Which Fighter jet is better between Rafale and Chengdu J-20 of China?

France has finally sent 5 Rafale jets to India. Now a debate has started that which country has the best fighter aircraft in the Asian continent. In this article, we will compare Rafale and Chengdu J-20 of China.
Jul 31, 2020 16:04 IST
Rafale VS J-20: Comparison
Rafale VS J-20: Comparison

Even in this nuclear-rich world, every country wants to keep the world's most advanced fighter aircraft. The basic reason for the popularity of aircraft is that nuclear bombs can not be used frequently. In addition to this, the fighters jets can also be used in many tasks such as border monitoring etc.

France has delivered 5 Rafale jets to India on 29th July 2020. Now a debate has started that which aircraft is better Indian Rafale or Chinese J-20.

Before starting the comparison, we should have basic information about these two aircraft.

About Rafale

This fighter aircraft has been made by the French company Dassault Aviation. Rafale. This is two engines based single and double seater multilayer fighter aircraft. It can also be used to prevent nuclear attacks, in-depth strikes, and anti-ship strikes. It is a 4.5 generation fighter aircraft and by 2019 just 201 units have been manufactured so far.

About Chengdu J-20

Like the Rafale, this Chinese aircraft is also a two-engine all-weather fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft. It has been built for the Chinese Air Force by the 'Chengdu Aerospace Corporation' of China. 

Chengdu J-20 took its first flight on 11 January 2011. In 2017, the Chengdu J-20 was officially inducted into the Chinese Air Force.

By the year 2019, 50 units had been built and the estimated cost to build a unit is 100 to 110 million US dollars.

Comparison of the Rafale and J-20:-

Base of Comparison 


Chengdu J-20

Manufacturing country



Manufacturing Company

Dassault Aviation

Chengdu Aerospace Corporation


Double Engine

Double Engine


Single/ Double Seater

Single Seater

Maximum speed 

2222 km per hour

2100 km per hour




Measurement of the Jet

Rafael has a height of 5.30 meters, length 15.30 meters and wingspan 10.90 meters.

Its height is 4.45 m, length 20.4mtr and wingspan is 12.88 to 13.50 mtr.

Missiles in the Jet

In Rafale, the Meteor missile (radar-guided beyond-visual-range air-to-air) can hit upto 150 km, the SCALP missile can hit up to 300 km on the ground. Now HAMMER missile will be installed soon.

PL-15 missiles (radar-guided air-to-air) can hit up to 300 km and PL-21 missiles (beyond-visual-range air-to-air) can hit up to 400 km.

Ceiling capacity

300 meters per second

304 meters per second

Service ceiling

50000 Feet 

65600 Feet  

Load carrying capacity

24,500 KGS

37000 KGS

Combat radius

3700 KM

3400 KM


Combat Radius: It refers to the maximum distance an aircraft can travel away from its base without refueling along with the normal load.

Thus, it is clear from the comparative study given above that Rafael is better in some features and China's Chengdu J-20 also has some features better than Rafale. Chengdu J-20 has some advantages because of its missiles PL-15 and PL-21 can hit the objects up to 300 km and 400 km respectively. On the other hand, the Meteor missile on Rafale can hit only upto 150 Km.

But if we talk about the overall airforce capability of India and China, the Indian airforce is considered stronger than the Chinese Airforce because of Apache helicopter, C-17 Globemaster aircraft, SU-30 MKI, MiG-27, and MiG-29 Aircrafts.

To read more such articles, click on the link below;

Comparison of the Air Force of India, China, and Pakistan

Comparison between Rafale and F-16