What will be the budgetary impact of the Rafale offered by France to Greece?

It's now official, France will sell 18 Rafale planes to Greece, which thus becomes the leading European export customer for French combat aircraft. 12 of the 18 aircraft sold will be taken directly from the Air Force fleet, thus making it possible to respond to the operational emergency in Greece, and to quickly set up a fighter squadron equipped with the new aircraft. The 6 others will be manufactured by Dassault Aviation from 2024, and will be at the latest F3R standard. Aircraft sold by the French Air Force will also be replaced by new aircraft offering better upgrading capabilities towards future standards. In addition, 8 of the second-hand devices sold by France will not be sold, but offered in Athens, so as to reduce the budgetary burden on Greek public finances. But what will be the budgetary impact for French public finances of this operation? And how much will it cost French taxpayers?

The question seems legitimate, since not only will France offer 8 aircraft to its ally, but it will also finance the construction of 12 new aircraft for the Air Force, so as to respect the format forecasts. provided for by the White Paper and the LPM. And at first glance, it seems reasonable to think that French public finances, and by transitivity, taxpayers, will be out of their pocket, to keep the ambitions of the Turkish president at bay in the eastern Mediterranean. However, the in-depth study of the situation offers a completely different view of the budgetary implications of the operation.

The 18 aircraft ordered will partly make up for the production deficit of the Rafale chain between the end of Tranche IV and the start of Tranche V, namely the F4 standard aircraft.

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