The order of Rafale of the UAE could generate new contracts in the short term

La order for 80 planes Rafale signed last Friday by the United Arab Emiratesits profoundly disrupted the industrial dynamics around the French combat aircraft, by securing the sustainability and production of the assembly line over the next ten years, and by putting the Rafale and the F35, Abu Dhabi having confirmed that it was still determined to acquire the 50 American combat aircraft from Lockheed-Martin to evolve alongside the new French aircraft. But this order also puts pressure on several partners of France, who had indicated a potential intention to order the aircraft, while the Merignac production line will increase in the coming months to a production rate of 3 aircraft per month. , considered to be the upper limit thereof. Indeed, several countries, such as Qatar, Egypt, India and Indonesia, are currently in talks with Dassault Aviation, the Team Rafale and the services of the French State, for possible additional orders.

Qatar was the second customer to order the French fighter jet in 2015, shortly after Egypt. The 24 aircraft initially ordered were supplemented in 2017 by the exercise of an option for 12 additional aircraft, as well as the modernization to the F3R standard of the entire fleet. On this occasion, Doha also took a new option, this time on 36 additional aircraft. At the same time, the small gas state ordered 24 Eurofighters Typhoon and 36 F-15QA to complete its fighter fleet, which left France little hope of seeing this option come true. The situation is now completely different with the order of the 80 Rafale Emirati, Abu Dhabi being Doha's main geopolitical competitor in the Persian Gulf. In fact, Doha could quickly be tempted to place an additional order by lifting the option of 36 aircraft to standard F4, so as to align 72 Rafale in a fleet of 132 modern combat aircraft, as many as the 130 Rafale and F35 targeted by the UAE.

Rafale Qatar Defense Analysis | Fighter aircraft | Military aircraft construction
Qatar still has one option out of 36 Rafale additional, an option which could be raised on the altar of the competition between Doha and Abu Dhabi in the Persian Gulf

For Cairo, the interest in the F4 standard had been clearly announced even though the country ordered 30 Rafale additional last spring, with the announced objective of eventually operating a fleet of 80 aircraft of this type. For the Egyptian air forces, which also use American F-16s but also Russian Mig-29s and Su-35s, the interest of Rafale is twofold. First of all, it allows you to communicate with both American platforms and Russian platforms, France being less rigid than the United States in this area. Secondly, due to the acquisition of Russian equipment, and in particular Su-35 and Mig-29 fighters, Cairo knows that it is well excluded from the possibility of acquiring the American F-35 in the short or medium term, and THE Rafale, in its F4 version, offers capabilities precisely comparable to those of the American aircraft.

India is also one of the most serious prospects for Dassault Aviation, on several levels. Firstly, the Indian air forces are pressing New Delhi to urgently order a second batch of 36 Rafale, in order to complete the two squadrons currently being formed with the first 36 aircraft ordered, and delivery of which has almost been completed. Indeed, these aircraft now constitute a critical tool in the hands of the Indian Air Force, to respect their Chinese and Pakistani counterparts which, too, are modernizing with great strides, with the arrival of very modern devices such as the J-20 or the JF-17 BlockIII. At the same time, the French plane is engaged in a competition against the American Super Hornet to equip future Indian aircraft carriers, while participating in the MMRCA 2 competition which involves the acquisition of 114 light or medium devices in local production.

Rafale india in-flight refueling Analyzes Defense | Fighter aircraft | Military aircraft construction
The Indian Air Force continues to request a second order of 36 Rafale in order to strengthen its capabilities against the Pakistani and Chinese air forces.

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