A contract between Dassault Aviation and the United Arab Emirates in sight? That seems to be the case. This mega order could be formalized and announced during a visit by the President of the French Republic. Emmanuel Macron is expected in Abu Dhabi from December 2nd to 4th as part of a tour of the Gulf. According to information entrusted to Challenge by several sources and published on Wednesday November 17, this contract would cover around thirty or even sixty Rafale Standard F4s. In fact, the French company had confirmed to BFM Business that there was a tender that originally concerned 63 machines.
However, there is currently no confirmation of the final number of aircraft purchased, neither the timing nor the total amount of the order that would be up for discussion. If this is confirmed, it would then be the largest order for Dassault, the economic chain specifies. The aviation group has had some major successes in 2021. In addition to signing contracts for 18 aircraft for Greece and 12 for Croatia, an order for 54 fighter jets was placed by Egypt. The contract for 30 of these machines was recently officially signed. And more are to be signed with India, Finland and Indonesia.
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The agreement that Abu Dhabi was to sign with the aeronautical group would therefore refer to the Rafale in the F4 standard, precisely the one that the Air Force will equip from 2025 and whose first tests were carried out by the General Directorate of Armament a few months ago. It is a so-called “connected” aircraft designed to respond to a collaborative combat mode and will be compatible with the air combat system of the future, the Scaf.
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Challenges reminds that talks between Abu Dhabi and Paris for a Rafale mega-order started in 2008 and France believed in signing an order in 2011 and then in 2015 before its hopes were dashed. But relations between the Emirates and Dassault Aviation are good: the country’s air force has already approached the French group in the past. His Mirage 2000-9 was even specifically designed for the UAE Armed Forces. This is the most efficient version of the Dassault-designed mono-reactor.
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