Rafale vs SU-30MKI

Dassault Rafale vs Sukhoi SU-30MKI

Both planes are quite similar in terms of use, maybe small adventage for Rafale because of better AAM missiles, even Su-30MKI have better tehnology and characteristics…

Adventage for Rafale is bigger with any new update, french fighter tend to improve technology and avionics, and also plan to use similar weapon as SU-30 MKI, like AAM and AAG missiles of Indian company DRDO…

Rafale has better thrust to weight ratio, and slightly better economical factor, but is also twice more expensive… Both planes are excellent, and in fight main factor will be experience of pilot or ground support.

Indian company DRDO produce AAM, AAG and anti-radiation missiles for SU-30MKI. Astra (AAM) missile is designed to be capable of engaging targets at varying range and altitudes allowing for engagement of both short-range targets (up to 20 km) and long-range targets (up to 80 km) using alternative propulsion modes. The maximum range of Astra missile is 110 km (it is not taken into calculation of data because it is still in test phase).

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

1. Eurofighter and Rafale are lot better than Russian and Indian Su 30. Su 30 is an slow and big airplane with horrible thrust/weight ratio…

2. The Sukhoi SU-30MKI has more thrust and more speed. And also has the ability to implement thrust vectoring, and IAF add some sort of HMD for its planes. IAF pilots are more trained, almost 280 h under there belt. So MKI in the hand of good pilots, like IAF, can out perform the Rafale. Then the 2nd question must be why India need Rafale rather than SU 30. The answer is simple, because we have enough (curent + orderd) SU 30 mki. And we need a new platform …

3. Su 30MKI is better, engineer have to increase the speed. Make su 30MKI a little bit smaller then is best in any way then Rafale. As rafale is smaller in size is used in mountain area like Kashmi,. and technology transfer is best policy that India can make Rafale better and profit goes to India also insted of France

4. Russian engines have problems (more frequent overhauls required, more unexpected maintenances) which reduces fleet utilization. IAF has struggled to get Su-30 fleet utilization to even 50%. I don’t have numbers for Rafale but the utilization for Mirage is much higher than the Russian/Soviet counterparts. So you would need more Su-30s than Rafales to have the same number of aircraft available at any point.

5. The suprimacy of rafale is in EASA radar and SPECTRA pod.

6. I cant understand why the indian goverment investing in Rafale, rather than going for more MKI which are far better than the Rafale’s…

6. There is not significant difference between these two fighters, however a good pilot can make significant difference and hence can save good money on these fighters.

7. I think Sukhoi 30MKI is the best jet fighter and it suits with our requirement. If required, we should develop variants of LCA so that it could fill the gap of MMRCA. We should develop indigenous technology with the help of private sector which would give us self confidence and retention of foreign currency, which would help us in long run. We can also explore the export possibilities to earn foreign exchange.

8. No doubt Sukhoi is a good one we have, but Rafale is an advance plane, it has a unique capability i.e., Spectra. Enemies fighter plane can not use BVR missile on it because it won’t show up on their radar. And we are not just buying Rafale, FRANCE is ready for ToT (transfer of technology) that means we can use the same on our own HAL TEJAS versions.

9. Both fighter’s are good in their category … both are needed for IAF… Indians are not fool to select Rafale ,there having some reason behind that to choose Rafale over SU-30MKI…

10. Why not buy half of the budget for SU-30 and the other half for Rafale? I think it would be to India’s advantage if it is done this way. Good luck to your decision.

11. Max speed of SU-30 MKI is Mach 2.3 and Sukhoi is a supermaneuvarable airdominace aircraft while Rafale is just a multirole combat aircraft. Sukhoi will get much higher performance engines and a Phazotron Zhuk Me AESA radar and with many other armament and avionics in next 3 years so just dont believe that Rafale is better than Sukhoi. Rafale cant even do a 360 degree turn, in 3 secs it is not a good dogfighter as it dont have higher angle of attack

12. Su-30 is not fast and good, it is under Mach 2 airplane, armament and avionics of eastern production is not even close to western production. 360 degree turn make no-sense in real fight, it is just for Airshows… In real fight Sukhoi will be an lazy, slow and big target… It is too big and too heavy…

13. Sukhoi is much better than Rafale. The speed of su 30mki is 2.1 to 2.2 mach. And most important point is that now su 30mki has Brahmos missile. And Brahmos is world’s fastest super cruise missile. And only india has this missile.

14. I wouldn’t want you to get a wrong impression of any fighter , so I am telling this to you as a senior aircraft maintenance engineer in IAF (INDIAN AIR FORCE) that the data given here is not correct the simple fact that Su 30 MKI is equipped with Thrust Vectoring tech makes a clear statement that it is better than Rafale. Another fact that Su30 MKI is a 4.5 gen Fighter , puts it in an entirely different class than Rafale. Rafale may be better maneuverable but it has no use infront of Su 30 MKI as it will never be able to engage Su 30 MKI in dogfights since Su 30 MKI’s iRBIS radar will spot it from a safe distance and it’s better Avionics will engage and destroy the Rafale from quite a distance and the pilot in Rafale will never know what hit him. This website lacks fact to support it’s claims.

15. The BVR rating is self contradictory. For the Vympell comes out better in all respects. Only thing is that its older technology. The rating thing depends on who does the rating.

16. Rafale does not have better stealth ability than Su-30. Both plane dont have stealth, Rafale is smaller and that is little “adventage”. I think that Su-30 is lot better than French Rafale.

17. One big difference betwen Sukhoi 30 and rafale is that Sukhoi-30 is not at all stealth, it has maximum RCS whereas Rafale has a great degree of Stealthness and has very low RCS lower than F-16. Second difference is its self defence system which is unique.

18. There are other important parameters not listed here like long term reliability, endurance with low service, usability on rough fields, required knowledge of service personnel, required fuel quality… which are significantly better for Sukhoi. Overall Rafale is quite good plane for peace service or some local colonial engagements while Sukhoi is very good sturdy war plane for rough environment which will fly until being destroyed.


Rafale vs SU-30MKI Flight Cost Per Hour



Overall and BVR ratings

BVR Rating 90% 86%
Armament 8.6/10 8.4/10
Technology 8.5/10 8.2/10
Avionics 8.4/10 8.2/10
Maneuverability 9.3/10 9.7/10 (3D Thrust)
Rate of Climb max. 300 m/s – 60k ft/min max. 280 m/s – 55k ft/min
Thrust/Weight 1.13 1.05
Service Ceiling 17 km – 55k ft 17 km – 56k ft
Speed 2.00 Mach 2.00 Mach
Fuel Economy 0.70 km/l – 1.65 NM/gallon 0.23 km/l – 0.50 NM/gallon
Unit Cost 130.000.000 USD 65.000.000 USD
Overall Rating excellent excellent

BVR (Beyond Visual Range) Ratings

BVR AAM missile MBDA Meteor AA-12 Adder (R77 Vympel)
AAM origin NATO Russia
Year in 2013 in 1998
Range (mile) 62 99
Range (km) 100 160
Speed (mph) 2640 2970
Speed (km/h) 4248 4779
Radar Thales RBE2-AA IRBIS-E
Radar overall rating excellent excellent
BVR Technology 85% 87%
BVR Def. Tech. 85% 85%
RCS – Radar Cross Section 0.5-2.0 1.0-3.5

Dogfight (close to medium range) Ratings

Cannon GIAT 30M/719B GSh-30-1
Caliber (mm) 30 mm 30 mm
Rate of Fire (rpm) 2500 rpm 1800 rpm
Muzzle Velocity 1025 m/s 860 m/s
Size Point 10%-30% 20% 10%
Maneuverability 9.3 9,7
Thrust/Weight Ratio 1,13 1,05
AAM (first) MBDA MICA AA-11 Archer
Operational range 0.2 – 50 km 0.3 – 40 km
AAM (second) R.550 MAGIC II AA-8 Aphid
Operational range 0.3 – 15 km 0.1 – 8 km
Dogfight Rating 76% 94%

Size Comparison

Length 15.27 m – 50 ft 1 in 21.9 m (72.9 ft)
Wingspan 10.80 m – 35 ft 4 in 15.3 m (50.2 ft)
Wing area 45.7 m² – 492 ft² 62 m² (667 sq ft)
Height 5.30 m – 17 ft 3 in 5.90 m (19.4 ft)
Weight 10,100 kg – 22,6k lb 18,400 kg (40,570 lb)
Power 2 x 75 kN – 17k lbf 2 x 123 kN – 27,3k lbf

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