France has sold 80 Rafale fighter jets and 12 Caracal helicopters to the United Arab Emirates. According to the Elysee, this order represents an amount of more than 17 billion euros.
The planes will be delivered from 2027 to the F4 standard, a program in development of nearly 2 billion euros to be delivered in 2024 and presented as a “technological, industrial and strategic leap”.
The announcement of this “historic contract” in the terms used by the Minister of the Army Florence Parly, comes on the occasion of the visit to Dubai of French President Emmanuel Macron. “This is a major achievement of the strategic partnership between the two countries”, welcomed the Elysee, stressing the importance of the presence of three French bases in the Emirates.
With the United Arab Emirates, we are now sealing the sale of 80 Rafale planes and 12 Caracal helicopters. In confidence, we act together for our safety.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) December 3, 2021
“A historic contract, a French success”
This sale “is a French success”, declared the managing director of Dassault Aviation, Eric Trappier, who signed the agreement with Tarek Abdul Raheem Al Hosani, CEO of Tawazun Economic Council, in charge of the acquisitions of security and defense.
Emmanuel Macron will continue his tour of the Middle East in Qatar on Friday evening, before ending on Saturday in Jeddah, the large port city of Saudi Arabia.
Revenge of the Rafale
The French fighter plane, whose discretion on the battlefield is unanimous, has today become a real commercial success despite hesitant beginnings marked by several failures, especially in South Korea and the Netherlands in 2002 , in Singapore in 2005 then in Morocco, the Emirates and Brazil.
On November 25, Emmanuel Macron and Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic had recorded in Zagreb the sale of 12 used Rafale fighter jets to Croatia, for around one billion euros. In September, Greece had announced its intention to acquire six additional Rafales, bringing the total of its orders to 24 aircraft and the total of Rafale purchased by third countries to 162.