This firm order marks a sixth international success, the largest ever signed by Dassault Aviation, maker of the French fighter jet.
Historical. Never before had France signed a military treaty of such magnitude internationally. During the first leg of Emmanuel Macron’s regional tour of the Gulf (December 2-4), the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ordered 80 Rafale fighter jets. This is a permanent contract, with no options or compensation. The contract was ratified by Éric Trappier, CEO of Dassault Aviation
Rafale: The second Egyptian treaty has come into force Two more military treaties were signed. The first with European missile maker MBDA, which will supply Mica NG air-to-air missiles and Black Shaheen cruise missiles, the export version of the Scalp. The third, with Airbus to deliver 12 Caracal transport helicopters. These three contracts add up to an amount of“more than 17 billion euros” underlines the Elysee. “The Rafale component represents 14 billion, the armor more than 2 billion and the helicopters 1 billion”,
states the cabinet of Florence Parly, Minister of the Armies. “The sale of 80 Rafales to the UAE federation is a French success: I am very proud and very happy. I would like to thank the Emirati authorities for renewing their confidence in our aircraft. After the Mirage 5 and the Mirage 2000, this Rafale contract confirms the strategic relationship that binds our two countries and the satisfaction of the UAE Air Force, a historic and demanding partner of our society.” says Eric Trappier. This contract, “By its size, it strengthens the strategic and military partnership forged between France and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the interoperability of the French and Emirati armed forces in their military and technical aspects”,
emphasizes the Hôtel de Brienne. Indeed, the United Arab Emirates want materials that are at the same level of technological and operational excellence as those used by the French armies. Abu Dhabi has opted for an F4 standard Rafale which is under development and which France has not yet ordered (this will be in 2023). Therefore, the first deliveries of the Emirati Rafale will begin in 2027 and last until 2031. In the meantime, the Emirati armies, also equipped with 80 American F-16 fighters, will continue to field their 60 Mirage 2000-9. “With the F4 standard, the Rafale enters the era of connected combat”,
sums up the Federal Ministry of Defense. The most advanced version of the Rafale also incorporates improvements resulting from feedback from French armies. During Emmanuel Macron’s tour of the Gulf, no fewer than 30 billion contracts have to be signed in three days, excluding military orders (read opposite). But the Rafale’s new success, the sixth international, is the most emblematic. That treaty has been “on the table” for more than a decade, going through periods of warming and freezing. “Like us in Europe, the UAE has been watching the US withdraw from the Gulf and like us they have doubts about US involvement. Discussions about Rafale resumed a year ago. explains the Hôtel de Brienne. “There was an alignment of the planets and a political involvement of Emmanuel Macron in Florence Parly and of Team France with the industrialists to create the conditions for the conclusion of this contract”,
We supplement the Federal Ministry of Defense. And the plane is “at the best level in the world”, emphasizes the Federal Ministry of Defense. This thanks to its ability to evolve from one standard to another. It is “battle-hardened”, having been deployed to several theaters of external operations in Africa and the Levant. “The aircraft is mature, it is fully operational”, explains Eric Trappier
(Read interview below).
Good news for French industry This order closes a year that makes 2021 a great year for Rafale, with four contracts won internationally, in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, as well as in Greece and Croatia, two European countries that are members of NATO. The UAE deal is good news for French industry. Dassault Aviation will increase its production to gradually transition from one to two assembled Rafales per month. At the same time, the Rafale ecosystem is gaining momentum with electronics specialist Thales and engine manufacturer Safran, as well as the 400 companies of all sizes working for the program with their 7,000 employees. “Which will create hundreds or even thousands of additional jobs in France”,
the Federal Ministry of Defense is pleased.
Thanks to Rafale, Dassault’s activities are recovering strongly The flagship of the French armed forces therefore had the Cassandres belied, who predicted a dark future for him outside France. For years, the Rafale, the first prototype of which made its maiden flight in 1991, was labeled “not for sale”. “too expensive, too demanding and too Franco-French”.
But with the commissioning of the first squadron (12 aircraft) within the French Air Force in June 2006 and its use in combat, the aircraft was able to prove itself.At the same time, the world has changed. After reaping the “peace dividend” of the end of the Cold War by reducing their military budgets, states reinvested in their defenses at the beginning of the 21st century. and
Century. And have started a cycle of upgrading their equipment. It is about Islamist terrorism, the increase in conflicts and tensions (Mediterranean, Middle East, China Sea), but also about the rise of Chinese supremacy. France regained its attractiveness with its policy of balance and high-level supply, while the United States shifted its focus to the Indo-Pacific and began its withdrawal from the Gulf.