Le Rafale interests the air forces of the Sultanate of Oman

India, Egypt, Greece, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar… The negotiations currently being carried out by Dassault Aviation concerning the sale of new Rafale, are numerous, to the point that one could doubt the opportunity of seeing other prospects emerge in the short term.

Yet this is what seems to be happening, as Michel Cabirol reveals, in an article published by latribune.fr, that discussions are underway between Dassault Aviation and Muscat, to equip the air forces of the Sultanate of Oman, from 12 to 18 Rafale.

An unexpected new prospect for the Rafale of Dassault Aviation, in a rapidly deteriorating security context

According to the specialized journalist, several corroborating sources have confirmed that discussions have been initiated between the French aircraft manufacturer and the authorities of the Sultanate of Oman, concerning the possible acquisition of a squadron of the French fighter.

Rafale F4
Le Rafale of interest to many air forces around the world.

These aircraft, recognized for their versatility, could then evolve alongside the 22 F-16 C/D Block 50s, forming the backbone of two fighter squadrons of the Royal Air Force of Oman, or RAFO, based at the air base of RAFO Thumrat, as well as 12 Eurofighters Typhoon of the 8th squadron of the RAFO Adam air base.

This possible strengthening is part of the significant deterioration of the security situation in this sultanate bordering the UAE, Saudi Arabia and especially Yemen, and facing Iran, only 300 km away on the northern shore of the Gulf. from Oman.

The discreet state of 300 km², with a population of just over 000 million inhabitants, made its fortune on the exploitation of its oil and gas reserves, but has managed to transform its economy.

It has brought hydrocarbon exports below 20% of its GDP, while relying in particular on tourism and services, which allows it to post a GDP per capita of $25, close to 000 30 Saudi dollars, but much higher than the 000 Iranian dollars.

Muscat, its capital, maintains, as such, peaceful, sometimes even fruitful, relations with Tehran, which explains why the country has been protected, in recent years, from regional tensions. However, it devotes more than 6% of its GDP to its armies, which have an annual budget of $8 billion.

The air force of the Sultanate of Oman, a traditional client of the Anglo-Saxon aeronautical industry.

Like many countries in the region, Oman was under a British protectorate from the end of the 19th century until 1971. Its armies were shaped, trained and equipped by the British armies during this period.

Hawker Hunter
The Hawker Hunter was the first fighter of the Royal Air Force of Oman, after the end of the British protectorate in 1971.

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