Largest Ever Order for French Combat Air Industry
On 3 December Tareq Abdul Raheem Tosani, CEO of Tawazun Economic Council, tasked with overseeing defence and security acquisitions, and Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, signed a contract for 80 RAFALE F4 combat aircraft for the United Arab Emirates Air Force & Air Defence (UAEAF&AD).
The RAFALE F4, for which the Emirates will be the first user outside France, will provide UAEAF&AD with a tool capable of guaranteeing sovereignty and operational independence. The contract comes on the back of a relationship of trust between the UAE and Dassault of more than 45 years’ duration, built upon the MIRAGE family – notably the MIRAGE 2000-9, modernisation of which began two years ago.
“The sale of 80 RAFALE to the UAE Federation is a French success story […] After the MIRAGE 5 and MIRAGE 2000, this RAFALE contract consolidates the strategic relationship that binds our two countries and the satisfaction of the Emirates Air Force, a long-standing and demanding partner of our company […] This contract is excellent news for France and for its aeronautical industry, for the entire ecosystem of 400 companies, both large and small, which contribute to the RAFALE: this represents thousands of guaranteed jobs in our sector for the coming decade. This contract, which is the largest ever obtained by the French combat aeronautics industry, consolidates a national industrial base […] The success of the RAFALE with our armed forces, and its sale to the UAE Federation, as well as its export to five other countries who are already customers, clearly shows that French combat aviation is an internationally recognized center of excellence,” commented Trappier.