Sunday, February 25, 2024

Dassault Aviation and Team Rafale full of export confidence

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With an offer well received by Riyadh, and discussions initiated with Tashkent, Dassault Aviation and Team Rafale have every reason to be satisfied with the current dynamic around the French fighter. What is surprising, however, is to note that the French aircraft manufacturer is now showing itself to be assured, even in its indiscretions made to specialist journalists, a sign of a confidence rediscovered after the terrible first years of the Rafale .

It must be said that Dassault has objective reasons to be confident, with an order book already more than comfortable, and positive prospects for new orders in the years to come. This is an opportunity to provide a detailed update on the various ongoing negotiations and discussions concerning potential future Rafale orders around the world.

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Just ten years ago, after the resounding failures in Morocco and Brazil, and with the cancellation of the Indian MRCA contract becoming inevitable, there were hardly any people to declare themselves optimistic about the commercial future of French Rafale fighter. Even Dassault Aviation, which has never wavered from its confidence in the aircraft, seemed to be losing confidence.

The difficult period of doubt for Dassault Aviation and Team Rafale from 2005 to 2015

The consequences of this difficult period continue to be felt today. Already reluctant to open up about its ongoing negotiations, the French aircraft manufacturer had since become almost opaque on the subject, only allowing itself to comment on contracts once they had been signed.

Dassault aviation rafale chain Merignac
The lack of export orders had led Dassault Aviation to place its Mérignac Rafale assembly line in “survival” mode, with 11 aircraft produced per year, for the French air and naval forces.

In fact, when the same Dassault Aviation declared, in front of journalist Michel Cabirol, that it now considers the negotiations with Saudi Arabia to be promising, and that it intends to deploy significant efforts to position itself in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan , this is obviously a profound change in posture on his part, and an undeniable sign of a return to confidence within Team Rafale .

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It must be said that the aircraft manufacturer has reason to be confident and optimistic. Indeed, with more than 310 aircraft ordered by 7 countries, the prospects have never been so promising for exporting combat aircraft, at least since the Mirage F1 and its approximately 470 aircraft exported to nine air forces across the World.

To understand this confidence, it is useful to summarize all of the current negotiations concerning the French fighter which, after having exceeded the number of Mirage 2000 exported, now has every chance of beating the Mirage F1 in this area, and to flirt with the success of the Mirage III and V which made the French military aeronautical industry, and Dassault Aviation, major pillars of the global combat aircraft market.

Indonesia, India: negotiations to be brought to fruition quickly

As Michel Cabirol points out on the subject, Dassault remains pragmatic. Thus, its current priorities concern the completion of two orders which must be signed quickly: the last 18 Indonesian Rafale , as well as the 26 Rafale M for the Indian Navy.

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Rafale M Charles de Gaulle
The Rafale M was preferred to the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet by the Indian Navy to arm its new aircraft carrier, the INS Vikrant.

LOGO meta defense 70 Fighter aircraft | Defense Analysis | Saudi Arabia

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Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolf
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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