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UAE first to own French-made Rafale fighter jets

Historic contract for acquisition of 80 Rafale at F4 standard by the United Arab Emirates


The UAE will become the first country to acquire Rafale Type IV fighter jets, after signing a purchase contract in the presence of Sheikh Mohammed ben Zayed Al Nahyane, Crown Prince of Abou Dabi and Deputy Commander of the Armed Forces of the United Arab Emirates, and French President, Emmanuel Macron. Éric Trappier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dassault Aviation signed a historic contract with Tareq Abdul Raheem Al Hosani, Chief Executive Officer of the Economic Balance Council, who is responsible for security and defense acquisitions, to purchase 80 Rafale aircraft (F4) for the UAE Air Force and Air Defense.

According to the statement of the French company Dassault Aviation, the F4 Rafale aircraft, whose first user will be the UAE Air Force outside France, will provide the UAE Armed Forces with a tool capable of guaranteeing sovereignty and operational independence. It pointed out that this contract is the result of the full mobilization by Dassault alongside the UAE Air Force, and comes against the background of trust-based relations between the UAE and the company for more than 45 years, built upon the Mirage family fighters, especially (Mirage 2000-9), which began to be modernized two years ago.

“The sale of 80 Rafale planes to the UAE is a French success story”, said Éric Trappier, adding: “I’m very proud and happy as a result. I would like to thank the authorities of the United Arab Emirates for their renewed confidence in our aircraft, beyond Mirage 5 and Mirage 2000. The Rafale contract strengthens the strategic relationship between our two countries and the satisfaction of the Emirates Air Force, our company’s long-term partner. I would like to emphasize the quality and effectiveness of the relationship between the French authorities and industry, which contributed to this success of the France Group”.

The statement noted that this contract is wonderful news for France and its aviation industry, as well as for the entire vital system of 400 companies, large and small, which contribute to Rafale; this represents thousands of guaranteed jobs in our sector for the next decade.

“The contract, the largest ever awarded to the French combat aviation industry, establishes a national industrial base, which is undoubtedly unique in Europe, with large groups and small and medium-sized companies, around a company that has been the main operator of all generations of military and civilian aircraft over the past 70 years, the company’s statement added”.

The statement said that the success of Rafale with the French armed forces, its sale to the UAE and its export to five other countries of active interest shows that French combat aviation is a center of excellence internationally recognized by the national industrial scene.

Rafale F-4, a fighter being developed under the F4 program, is an ongoing project worth about two billion euros. It is scheduled to begin in 2024 and is presented by Paris as a technological, industrial and strategic leap. The UAE will be the first country to acquire this type of highly advanced French fighter.

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