The Rafale in the United Arab Emirates, it's a long story ... For more than 10 years now, the hypothesis of an imminent order for the French plane by Abu Dabi has not ceased to emerge, then to glow just as quickly in the 'oversight. It may well be, however, that this Scottish shower will come to an end in the coming weeks. Indeed, according to the French economic site Challenges.fr, an order for 60 Rafale would be close to being concluded with the United Arab Emirates, and could even be formalized on the occasion of the visit of the Head of State, Emmanuel Macron, to the Persian Gulf from December 2 to 4. Neither the Ministry of the Armed Forces nor the industrialists confirmed the matter to the journalists of Challenges; however, it seems that several sources have corroborated this information.
Such an order would admirably conclude an emotional year for the French combat aircraft, with historic successes. in Greece (24 devices). as Croatia (12 devices) and Egypt (30 new devices), promising openings in Indonesia and India, but also serious disappointments, especially after the Swiss turnaround at the start of the summer in favor of the American F-35A. It would also be, to date, the largest Rafale order placed by an export customer, ahead of Egypt and its 54 Rafale ordered in two installments. This would finally allow the Rafale team to secure the production line of the aircraft for the entire current decade, a situation that many manufacturers would like to share in the world.
According to information obtained by Challenges, the aircraft ordered would be at the F4 standard, the very one which constitutes the program's inflection point towards the digital standards to come for the coming decades, like the aircraft ordered by the French Army. French Air and Space, the delivery of which should begin in 2025. The amount of the order, but also its schedule and scope, are naturally not known, especially as the United Arab Emirates are courted by many other manufacturers, between negotiations around the American F-35A with Washington, and the parade of seduction started by Rostec with the Su-75 Checkmate to win in the country.
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