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True Comparison Between PAKISTAN JF-17 Thunder Block-3 Jet And IAF Rafale Jets:

JF-17 Thunder Block-3 is a PAKISTAN’s state of the art next generation multi-role combat aircraft equipped with the cutting-edge technologies that makes it a lethal contender among the 4.0++ and 4.5++ Generation Combat Aircraft.

True Comparison between JF-17 Thunder Block-3 and indian rafale jet
True Comparison between JF-17 Thunder Block-3 and indian rafale jet

The prototype of JF-17 Thunder Block-3 made its maiden flight back in October 2019 and both CHINA and PAKISTAN vigorously involved to equip the aircraft with the modern lethal technologies and weapon systems.

According to the Chief Designer of JF-17 Thunder Aircraft, Yang Wei, said that the third block of JF-17 will witness the significant enhancement, improvement and upgradation in the weapon systems, electronic warfare and information warfare capability.

On the other hand, indian air force has taken the delivery air force and the indian government, indian air force and indian media have gone rabid about praising the arrival of Jets as the great milestone in the entire indian history.

Rafale Jet is the same jet, which is multiple times rejected by the countries across the globe and this is the reason that india is only the fourth country after France, Egypt and Qatar to buy these underperforming and expensive aircraft.

rafale jet
indian rafale jet

The indian air force has made tight security arrangements for the Rafale Aircraft in a way that compels Top Defense Analysts that probably Rafale Jets came to india for their own security rather than to provide the security to india.

Comparison Between PAKISTAN’s Star JF-17 Thunder Block-3 Multi-Role Combat Jet and Rafale Jet:

Here, we have done a comparison between the JF-17 Thunder Multi-role Jet and indian air force rafale jet based on different parameters.

Comparison Between JF-17 Block-3 and indian Rafale Jet:

  1. Combat Proven Aircraft:

JF-17 Thunder Block 1 and Block-II has approved their lethal combat proven capability during the eve of Feb 27, 2019 indian humiliation and surprise. During that day, PAKISTAN AIR FORCE bravely shot down all the honor, dignity and pride of indian air force by shooting down the SU-30MKI and MiG-21 Bison aircraft.

This is the first, major and full-fledged and high-kinetic aerial battle both the JF-17 Block-I and Block-II have witnessed, which earned them the status of combat proven aircraft.

The Combat Proven capability of JF-17 Thunder Block-I and Block-II was also admired and applauded by the Western Think Tanks and Top Defense Analysts.

ALSO READ  Rafale Jets Rejected By World And Crown of indian air force
27th Feb Surprise Day
27th Feb Surprise Day

On the other hand, French Rafale Jet has also taken part in several conflicts, but the aircraft has never been engaged in the full-fledged high-kinetic battle like the Feb 27.


  1. Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA):

Both Jf-17 Thunder Block-3 and Rafale Jets are Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA). JF-17 Thunder Block-3 is a 4.5++ Generation Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft after acquiring the CHINESE Technology, Avionics, Electronic Warfare Suite, Weapons System and Russian Engines.

PAKISTAN's Pride JF-17 Thunder Aircraft Makes Maiden Participation In Virtual Royal Air Tattoo Show 2020

On the other hand, Rafale is merely a 4.0++ Generation Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) and it is also made by different French and other country technologies.


  1. Empty Weight of Aircraft:

The empty weight of JF-17 Thunder Block-3 is 14,600 lbs, whereas the empty weight of Rafale Jet is 22,000 lbs.


  1. G-Limit:

The G-Limit of JF-17 Thunder Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft is -3.0 g/ +8 g.

On the other hand, the G-Limit of Rafale Jet is -3.2 g / +9 g.


  1. Radar Cross Section:

The Radar Cross Section of JF-17 Thunder MMRCA is 1.5 – 3.5.

The Radar Cross Section of Rafale Jet is 0.5 – 2.0.


  1. Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar: 

Both JF-17 Thunder Block-3 and Rafale Jet is equipped with the revolutionary Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar.

PAKISTAN JF-17 Thunder Block III AESA Radar
PAKISTAN JF-17 Thunder Block III KLJ-7A AESA Radar

PAKISTAN and CHINA have selected the KLJ-7A AESA Radar for JF-17 Thunder. CHINA has installed the same radar on its J-35 Long Range Heavy Stealth Aircraft. The KLJ-7A AESA Radar can simultaneously engage and track 40+ aerial and ground targets.

On the other hand, Rafale Jet consists of Thales RBE2-AA AESA Radar.


  1. Rate of Climb:

The Rate of Climb for JF-17 Thunder Block-3 Aircraft is 300 m/Sec, whereas the rate of climb of Rafale Jet is 305 m/Sec max.


  1. Engine:

JF-17 Thunder Block-3 would be equipped with the enhanced and modified single RD-93MA Engine. The Engine will house 9300kfg thrust for JF-17 Block-3 Combat Aircraft as compared to the JF-17 Thunder Block-I and JF-17 Thunder Block-II Combat Aircraft with 8300kgf.

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The maximum speed of JF-17 Thunder Block is up to 2.0 Mach or 2,470 Kilometres/Hour. The RD-93MA enhanced engine has a capacity of about 22,400 lbs payload with After Burner.

On the other hand, the Rafale Jet is powered by the double SNECMA M88 Turbofan Engine with a maximum payload up to 54,000 lbs.


  1. Fuel Economy:

When it comes to fuel economy, JF-17 Thunder Block-3 has clearly defeated the Rafale Jet in this domain. JF-17 Thunder Block-3 fuel economy is 2.2NM/Gallon, where as the Fuel 2.2Nm/Gallon.


  1. Total Effective Range:

Apart from installing the double engine, Rafale Jet is still a loser in this domain against JF-17 Thunder Block-3 Combat Aircraft.

The total effective range of JF-17 Thunder MMRCA is 3,840 kms, whereas the total effective range of Rafale Jet is 3,800 kms, which is 40 kilometers less than JF-17 Block-3 Jet despite using double engines.


  1. Speed:

The JF-17 Thunder Block-3 Aircraft is a clear winner in terms of Speed, as the total maximum speed of JF-17 Thunder Block-3 variant is Mach 2.

JF-17 Thunder Operational Readiness Hawk-Eye Exercise

On the other hand, the maximum speed of Rafale Jet is 1.8 Mach in total, which is much lower than the JF-17 Thunder Block-3 Jet.

  1. Thrust/Weight Ratio:

The Thrust per weight ratio of JF-17 Thunder Block-3 Combat Aircraft is 1.00.

On the other hand, the thrust per weight ratio of Rafale Jet is 1.13.


  1. Operational Range:

As far as the operational range is concerned, both JF-17 Thunder and Rafale competes equally. The Operational Range of both the Aircraft is JF-17 Thunder Block-3 is 0.2 – 50 km.


  1. Hard Points:

The JF-17 Thunder Block-3 has got 11 Hardpoints to carry an array of missile, sensors, EPODS and other materials.


JF 17 Thunder Main feature Image in Skardu

Rafale Jet consists of 14 hardpoints to carry munitions and other accessories.


  1. Service Ceiling:

The Service Ceiling of the JF-17 Thunder Block-3 MMRCA is much higher with 54,000 ft.

On the other hand, the Service Ceiling of Rafale Jet is lower than JF-17 Block-3 and limited to 50,000 ft in total.


  1. BVR Missile Capability:

Both JF-17 Thunder Block-3 and Rafale Jet are equipped with the BVR missile with different configurations.

JF-17 Thunder Block-3 would be armed with the most feared and reputed CHINESE PL-15 Very Long Range Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Missile.

The Rafale Jet would be equipped with a Meteor BVR Missile.

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  1. Unit Cost of Each Combat Jet:

JF-17 Thunder Block-3 is a clear winner in this domain, as the unit cost of JF-17 Thunder Block-3 is around 30 – 40 Million US Dollars.

In contrast, Rafale Jet is the most expensive Jet in the planet and the unit cost of single aircraft is around 120 – 150 Million US Dollars, which is about 3-4 times higher than the JF-17 Thunder Block-3 Aircraft.

JF-17 Thunder Block-III and Rafale Jet Comparison Chart:



Rafale Jet MMRCA

Empty Weight

14,600 lbs

22,000 lbs

Maximum Take Off Weight

28,000 lbs

54,000 lbs


-3.0 g / +8 g

-3.2 g / +9 g

Total Effective Range

3,840 Kilometers

3,800 Kilometers


1 x RD-93MA Engine

2 x SNECMA M88 Turbofan

Maximum Engine Thrust

22,000 lbs with After Burner


1 x 85 kN

2 x 75 kN

AESA Radar


Thales RBE2-AA Radar


2.0 Mach

1.8 Mach

Radar Cross Section (RCS)

1.5 – 3.5

0.5 – 2.0

Fuel Economy

2.2 NM/Gallon

1.65 NM/Gallon

Hard Points



Rate of Climb

Max. 300 m/sec

Max. 305 m/sec

Thrust/Weight Ratio



Service Ceiling

54,000 ft

50,000 ft

Super Cruise Availability




GSg 23 – 3 Multi Barrel Gun

GIAT 30M/719B

Caliber (mm)

23 mm

30 mm

Muzzle Velocity

1025 m/sec

1025 m/sec

Rate of Fire (RPM)

1,700 RPM

2,500 RPM

BVR Air To Air Missile

PL-15 /AIM 9L/M

MBDA Meteor

Air To Air Missile (First)

PL-12 Air to Air Missile


Operational Range

0.2 – 50 Kilometers

0.2 – 50 Kilometers

Air To Air Missile (Second)



Operational Range

0.5 – 30 Kilometers

0.3 – 15 Kilometers


Unit Cost

30 – 40 Million US Dollars

120 – 150 Million US Dollars


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