Rafale vs F-18

Dassault Rafale vs F/A-18EF Super Hornet Comments of readers (Feel free to “Leave a Reply” on bottom.)

1. If Rafale is not sale at this time, it’s not because is a bad airplane… This is only for 2 reasons, not enough lobbying and less political influence than USA !! French airplanes are superb and very efficient! they produce quality with 10 times less money than USA…

2. The cost of the Rafale is good, but not as good as some other fighters (Chengdu J10). The capability of the Rafale is good, but not better than most aircraft of this field.

3. The F14 is the only true American plane and the only country to have purchased is … Iran! Rafale is much more better than all, but french propaganda is much more smaller than americain and russian.

4. If the Americans are so good at building aircrafts, why countries who participate in the JSF program are looking at other alternatives? Same goes for the bribing/lobbying allegations which could be said about almost any country who sold military gear recently… Anyway, both countries are among the very few who have been building advanced fighters for the last 60 years. Most of Dassault fighters have been used in real operations worldwide and even copied by Israelis which would tend to support the french know-how in building military aircrafts, fighters especially.

5. If the Rafale is such a great plane, why is no one buying it? French aircraft are generally bad, as is their aircraft carrier. And FA-18’s pilots are better trained than the the other guys…

6. Even though the Dassault Rafale is a better aircraft overall according to the above noted comparison , the cost of the Rafale is more than double the of the cost of the F/A 18 . With that in mind an air force can technically equip itself with 2 F/A18’s to every Rafale . We also cannot discount the fact that pilot training can go a long way in overcoming advantages shown in plane comparisons such as these . So due to the economic advantage of the F/A 18’s and pilot training, my choice would be the F/A-18 Super Hornet.

RAFALE INFOGRAPHICF18 Super Hornet

Rafale vs F/A-18E Flight Cost Per Hour

PER HOUR - RAFALE

PER HOUR - F-18E

Overall and BVR ratings

CATEGORY DASSAULT RAFALE F/A-18E/F SUPER HORNET
BVR Rating 90% 83%
Armament 8.6/10 7.9/10
Technology 8.5/10 8.9/10
Avionics 8.4/10 9.0/10
Maneuverability 9.3/10 7.8/10
Rate of Climb max. 300 m/s – 60k ft/min max. 228 m/s – 44k ft/min
Thrust/Weight 1.13 1.03
Service Ceiling 17 km – 55k ft 15 km – 50k ft
Speed 2.00 Mach 1.80 Mach
Fuel Economy 0.70 km/l – 1.65 NM/gallon 0.60 km/l – 1.21 NM/gallon
Unit Cost 130.000.000 USD 80.000.000 USD
Overall Rating excellent very good

BVR (Beyond Visual Range) Ratings

CATEGORY DASSAULT RAFALE F/A-18E/F SUPER HORNET
BVR AAM missile MBDA Meteor AIM-120 AMRAAM
AAM origin NATO USA
Year in 2013 in 1997
Range (mile) 62 45
Range (km) 100 75
Speed (mph) 2640 2640
Speed (km/h) 4248 4248
Radar Thales RBE2-AA AN/APG-79
Radar overall rating excellent excellent
BVR Technology 85% 83%
BVR Def. Tech. 85% 80%
RCS – Radar Cross Section 0.5-2.0 1.0-2.5

Dogfight (close to medium range) Ratings

CATEGORY DASSAULT RAFALE F/A-18E/F SUPER HORNET
Cannon GIAT 30M/719B M61A1 Vulcan
Caliber (mm) 30 mm 20 mm
Rate of Fire (rpm) 2500 rpm 6000 rpm
Muzzle Velocity 1025 m/s 1050 m/s
Size Point 10%-30% 20% 20%
Maneuverability 9.3 7,8
Thrust/Weight Ratio 1,13 1.03
AAM (first) MBDA MICA AIM-7 Sparrow
Operational range 0.2 – 50 km 0.2 – 50 km
AAM (second) R.550 MAGIC II AIM-9 Sidewinder
Operational range 0.3 – 15 km 0.5 – 30 km
Dogfight Rating 76% 57%

Size Comparison

CATEGORY DASSAULT RAFALE F/A-18E/F SUPER HORNET
Length 15.27 m – 50 ft 1 in 18.4 m – 60.1 ft
Wingspan 10.80 m – 35 ft 4 in 13.65 m – 45 ft 0 in
Wing area 45.7 m² – 492 ft² 46.5 m² – 500 sq ft
Height 5.30 m – 17 ft 3 in 4.88 m – 16.0 ft
Weight 10,100 kg – 22,6k lb 14,500 kg – 32,0k lb
Power 2 x 75 kN – 17k lbf 2 x 97 kN – 22k lbf

 

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