China downgrades its Chengdu J-20 `stealth` fighter to 4th Generation however claims IAF Rafales no match for it

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NEW DELHI: Rafale, the 4.5 Generation fighter within the armoury of the Indian Air Force (IAF), has modified the aerial warfare dynamics with each Pakistan and China lagging far behind the superior expertise and weapons package deal of the French-made fight jet. 

China claims People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Chengdu J-20 is a fifth Generation Stealth fighter and superior to the Rafale however now a Global Times article which tries to search out faults with the French-made jets has as an alternative downgraded the J-20 to a 4th Generation fight plane.

With IAF 17 Squadron Golden Arrows on the Ambala Air Force Station now flying 5 Rafales which landed on Wednesday (July 29, 2020), Chinese safety specialists have raised doubts if the French fighters can match their nation’s J-20 fighters which they’ve been claiming have stealth.

A Global Times article quoted Chinese navy knowledgeable Zhang Xuefeng as claiming that whereas Rafales are superior to Sukhoi Su-30 MKIs in some fight efficiency areas however are mainly a “3rd Generation” plane. Zhang Xuefeng went on to assert that Rafales are solely about one-fourth of a era extra superior that Su-30MKIs and therefore “does not yield a significant qualitative change”.

“Thanks to its AESA radar, advanced weapons and limited stealth technologies, the Rafale is comparable to other third-plus generation fighter jets used by other countries, but it will find it very difficult to confront a stealth-capable fourth-generation fighter jet,” the article said.

As the Global Times article mentions that the J-20 is a 4th Generation fighter, it can not possess stealth expertise. On the opposite hand, Rafale is a 4.5 Generation jet with a design making certain a lowered radar cross-section (RCS) and infrared signature to evade enemy radars. IAF Su-30MKIs are 4th Generation and Global Times article now places China’s so-called most superior jet in direct competitors with India’s Sukhois.

In navy aviation, 4th Generation plane don’t have stealth capabilities and IAF Sukhoi Su-30 MKIs have been capable of observe the J-20s. In May 2018, Sukhoi Su-30MKIs on a sortie in Northeast India used their radars to see and observe PLAAF J-20 fighters flying over Tibet.

Even former IAF Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa (retd), who performed a key position within the Rafale deal and whose initials BS are used as a part of the tail quantity on the jets, had categorically identified that Rafale “is a game-changer, and the Chinese J-20 does not even come close”.