Rafale vs F-18

Dassault Rafale vs F/A-18 Hornet

Overall rating table

BVR Rating
Armament 7.8/10 7.7/10
Technology 7.7/10 7.9/10
Avionics 8.0/10 7.7/10
Maneuverability 9.5/10 6.8/10
Rate of Climb max. 300 m/s – 6ok ft/min max. 254 m/s – 50k ft/min
Thrust/Weight 1.13 0.96
Service Ceiling 17 km – 55k ft 15 km – 50k ft
Speed 2.00 Mach 1.80 Mach
Fuel Economy 0.27 km/l – 0.63 NM/gallon 0.29 km/l – 0.68 NM/gallon
Unit Cost 90.000.000 USD 40.000.000 USD
Overall Rating very good very good

BVR Armament Comparison

BVR AAM missile MBDA Meteor AIM-120D AMRAAM
Year in 2013 1990
Range (mile) 62 43
Range (km) 100 70
Range (NM) 54 38
Speed (mph) 2640 2640
Speed (km/h) 4248 4248
Speed (Mach) 4 4
Weight (lb) 407 330
Weight (kg) 185 150
Unit Cost $1.600.000 $700.000
BVR Rating  90%  80%


Dogfight (armament: only cannon)

Cannon GIAT 30M/719B M61A1 Vulcan
Caliber (mm) 30 mm 20 mm
Rate of Fire (rpm) 2500 rpm 6000 rpm
Muzzle Velocity (m/s) 1025 m/s 1050 m/s
Size Point (10% to 30%) NO NO
Maneuverability (x/10) 9,5 6,8
Thrust/Weight Ratio 1,13 0,96
Total Points 50 42
Probability of winning 54% 46%

General data table

Length 15.27 m – 50 ft 1 in 17.10 m – 56 ft 0 in
Wingspan 10.80 m – 35 ft 4 in 12.3 m – 40 ft 8 in
Height 5.30 m – 17 ft 3 in 4.70 m – 15 ft 4 in
Weight 10,100 kg – 22,6k lb 10,400 kg – 23,5k lb
Power 2 x 75 kN – 17k lbf 2 x 80 kN – 18k lbf


1 × 30 mm GIAT 30/719B cannon (125 rounds) 1 × 20 mm M61A1 Vulcan cannon (578 rounds)
MBDA MICA IR/EM (AAM missile) AIM-9 Sidewinder (AAM missile)
Magic II (AAM missile) AIM-120 AMRAAM (AAM missile)
MBDA Meteor (AAM missile) AIM-7 Sparrow (AAM missile)
MBDA Apache (AGM missile) IRIS-T (AAM missile)
SCALP EG (AGM missile) AIM-132 ASRAAM (AAM missile)
AASM (AGM missile) Taurus missile (cruise missile)
AM 39 Exocet (AGM missile) AGM-84 Harpoon (AGM missile)
ASMP-A (nuclear AGM missile) AGM-45 Shrike (AGM missile)
Paveway II (bomb) AGM-88 HARM (AGM missile)
AGM-65 Maverick (AGM missile)
Penguin (AGM missile)
Standoff Land Attack Missile (AGM missile)
JDAM (bomb)
CBU-87, CBU-89, CBU-97 (bomb)
Paveway II/III/Enhanced Paveway (bomb)
Mark 82, Mark 83, Mark 84 (bomb)
B-61 (nuclear bomb)

 Facts -Dassault Rafale vs F-18 Hornet

F-18 Hornet is cheaper.
F-18 Hornet is more economical.
Dassault Rafale is faster.
Dassault Rafale is better armed.
Dassault Rafale is better dogfighter.
Dassault Rafale is smaller than F-18.



Skip to comment form

  1. Everton

    Só posso dizer que vi o F18 hornet em atividade em Pirassununga e o caça é fora de sério. Praticamente para no ar. Muita força. Além dissso o avião é muito grande, muito bonito. Se eu pudesse decidir, ao invés de comprar trocentos caças de um único fabricante, compraria meio a meio pelo menos. Esses dias a Embraer quase vendeu um monte de Super tucano pros EUA, mas no fim froxou, por que será? Comprando um pouco de caças F18, um pouco do Rafale e também alguns gripen, teríamos a oportunidade de ter acesso a tecnologias diferentes, e faríamos um H com os 3 países.8

  2. Patrick Pannunzio

    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/A18. Look forward to reply.

  3. Marc Havard

    Thats assuming that the FA-18’s pilots are better trained than the the other guys… very presomptuous so very dangerous to think that way.

  4. Rosko

    If the Rafale is such a great plane, why is no one buying it? The French had to bribe the Indians to buy the thing, I bet they will be sorry they did. French aircraft are generally junk, as is their aircraft carrier. If the French want to learn how to build an airplane or a carrier, ask the Americans because do those things better than anyone.

  5. Navy man

    The statement by Patrick has merit. You must remember that in WWII the Allies did not have the best weapons when compared to the Germans for example tanks, fighters, Rockets. The Allies were able to overcome that obstacle because as Stalin said, “Quantity has a quality all it’s own”. Mass production and affordability in being able to replace destroyed armaments quickly and afford ably is critical to sustain any nation’s ability to arm itself and sustain itself in a protracted conflict.

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