Dassault Rafale vs F-35 Lightning II

French Dassault Rafale vs US F-35 Lightning II Comparison

Comments of readers (Feel free to “Leave a Reply” on bottom.)

1. Maybe F-35 is better but there is lot tehnicial problems with it and that is reason why it is not in use. F-35 is stealth plane and that is main and only adventage when compared to Rafale. Both Planes use same AAM and AGM missiles and their radars are on same level, so only adventage is easier detection of target due stealth technology.

2. In close 1-on-1 fight F-35 dont have chance against Rafale. Rafale is more agile, has better thrust to weight ratio and has lot more chance to win. F-35 can only win if attack Rafale before it detect threat…

3. F-35 RCS is lot lower than Rafale, so in 90% cases Rafale will not see F-35…

RAFALE INFOGRAPHICF-35 infographic

Rafale vs F-35 Flight Cost Per Hour

PER HOUR - RAFALE

PER HOUR - F-35

Overall and BVR ratings

CATEGORY DASSAULT RAFALE F-35 LIGHTNING 2
BVR Rating 90% 94%
Armament 8.6/10 8.6/10
Technology 8.5/10 9.5/10
Avionics 8.4/10 9.0/10
Maneuverability 9.3/10 8.5/10
Rate of Climb max. 300 m/s – 60k ft/min max. 230 m/s – 45k ft/min
Thrust/Weight 1.13 1.07
Service Ceiling 17 km – 55k ft 20 km – 65k ft
Speed 2.00 Mach 1.60 Mach
Fuel Economy 0.70 km/l – 1.65 NM/gallon 0.80 km/l – 1.68 NM/gallon
Unit Cost 130.000.000 USD 180.000.000 USD
Overall Rating excellent excellent

BVR (Beyond Visual Range) Ratings

CATEGORY DASSAULT RAFALE F-35 LIGHTNING 2
BVR AAM missile MBDA Meteor MBDA Meteor
AAM origin NATO NATO
Year in 2013 in 2013
Range (mile) 62 62
Range (km) 100 100
Speed (mph) 2640 2640
Speed (km/h) 4248 4248
Radar Thales RBE2-AA AN/APG-81 AESA
Radar overall rating excellent excellent
BVR Technology 85% 92%
BVR Def. Tech. 85% 95%
RCS – Radar Cross Section 0.5-2.0 0.005-0.3

Dogfight (close to medium range) Ratings

CATEGORY DASSAULT RAFALE F-35 LIGHTNING 2
Cannon GIAT 30M/719B GAU-22/A
Caliber (mm) 30 mm 20 mm
Rate of Fire (rpm) 2500 rpm 4200 rpm
Muzzle Velocity 1025 m/s 1000 m/s
Size Point 10%-30% 20% 20%
Maneuverability 9.3 8,5
Thrust/Weight Ratio 1,13 1,07
AAM (first) MBDA MICA AIM-9X
Operational range 0.2 – 50 km 0.2 – 50 km
AAM (second) R.550 MAGIC II IRIS-T
Operational range 0.3 – 15 km 0.5 – 30 km
Dogfight Rating 76% 70%

Size Comparison

CATEGORY DASSAULT RAFALE F-35 LIGHTNING 2
Length 15.27 m – 50 ft 1 in 15.6 m – 50.0 ft
Wingspan 10.80 m – 35 ft 4 in 10.7 m – 35 ft 0 in
Wing area 45.7 m² – 492 ft² 42.0 m² – 460 sq ft
Height 5.30 m – 17 ft 3 in 4.33 m – 14.2 ft
Weight 10,100 kg – 22,6k lb 13,200 kg – 30,2k lb
Power 2 x 75 kN – 17k lbf 1 x 190 kN – 43k lbf