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France Rafale vs US F-16: Which is the best

India, New Delhi: After India on Friday signed a 7.8 billion deal with France to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets, and the delivery of which will start in 36 months. There has been a lot of comparison between the Pakistans F-16 and India’s Rafale.

Difference between Rafale Vs F16



US F-16


Rafale can fly up to 2,000 nautical miles at a stretch.

US F-16 can fly 2,280 nautical miles.


The maximum cruise altitude is 50,000 feet.

The maximum cruise altitude is 50,000 feet.


The rate of climb is 60,000 feet per minute.

The rate of climb is 60,000 feet per minute.

Advantage F16

Cruise speed long range is 1,032 knots.

Cruise speed long range is 1,303 knots.

Advantage Rafale

 Cruise speed normal range 750 knots.

Cruise speed normal range is 330 knots.

Advantage Rafale

Max speed winner is Rafale 579 knots.


Advantage Rafale

The Rafale reaches a maximum speed that is 410 knots faster than the F-16.

Less Faster

Advantage Rafale

Maximum thrust is 34,000 (lbf / pound-force)

Maximum thrust is 29,000 (lbf / pound-force)

Advantage Rafale

Rafale produces 5,000 more pound-forces of thrust than the F-16.



- Take-off Weight for Rafale is 54,000 (lbs)

- Take-off Weight for F-16 is 54,000 (lbs)

Advantage Rafale

- Exterior Dimensions: Height 17.52 feet., wingspan 35.43 feet, total length 50.10 feet.

- Exterior Dimensions: Height 16.70 feet., wingspan 32.83 feet, total length 49.31 feet.

Advantage Rafale

Rafale is 0.79 feet longer than the F-16.


Advantage Rafale

Rafale has a 2.62 foot wider wingspan than the F-16.


Advantage Rafale

Rafale is 0.82 feet taller than the F-16.


Advantage F16


- The F-16 weights 6,000 pounds less than the Rafale.


In terms of Attack and Defence



US –F16

Avionics make & model

Thales RBE2-AA AESA radar Thales SPECTRA Electronic Warfare system. Thales/SAGEM-OSF Optronique Sec


Armament: Guns

1× 30 mm (1.18 in) GIAT 30/M791 autocannon with 125 rounds

Guns: 1 × 20 mm (0.787 in) M61A1 Vulcan 6-barrel Gatling cannon, 511 rounds



14 for Air Force versions (Rafale B/C), 13 for Navy version (Rafale M) with a capacity of 9,500 kg (20,900 lb) external fuel and ordnance and provisions to carry combinations of:

2 × wing-tip Air-to-air missile launch rails, 6 × under-wing, and 3 × under-fuselage pylon (2 of 3 for sensors) stations with a capacity of Up to 17,000 lb (7,700 kg) of stores


MBDA MICA IR or EM or Magic II and

MBDA Meteor in the future


2 × AIM-7 Sparrow

6 × AIM-9 Sidewinder

6 × AIM-120 AMRAAM

6 × IRIS-T

6 × Python-4




MBDA Apache or

MBDA Storm Shadow-SCALP EG or

AASM-Hammer or

GBU-12 Paveway II, GBU-22 Paveway III or GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II

GBU-24 Paveway III



6 × AGM-65 Maverick

4 × AGM-88 HARM

AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM)




MBDA AM 39-Exocet anti-ship missile

MBDA CVS401-Perseus in the future




ASMP-A nuclear missile




Thales Damocles targeting pod

Thales AREOS (Airborne Recce Observation System) reconnaissance pod

Thales TALIOS multi-function targeting pod in the future (F3R Standard)[citation needed]

Up to 5 drop tanks

Buddy-buddy refuelling pod



Anti-ship missiles:



2 × AGM-84 Harpoon

4 × AGM-119 Penguin