Difference between Rafale and Su-35S

Rafale is a fighter jet of France, whereas Sukhoi Su-35S is an improved version of the Su-27 Flanker and was designed during the Cold War to fight with F-15. Through this article, let us look at Rafale and Su-35S fighter jets.
Updated: May 17, 2022 20:37 IST
Difference between Rafale and Su-35S | Rafale vs Su-35S
Difference between Rafale and Su-35S | Rafale vs Su-35S

Rafale vs Su-35S: Amid the ongoing war between two European nations, Ukraine shot down Russia's Su-35S fighter jet - the first of its kind - with short-range missiles. The fall of the fighter jet has left countries such as China and Egypt in deep shock as they inked deals with Russia to procure Sukhoi Su-35S fighter jets. 

Against this backdrop, let us first look at Rafale and Su-35S fighter jets. 

Sukhoi Su-35S

It is one of the best fifth-gen fighter jets in the Russian Air Force. The super manoeuvrable, multi-purpose aircraft is designed using fifth-generation technologies. 

It uses a digital information control system and an improved radar system that can effectively engage eight targets simultaneously. The USP of the aircraft is that it can move in one direction while its nose can be kept in the opposite direction. 

The multi-role fighter can detect its target from 400 km away, and its state-of-the-art radar system can track 30 targets simultaneously. Furthermore, it can jam the radar of any western fighter jet. 

Rafale

Rafale is a fighter jet from France. The twin-engine, multirole fighter aircraft can perform a wide range of long and short-range missions. These include air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence. 

It is an aerodynamically unstable aircraft that uses digital fly-by-wire flight controls to maintain stability artificially. 

The aircraft will be the French Air Force's primary combat aircraft until its replacement by the Franco-German New Generation Fighter. In the year 2018, Dassault announced New Generation Fighter as the successor to the Rafale. The underdevelopment fighter jet will replace France's Rafale, Germany's Eurofighter Typhoon, and Spain's F/A-18 Hornet in the coming years. 

READ | India's Tejas LCA vs Pakistan's JF-17 Thunder Fighter Jet: Which one is better?

Rafale vs Su-35S 

Rafale is a fighter jet from France, whereas Sukhoi Su-35S is an improved version of the Su-27 Flanker and was designed during the Cold War to fight with F-15.  

Maximum speed: Rafale fighter jet can reach a maximum speed of Mach 1.8 while Su-35 can attain a maximum speed of Mach 2.25 at higher altitudes. 

Weapon placement: Rafale has 14 points, while Su-35S has 12 hard points for weapon placement. 

Weight and Maximum take-off weight: Rafale weighs 10 tonnes, and the maximum take-off weight is 24.5 tonnes. In comparison to this, Su-35S weighs 18,400 kg approximately, and the maximum take-off weight is 34,500 kg. 

Missiles: Rafale can carry air-to-ground and air-to-air missiles, whereas Su-35S can carry air-to-air, air-to-surface, anti-ship, and anti-radiation missiles. 

Distance: Rafale fighter jet can cover 3700 kms in one go. In contrast, Su-35 S can cover 2,200 miles on a single fill and 2,800 if fitted with two external fuel tanks. 

Maximum Altitude: Rafale can fly at a maximum altitude of 50,000 feet, while Su-35S can fly at 60,000 feet. 

READ | Comparison between Rafale and F-16

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