United Arab Emirates cancels order for 12 French H225M Caracal helicopters

In December 2021, Abu Dhabi announced the order for 12 H225M Caracal utility helicopters from Airbus Helicopters alongside the historic order for 80 combat aircraft Rafale to modernize its air forces and replace its Mirage 2000-9.

Worth €800 million, the contract allowed the Marignane industrial site to fill an order book which was lacking in depth during this period marked by the significant drop in orders for devices dedicated to off-shore missions, a domain of predilection of the Super Puma.

Unfortunately, it seems that Airbus Helicopters has failed to convince its Middle Eastern customers. Indeed, according to Muammar Abdulla Abushehab, the director of defense and security affairs within the Tawazun council, one of the main councils of the Emirati Ministry of Defense, the contract was recently terminated.

Airbus Helicopters deemed uncooperative by the United Arab Emirates

According to the Tawazun council, the proposal made by Airbus Helicopters turned out to be complex, expensive in terms of life cycle and not very scalable in terms of possible modular adaptations of the aircraft to meet future needs.

The 12 H225M Caracals were ordered by the UAE alongside the order for 80 aircraft Rafale
The 12 H225M Caracals were ordered by the UAE alongside the order for 80 aircraft Rafale

Furthermore, Muammar Abdulla Abushehab clarified, during the interview given on this subject, that this decision was in no way linked to political considerations, but to an obvious "lack of motivation" on the part of the teams of the industrial to meet the expectations of the UAE armed forces, as well as the failure of negotiations around Abu Dhabi's local production demands.

As such, the Tawazun council indicated that it had signed several partnerships with international companies to strengthen the UAE's aeronautics and defense industry, including Boeing, Raytheon, Leonardo and Saab, without mentioning, paradoxically, any French companies. while Paris is today the largest defense contractor in the country, and the UAE is the largest client for the French BITD.

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