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Comparison Of Dassault Rafale VS F-16 Fighting Falcon

The pressure between the 2 of the nations Pakistan and India has been rising at a rapid pace. The rise in the hostile actions between those two nuclear nations slowly built up over time. It has been an ever-present one. Now, the differences between these 2 nations over the common issue of the Jammu Kashmir, has caused the situation to escalate at a very rapid pace. Both these countries are mobilizing their military arsenals and this includes the assets of their air forces as well.

India has taken a step further in this direction as compared to Pakistan by getting the delivery of the Dassault Rafale fighter jets. The first fleet of these jets has already landed on the Indian soils and more are on their way.  As for Pakistan, the only answer to these French-made Dassault Rafales is the F-16 Fighting Flacons that Pakistan acquired from the US back in the early 1990s.

Today we decided to educate our keen readers about the amazing comparison of Dassault Rafale VS F-16 Fighting Flacon.


Dassault Rafael:

The name Dassault Rafale is a French word which translates to ‘Gust OF Wind” and as the pilots flying it would like to call it Burst of Fire. The aircraft is the result of the ingenious efforts from the French aviation engineers working at the Dassault Aviation. F-16 was created with a vision to provide aerial roles for air supremacy, reconnaissance, ground support, an in-depth strike, an anti-ship strike as well as nuclear deterrent.

It comes into 3 major variants and has been heavily exported to nations such as India, Egypt and Qatar due to the cost-effectiveness as well as being a light jet fighter.

F-16 Fighting Falcon:

Coming on to F-16 Fighting Flacon, this aircraft has been renowned throughout the world due to its high success rate in nearly any type of aerial combat missions. It is single seater multirole jet fighter with supersonic speeds that serves well n the air superiority combat missions. Due to the effectiveness of the aircraft in hands of many world nations’ pilots they aircraft instead of becoming obsolete has received major modifications making it into the All-weather multirole jet fighter it is today.

The reason, pilots prefer this aircraft is mainly due to its bubble canopy deign that allows them to have better visibility of their surroundings in the heat of battle. When this feature is combined with its reclined seat to nearly 30 degrees, it causes reduction of the G-force on the pilot causing them to perform much better than any fighter jet in its class.

The aircraft’s popularity among the world air forces can be understood by the fact that it has been built to be a Lightweight Fighter due to it being both having small size as well as being less expensive to other fighters.


Dassault Rafael:

The one thing that makes the Dassault Rafale have an edge over the F-16 is the ability of the aircraft to carry the armaments weighing more than its own weight. The aircraft has a payload capacity of nearly 2.5 times its own body weight making it a great asset for carrying different armaments for both the air-to-air and the air-to-ground missions.

The Rafale is able to carry the missiles such as the following as per the need of the mission role.

  • METEOR Missiles
  • MICA Missiles
  • MAGIC-II Missiles
  • APACHE Missiles
  • Storm Shadow Missiles
  • Hammer Missiles

As we said earlier, this aircraft is the one with anti-ship striking capabilities; it is also able to have the Exocet Block 2 Anti-Ship Missiles. For its nuclear deterrence missions, the aircraft can be equipped with the ASMP-A nuclear missile.

F-16 Fighting Falcon:

The F-16 Fighting Flacon was built and designed for the era in which the dogfighting missions were quite an often occurrence as the world yet had to see the 5th generation jet fighters such as F0-35 Lightning II.  Due to this reason, the aircraft came fitted by design with a single M-61A1 20mm multibarrel cannon which had 500 rounds.  This cannon is the first line of attack power from an F-16. It still came with many external hardpoints allowing it to carry the armaments for not only the air-to-air and air-to-surface missions but also to be equipped with electronic countermeasures.

The F-16 can be equipped with the following weapons.

  • AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles
  • AIM-120 AMRAAM medium range air-to-air missiles.
  • AGM 65 Maverick air-to-ground missiles.
  • Penguin anti-ship missiles.
  • Runway Denial Bombs.
  • Cluster Bombs.
  • Laser Guided Bombs.
  • GPS-Guided Bombs.
  • Conventional drop bombs including Nuclear bomb

Radar & Stealth:-

Dassault Rafael:

Dassault Rafale has been equipped with an LPI (Low Probability of Intercept) radar. The radar works by not allowing any enemy radar system to detect the radio signals from Rafael to attack. This radar feature when couple with its SPECTRA Electronic Warfare Suite, allow the Dassault Rafale to detect the enemy radar signal to and then create a radiation field of that same frequency and amplitude but phase it in the opposite direction. This feature of the Rafale has been dubbed as Active Cancellation”.

F-16 Fighting Falcon:

As for the earliest models of the F-16 fighting Falcon which Pakistan is using right now are equipped with the Westinghouse AN/APG-66 fire-control radar. The radar works by detecting a target in a low cluttered environment from generating a low PRF (pulse-repetition frequency). As for the times in a dog fighting to detect the enemy aircraft in the high clutter environment, the aircraft makes use of the medium PRF.


Dassault Rafael:

A Dassault Rafale is fitted with 2 of the Snecma M88 engines and each of these engines is able to create a dry thrust of 110000 lb/ft and on afterburners, it creates a thrust of 17000 lb/ft. this much power generation from its engines allow the Rafale to fly at a top speed of nearly 2640 mph for a range of 3700 kilometers at an altitude of 50000 feet.

F-16 Fighting Falcon:

As for the a F-16 Fighting Falcon it comes equipped with either a single General Electric F110-GE-100/129 engine Allowing the aircraft to create a dry thrust of 27000 lb/ft. This much power allows for the F-16 to tear through the skies at a top speed of nearly 2414 mph for a range of 4220 kilometers at an altitude of 50000 feet.

Size Comparison:-

In every aspect of the aircraft measurements, the Dassault Rafale is larger when compared with the F-16 Fighting Flacon. But the size of an aircraft is not the one to measure its capacity in the flight while it may account to some extent.

The size comparison for both these jet fighters is as follows.

Dassault Rafale F-16 Fighting Falcon
Wingspan 35.7 feet (10.90 meters) 32 feet, 8 inches (9.8 meters)
Length 50.1 feet (15.30 meters) 49 feet, 5 inches (14.8 meters)
Height 17.3 feet (5.30 meters) 16 feet (4.8 meters)



Taking into account all the aspects of the 2 aircraft we stated above, both of these jet fighters are exceptional in their own right.  The Indian Dassault Rafale hold their edge over the Pakistani owned F-16 Fighting Flacons due to the fact that they have been bought from France quite recently. It is safe to assume that these Rafale have been equipped with far much more state of the art weaponry, radar & stealth technology and other such features that cannot be disclose for the general population just yet.

On the other hand, the F-16 Fighting Falcons were bought by Pakistan back in the 1990s in a contract. These were the earliest made F-16s and while the Pakistan Air Force must have kept them in the perfect war-ready shape, there might still be few lapses in their performances when compared with the freshly provided Rafales. Overall, F-16 holds the name in the world of fighter jets just like AK-47 holds in the world of firearms; meaning like an AK-47 to be an impeccable fireman, F-16 is an impeccable dogfighter.

In the end, the technology and the weaponry can do so much in actual combat. In the end, it is all dependent upon the one who is flying these beasts of machines. Both India and Pakistan have been known to have world-class fighter pilots.

Related Content

Amazing facts about the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon

Amazing Facts about Dassault Rafale

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