscribe to our channel and press the bell icon.
First flight:Rafale made its first flight on 4th July 1986. JF -17 was launched for the first time on 25 August 2003. while F-16 made its first flight on 20 January 1974.
Engine:when it comes to engine upthrust rafale has an edge over JF 17 and f 16. UPThrust is the force that moves the aircraft through the air. Rafale is equipped with 2 engines which produce an upthrust of 150 kiloNewton. JF 17 and F 16 contain a single engine with upthrust 85 kilonewton and 106 kilonewton respectively.
Thrust to Weight Ratio:The thrust-to-weight ratio is the most important parameter in determining the performance of an aircraft. The greater the thrust to weight ratio, the better it will perform especially when equipped with weapons. rafale has a thrust to weight ratio of 1.13. JF 17 is of 1, while the thrust to weight ratio of F-16 is 1.06
Capacity to upgrade:the major drawback of rafale is that it cannot be upgraded. JF-17 and F-16 are made on block building approach which means that they can be upgraded with time. though the weapons attached to rafale can be upgraded, its design and technology can never be upgraded. If rafale gets outdated you have to buy a new, but JF 17 can be upgraded rather than buying a new. Currently, Block 3 version of jf 17 is under its way.
Fuel consumption:Fuel consumption of rafale is 1 liter/ km rafale. JF 17 has a fuel consumption of 1.34 liter/km. F-16 consumes a lot of fuel and it has a fuel consumption of 3.36 liter/km. Despite two engines rafale fuel consumption is better than both
Speed:The maximum speed of a rafale is 1389 km/hr, while the maximum speed of JF 17 is much greater than rafale which is 1960 km/hr. f 16 is leading both of them with a maximum speed of 2,414 km/hr.
Range:The range is the maximum distance an aircraft can fly between takeoff and landing. Both rafale and jf 17 have almost the same range. The range of Rafale is 3700 km, while the range of JF- 17 is 3,482 kilometers. The range of F-16 is 4200 km much greater than rafale and jf 17.
Weight:Rafale weights 9979 kg. Jf 17 weights 6,586 kg while F 16 weights 9,207 kg. the greater the weight of an aircraft greater would be its drag. JF 17 is lighter than both, which provides it an edge during a dogfight.
Military weapons:Hardpoints are the number of weapons that can be attached to an aircraft. rafale has 14 hardpoints, while JF 17 has 11 hardpoints. In the missile system, JF-17 is unmatchable. Block 3 generation of JF-17 comes with a PL-15 missile system. PL-15 has beyond visual range capacity which means that if the object is not visible to the pilot he can still target it. The PL-15’s beyond visual range missile has reportedly caused serious worry not only in India but also in the Pentagon. Pl 15 has a range of 300 km, while the meteor missile system which is equipped in rafale has a maximum range of 150 km.
Radar cross-section:Radar cross-section is the measure of stealth in aircraft. RCS of rafale is 0.5 meter square. RCS of jf 17 is 4 meter square. and RCS of F-16 is 1.2 meter square. this means JF-17 can be easily detected by the opponents as compared to rafale and F-16.
Location:Rafale is produced in France. JF 17 is produced in Pakistan with assistance from China. F-16 is produced in the United States. As JF 17s are produced locally in Pakistan. this gives an advantage to Pakistan Air force as local production decreases the dependence on other countries. India bought 36 rafale aircrafts from France, while Pakistan can produce 30 to 35 JF 17 aircrafts each year.
Cost:cost of a single unit of rafale is 93.6 million dollarsJF-17 costs 25 million dollars for a single unit. the cost is expected to go up for block 3. The cost of a single unit of F 16 is 29.1 million dollars. Price of a rafale is almost triple than that of a single JF 17.
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