India’s Rafale fighter jets have no chance against China’s J-20: experts
Published: Jul 30, 2020 11:31 PM

Supporters of India's Congress party display placards during a protest against the Rafale jets deal in Hyderabad. The Rafale deal has been caught in a controversy with the opposition Congress alleging that the price being paid by the government to buy 36 fighter jets is more than negotiated. The government has denied the allegation and refused to divulge the cost citing a confidentiality clause in the purchase agreement.Photo: AFP


India has recently received delivery of five Rafale fighter jets, with a former Indian air chief marshal boasting that the French-made warplanes' capability is superior to China's J-20 stealth fighter jet. Chinese experts said that the Rafale is only a third-plus generation fighter jet, and does not stand much of a chance against a stealth, fourth generation one like the J-20.

In some combat performance areas, the Rafale is superior to the Su-30 MKI fighter jets, which are in service in the Indian air force in large batches, but it is only about one-fourth of a generation more advanced and does not yield a significant qualitative change, Zhang Xuefeng, a Chinese military expert, told the Global Times.

Thanks to its AESA radar, advanced weapons and limited stealth technologies, the Rafale is comparable to other third-plus generation fighter jets used by other countries, but it will find it very difficult to confront a stealth-capable fourth generation fighter jet, Zhang said.

Zhang's statement came after the five Rafale fighter jets took off from France on Monday and arrived in India on Wednesday, Indian media reported on Wednesday.

In a report by the Hindustan Times on Wednesday, India's former air chief marshal B.S. Dhanoa claimed that the Rafale "is a game changer, and the Chinese J-20 does not even come close."

It is common knowledge that a generational gap in fighter jets represents a huge difference that cannot be made up by tactics and numbers in combat, military observers said.

China's J-20 is far superior to the Rafale, they said.