Dassault Rafale - Variants, Characteristics, Armament and Performance

Gaijin not consider add new aircraft from french navy for almost 2 years since F-8E(FN) from major update “Direct Hit” september 2021

Let’s say any day gaijin consider Rafale in the future. you guess dev consider 1st Rafale from French Air and Space Force or French Navy ?

Thats assuming the Rafale EW suite and J-20 avionics are roughly matched, which is something I dont usually see considered when ppl theorize potential BVR engagements.

For example, when Egypt tested Su-35s vs Rafales, the Rafale allegedly bricked the Su-35’s radar. Granted the Su-35 uses a PESA and the J-20 uses an AESA, but the interplay between avionics, PARTICULARLY at max ranges of these missiles, makes me question if its really fair to consider max range so much as a factor. I think the extra energy is more likely to have an effect in a fight by its increase of the NEZ than by actual engagement ranges.

Idk how dual band flares would affect IIR seeker heads, considering I doubt the flare looks like a plane…

AIM-9X went for flares of unknown variety. Multi-spectral flares can blind IIR seekers by causing any sort of auto contrast to be unable to focus the contrast/brightness of the original target within fov of the flare.

This is not offtopic, quit false flagging my posts.

Considering the fact that China has developed dedicated EW variants of the Su-27 (that Sukhoi tried to spy on), I’d consider their stuff a good ways ahead of whatever Russia has currently. The Rafale may still be better and we truly won’t know for certain about either… but it’s an interesting angle.

We must also consider the Rafales ordinance not having AESA when the Chinese does.

This is not offtopic, quit false flagging my posts.

Fair point here.

I just suspect that longer range range missiles likely dont get to use their long legs as much as ppl like to argue when you consider the effects of EW.

The MICA NG EM (AESA seeker) is set to be delivered and put into service by 2026, which would be before a Rafale F4 variant even came into the game let alone probably a J-20.

Does not mean the Rafale will come with such ordinance from the rip. Though yes I can see the Rafale F.4/5 variants using it against the J-20 by the time that ever comes to the game. There are also early blocks of the J-20 which are said to be far less stealthy and with only PL-12s without AESA radar seeker etc to compete against earlier Rafale.

There are “stealth” platforms that will compete with the Rafale at all levels I think.

Linked the dedicated MICA thread. I will add more pictures and color coding once I am done with majority of my planned Suggestions.

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did it not have an HMD until F.4?

HMD maybe but def no HMS nor HMCS.

I haven’t looked into it much, and @WreckingAres283 can correct me, but there was compatibility for Rafale F.3 and I think greek ones had them.

that is quite surprising considering that things like the Hornet, Falcon or Eurofighter had that way earlier…

Depends on what you mean by “way” earlier. F-16 Falcon didn’t get theirs until nearly mid-2010s. F-22 still doesn’t have it, it seems.

EF got its Striker 1 with Block 2B or whatever software update that is. Officially it entered service in 2009

Picture of an Pilot with Scorpion HMCS, a Rafale F.4.1 in the background.


Updated the thread;

  • Added more color to titles and sub topics, as well as color coding for easier read and aesthetics
  • Updated F.4.1 and F.4.2 with new information

A Rafale M “early” with just magics 2 would be very nice in the actual game without been a gamebreaker.

There’s something interesting here. The Swiss evaluation done in 2008 was looking at the performances of the Gripen, Eurofighter, Rafale in a 2015 configuration. So this meant they looked at what’s particularly relevant still today.

The Swiss has concluded that the Rafale outperformed both Eurofighter/Gripen in the detection and acquisition role as well as electronic warfare.


Rafale has long been known for its stellar avionics while Eurofighter still used an older style mechanically steered radar until recently. iirc first test ueing CAPTOR-E (the eurofighters AESA radar) was back in 2007, but i dont think they started even using said CAPTOR-E until recently.

I think this shortcoming initially came from disagreement in who would make what radar for the EF2000, as joint projects tend to have a lot of countries trying to support their own companies interests.