With the recent rift between India and China, the CCP are comparing fighter jets, noting that the Chinese stealth jets are better than India's Newest fighter jets.
The acquisition of the French Rafale superiority fighter by India has led B.S. Dhanoa, the former Indian Air Force chief to say that the J-20 cannot match the French fighter. He also boasted the "top-of-the-line electronic warfare suite, Meteor beyond-visual-range [air-to-air] missile and Scalp air-to-ground weapon with its terrain following capability outguns any threat that the Chinese Air Force produces," reported Forbes.
Dhanoa stressed that they need to worry about the surface-to-air missiles and not the Chinese jets, citing examples that Pakistan is not sold on Chinese weapons, but relies on American Fighting Falcons and French-made Mirages. The JF-17 (joint Sino-Pakistani) was not able to perform as well compared to other fighters. Most of the Pakistani military equipment that is Chinese made is not prioritized for poor quality like the J-20 that is not even a true stealth fighter.
If the Rafale was deployed earlier in the border clashes with China, the Ladakh area of the Himalayas could have been different. There are 36 of the Rafales coming to bolster the India Air Force in any conflict with PLA.
The CCP was miffed at the Indian official's remarks that downgraded their equipment. Global Times crowed that the Rafale is less capable as a 3rd generation plane to the 5th generation J-20, not a 3rd generation as claimed by Beijing.
According to Chinese experts the Rafale despite the more modern avionics is no better than Su-30 MKI fighters. The newer French design is only slightly better than SU-30s even if the Rafale is new, reported Global Times.
However, the Beijing mouthpiece got it wrong on all counts. The Rafale is a 4.5-generation fighter that has some stealth features for less radar detection and heat profile. It is much closer to F-35 with more edge in dogfighting. It has a dual-engine with economic supercruise at the speed of sound compared to older jets.
Chinese fighters will fear the Meteor that is modern air to air seeker with beyond visual range (BVR) at 50-miles to pickoff a J-20. Any fight will be edged by the advanced French fighter.
Sketchy details of the J-20
No one knows the exact specs of the J-20 that are about 50 in service. There are too many unknown information about the exact characteristics of the J-20 that need further verification, including its exact aerial performance to combat characteristics as an interceptor or dogfighter. There might be vectorized nozzles like the F-22s equipped.
The Chinese warbird has its trump card, the PL-15 that is claimed to have 200 kilometers farther than other AA-missiles that will give Indian Rafales a threat, not the stealth.
One glaring defect is the engine type WS-15 for the J-20B that is yet to be seen in larger numbers. The South China Morning Post said the WS-15 jet engine will be ready soon, leaving the Indian Rafales with the better engine by far.
The battle of who's better, Chinese stealth jets, and India's newest fighter jets boil down to support and resources. But the Rafale has seen action while the J-20 is not exactly tested.