With the exception of NATO combat exercises, the F-16 and the Rafale have never met in any real air combat. So people are wondering if the Pakistan Air Force’s 30-year-old version of the F-16 will be able to compete with India’s latest Rafale.
My rational and logical answer is that in cricket, the ability of a batsman is more important than the quality of the bat and the skill of an aviator plays a decisive role in aerial warfare.
The measure of a country’s superiority in this cold war era is the capability of its warplanes and the modernity of other weapons. Therefore, every major country is in the race to become a super-military power by building more powerful fighter jets and destructive weapons than others. In fact, the economy of all major countries today is largely dependent on the arms industry, its demand and sale in the world market.
The lucrative armaments industry in Europe and the United States is alive and billions of dollars can be earned from the arms trade by creating hot climate of war and border tensions around the world.
After the humiliating defeat in Ladakh, the United States and European countries are exacerbating fears of a sense of inferiority in India, urging it to buy more and more advanced weapons. Under this pretext, their arms business is growing. And the corruption kingdoms of Narendra Modi are creating opportunities for the government to make money from commissions
The world knows that India lacks the art and the courage to use its sophisticated weapons to harm others. But India is a master at conspiracy theories in other countries, such as the Mukti Bahini, TTP and anti-state terrorism patronage of Baloch insurgents.
The Rafale vs. F-16 is more of a competition between US and French armaments than a comparison of Pakistani and Indian aircraft. Where India, despite doubling its apparent military might, suffers from an incurable feeling of inferiority, fearing the terror of Pakistani missiles and the magical capabilities of pilots.
Design, engine and basic features
Rafale is a 4.5 generation double-engine fighter and F-16 is a fourth generation single engine aircraft. The wingspan of the Raphael is 10.90 meters and that of the F16 is 9.96 meters. The length of the Rafale is 15.30 meters and that of the F-16 is 15.06 meters. Therefore, in terms of volume, the two planes are almost identical.
The empty Rafale weighs 10 tons while the F-16 weighs 9.2 tons. Raphael can carry 24.5 tons of weapons. The F-16 has a payload capacity of 21.7 tons. Therefore, due to the large number of weapons in the Rafale, it seems to have an apparent advantage over the F-16 in air combat. But according to world observers, Pakistani fighter pilots are far ahead of Indian fighter pilots in air combating skills.
Comparison of strike range
In the strike range, the F-16 has a clear lead over Rafale. The range of F-16 is 4220 km but Rafale’s is only 3700 km. Pakistani F-16 also has a lead over Rafale in speed. The Rafale has a top speed of 2130 km ph while the F-16 has a range of 2414 km ph. With a greater ceiling ability of 300 meters per second Rafale has an advantage over F-16’s 254 meters per second. However, the altitude of both planes is 50,000 feet.
Comparison of weapons
The Rafale is equipped with Mica air-to-air missiles, SCALP long-range missiles, laser-guided bombs, AM39 anti-ship missiles, GIAT-30 guns, meteor long-range air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface weapons. F-16 can hit 20 targets identified in 84 km radius and Rafale can hit 40 targets identified in 100 km radius
On the other hand, F-16 has Penguin anti-ship missiles, cluster bombs, runway destroyers, AIM 9 sidewinder short-range air missiles, AIM-120 mid-range air missiles, GPS-guided bombs and other deadly Arms. The F-16 can also has nuclear weapons, conventional drop-bomb capabilities and a 20mm Vulcan gun.
According to the bragging Indian media, Rafale is equipped with semi-stealth technology but the F16 doesn’t have that capability. Therefore, the combination of India’s SU-30 and the Rafale would be disastrous for the Pakistan Air Force.
But Indian media should remember the Operation Swift Retort and the humiliating horror of the Indian Air Force with Russian SU-30 and Sukhoi, French Mirage 2000 and the British Jaguar. Pakistan old version F-16, self-made JF-17 Thunder and the 50 year old Mirage taught them a historical lesson that will always be remembered.
The history of Pakistani pilots performance is more than an excellent. The Israeli planes that were destroyed by Pakistani pilots in the Arab-Israeli war were also much more powerful than the Arab planes. And in the Afghan war, Pakistan’s old version fighter jets successfully competed the latest Russian war planes of that time.
Where will India bring in air warfare artists like Pakistani M. M Alam who shot down 5 Indian jets within less than a minute and expert aviators like Hassan Siddiqui and Noman Khan who shot down modern Indian planes with old Pakistani planes.
Rafale can be bought from France, Indian pilots can be trained from USA and Israel. But the passion and talent of Pakistani pilots are not for sale in any market. The spirit of sacrificing one’s life for homeland and the heroism of motherland are not found at shops.
FAROOQ RASHID BUTT
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