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F-16 vs Rafale – Which would win?
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The F-16V or Viper is the latest variant of F-16 fighting falcon. The cutting edge upgrades integrate advanced capabilities to better incorporate with 5th generation fighters like F22 Raptor or F-35. On the other hand, the Rafale is a French twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft.
Both fighter jets are considered “top of the line” aircraft equipped with exceptional radars, cueing systems, engines, technology and latest weaponry. Let’s compare these exceptional ware machines and try to determine which aircraft is better? United States’ F-16 viper or French Rafale.
Over the years the F-16’s equipment and armament have been updated to counter the emerging threats. The latest variant commonly known as F-16 viper was introduced in 2015. As of today, around 4,600 F-16s have been built so far. Operated by crew of 1, the F-16 can take-off with maximum weight of 48,000Ib. The fighter jet is powered by a single engine producing 29,000 pounds of thrust. This engine can push the aircraft to top speed of Mach 2. With ferry range of 2,620mi, the aircraft can conduct combat operations within the radius of 340mi. With climb rate of 820 ft/sec, the F-16 can reach at maximum altitude of 50,000ft. The fighter jet comes with 9 Hardpoints in addition to 20mm rotary cannon.
On contrary, Rafale was first rolled out in 2001. Around 201 Rafales have been built so far. Operated by a crew of 1, the aircraft can take-off with a maximum weight of 54,000Ib. The aircraft is powered by a pair of turbofan engines generating 34,000 pounds of thrust combined. With the help of these engines, the aircraft can travel with a top speed of Mach 1.8. With 3 drop tanks, the Rafale can stretch its ferry range up to 2,300mi and can combat within the radius of 1,150mi. With a climb rate of 1,000 ft/sec, the Rafale can reach at service ceiling of 52,000ft. The fighter jet is outfitted with 14 hardpoints in addition to an autocannon.
F-16 was intentionally designed to be aerodynamically unstable. However it was compensated by its digital Flight Control System. This means that the pilot’s controls are interpreted through flight…
Similarly, the Rafale can also pull 9 Gs maneuvers with a high angle of attack. With a delta wing and close coupled delta canards, the aircraft can outmaneuver its opponents with ease…
3. Radar & Avionics
The latest variant of F-16 is equipped with APG-83 radar. This radar can search continuously and track up-to 20 targets. The radar can detect enemy fighter jets with RCS of 11 sqft beyond 85 miles. The Viper is outfitted with faster computer, helmet mounted cueing system and high-speed data bus…
On the other hand, the Rafale is equipped with Thales RBE2 AA active electronically scanned array radar. This radar can detect a 30 sqft aircraft from 90mi. The radar can track up to 40 targets and engage up to 8 aircraft simultaneously…
The F-16 has 9 hardpoints and can be armed with wide range of air-to-air missiles, including Aim-9 side winder, magic 2, aim-7, sky flash and aim-120. The high off-bore sight, infrared air-to-air missiles such as aim-9X, Python 4, aim-132…
On the other hand, the Rafale can carry weapon payloads of more than 9.5 tons on its 14 hardpoints. The range of weapons includes air to air, air to ground, air to sea, guided and unguided bombs. For a strategic mission, the jet can deliver…
Watch complete video for detailed conclusion in terms of Performance, Electronic Warfare, Payload, Deep Strike, Close Air Support, BVR Engagements and Dogfight.
So what do you think that which fighter jet is better? United States’ F-16 Viper or French Rafale? Let us know in the comments section.
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1) “Clash Defiant” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
2) US DOD
3) Armée de l’air
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#F16 #Rafale #FighterJet