New Delhi: India's move to strengthen its military capabilities has left China shaken.
As soon as the Rafale fighter jets arrived in India, the Communist Party of China (CPC) mouthpiece Global Times released a report which claimed that the French made aircraft are not capable of countering China's J-20 stealth fighter jets.
Calling Rafale a 'third-generation jet', the CPC mouthpiece quoted Zhang Xuefeng as saying, "A Chinese military expert claimed that the J-20 is a 4th generation aircraft and is much better than Rafael."
"Thanks to the AESA radar, advanced weapons and limited technology, Rafael is ahead of the third-plus generation fighter jets used by other countries, but it will find it difficult to face a fourth-generation fighter jet," the Global Times quoted Zhang as saying.
It is surprising that Chinese experts have described their own Chengdu J-20 as a 4th generation aircraft. Until now, China used to call the Chengdu J-20 a 5th generation aircraft, which this expert has rejected in his claims.
However, it is important to mention that there are two 5th generation aircraft in the world and both are with the US. China asserts that the Chengdu J-20 fourth-generation aircraft does not have the stealth technology capability, but the Chinese expert believes that the J-20 has stealth technology. China's J-20 has been chased away several times by India's third-generation Sukhoi Su-30 MKI at the North-East and Tibet border.
What sets the Rafael aircraft apart?
Upgradations have been made in the Rafale aircraft according to the specific needs of the Indian armed forces. Its total load capacity is more than 9 tonnes. Therefore it can carry load equal to its own weight in the payload.
The effective range of the Rafale is 1.5 times that of the Sukhoi. It can hit enemy targets in a range of 780 km to 1055 km as against the Sukhoi jet's range of 400-550 km. Similarly, the Rafale jet can fly 5 tactical flights in 24 hours as against 3 by the Sukhoi.
In addition, the Rafael is powered by two SNECMA M88 engines. With a top speed of 2223 km, it is equipped with laser-guided bombs weighing 900 kg. Its internal gun can fire 2500 rounds per minute. The Rafale is believed to be a 4.5 generation aircraft that will now spearhead the attacking thrust of the Indian Air Force.