Comparison Between Sukhoi SU-35 and Dassault Rafale- who will win?

Comparison Between Sukhoi SU-35 and Dassault Rafale- who will win?

The Sukhoi SU-35 is a single-seat, twin-engine, super maneuverable aircraft, designed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau. It incorporated canards and multi-function radar giving it multi-role capabilities. The prototype made its maiden flight in June 1988.

While Rafael was developed as a modern jet fighter with a very high level of agility.  Dassault chose to combine a delta wing with an active close-coupled canard to maximize maneuverability. The aircraft is capable of withstanding from −3.6g to 9g (10.5g on Rafale solo display and a maximum of 11g can be reached in case of emergency.


Around 115 SU35 have been built so far with a per-unit cost of $85M. Operated by a crew of 1, the aircraft comes in a weight of 41,888lb with a maximum takeoff weight of 76,059Ib. The Jet is powered by 2 after-burning turbofan engines generating 64,000 pounds of thrust combined. With the help of these engines, the jet can reach a top speed of 1,500mph. With a ferry range of 2,800mi, the jet can combat within a radius of 990mi. SU35’s climb rate is around 55,000 ft/min and it can reach a maximum altitude of 59,000ft. The aircraft comes with 12 hardpoints with an ordnance carrying capacity of 17,630Ib. The fighter jet is also armed with a 30mm autocannon.

On the other hand, Rafael was first rolled out in 2001. Around 175 Rafael’s are operated by French Air Force and various nations across the globe. At present per unit cost of the latest variant is around $83M. Operated by a crew of 1 or 2, the aircraft comes in a weight of 23,369lb and the jet can take off with a maximum weight of 54,013lb. Rafael is powered by 2 turbofan engines producing 34,000 pounds of thrust combined. With the help of these engines, the aircraft can fly at a top speed of 1,381mph. With a ferry range of 2,300mi, the aircraft conduct combat operations within a radius of 1,151mi. The Rafael can climb at the rate of 1,000 ft/sec and can reach a maximum altitude of 50,000ft. The fighter jet is outfitted with 14 hardpoints in addition to a 30mm autocannon.

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The SU-35 is outfitted with 12 hardpoints, consisting of 2 wingtip rails, and 10 wing and fuselage stations with a capacity of 8,000 kg, while an internal 30 mm Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-30-1 autocannon with 150 rounds is installed for the short-range fight.

The Rafale is typically outfitted with 14 hardpoints, five of which are suitable for heavy armament or equipment such as auxiliary fuel tanks, and has a maximum external load capacity of nine tons. In addition to the above equipment, the Rafale carries the 30 mm GIAT 30 revolver cannon and can be outfitted with a range of laser-guided bombs and ground-attack munitions.

Radar & Avionics:

The SU-35 is capable of detecting an aerial target up to 400 km away, and can track thirty airborne targets and engage eight of them simultaneously; in addition, the multi-function radar is capable of providing high-resolution images of the ground using synthetic aperture mode. The aircraft is equipped with an OLS-35 optoelectronic targeting system ahead of the cockpit to provide other forms of tracking including infra-red search and track. For defenses against enemy tracking, the Su-35 is equipped with the L175M Khibiny-M electronic countermeasure system, while engineers have applied radar-absorbent materials to the engine inlets and front stages of the engine compressor to halve the Su-35’s frontal radar cross-section and minimize the detection range of enemy radars. The multi-role Su-35 can deploy air-to-air missiles of up to 300-kilometer (190 mi) range and can carry the heavy Oniks anti-ship cruise missile, as well as the multitude of air-to-ground weaponry.

The Rafale was first outfitted with the Thales RBE2 passive electronically scanned multi-mode radar. Thales claims to have achieved increased levels of situational awareness as compared to earlier aircraft through the earlier detection and tracking of multiple air targets for close combat and a long-range interception, as well as real-time generation of three-dimensional maps for terrain-following and the real-time generation of high-resolution ground maps for navigation and targeting. The RBE2 AA is reported to deliver a greater detection range of 200 km,[95] improved reliability, and reduced maintenance demands over the preceding radar.

The Rafale features an integrated defensive-aids system named SPECTRA, which protects the aircraft against airborne and ground threats, developed as a joint venture between Thales and MBDA.  Various methods of detection, jamming, and decoying have been incorporated, and the system has been designed to be highly reprogrammable for addressing new threats and incorporating additional sub-systems in the future


The SU-35 wing leading-edge extension redirected the airflow in such a way to eliminate buffeting at high angles of attack and allowed the airframe to sustain 10-g maneuvers without the need for additional structural reinforcement.

The aerodynamic layout improved the aircraft’s maneuverability and enabled it to briefly fly with its nose past the vertical while maintaining forward momentum. Because of this, theoretically, during combat, the pilot could pitch the Su-27M up 120 degrees in under two seconds and fire missiles at the target

Dassault chose to combine a delta wing with an active close-coupled canard to maximize maneuverability. The aircraft is capable of withstanding from −3.6g to 9g.  Rafael’s canard’s wing leads to significant improvement in maximum lift and drag ratio. Rafael’s 48-degree wing sweep gives it a better lift-to-drag ratio. The Rafael has better maneuverability as compare to Typhoon. The Rafael can achieve a 100 to a 110-degree angle of attack.


The Su-35 and Rafael prove to be significantly talented fighter aircraft but whenever it’s coming real combat, the Su-35 will have an edge on Rafale because of its super maneuverability and detection aircraft at a much longer distance than Rafale.

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