Saturday, October 2, 2010

Article in Le Figaro may compromise the Rafale sale in the UAE

This is definitely not a good day for the Rafale. The best export opportunity for the french fighter could be jeopardized by an article published in Le Figaro Magazine last June and revealing that the gulf state would have bought israeli systems to secure its borders with Iran.
While the info may sound rather innocent, it would have deeply annoyed the authorities of Abu Dabhi who would have suspended (if not canceled) the ongoing negociations with Dassault, owner of Le Figaro magazine, for the sale of 60 Rafale.

If true, this would be a disaster for the Rafale as many of technical upgrades are more or less linked to this export sale. On a polical point of view, it would most probably harm the relations between France and the UAE for a long time : Paris would not understand such an irrevocable decision because of a magazine article. Indeed, even if Serge Dassault is the owner of  "Le Figaro", he has virtually no rights to interfere in the editorial content of the paper which freedom of speech is protected by law, in France.

On a side note one might notice that this story leaves the door wide opened to Boeing and its Super Hornet which had poped up a few week ago in the EAU. There is no smoke without fire...

Source in french :
Source in English :
Picture : Serge Dassault in the UAE, May 2009 - ©SIPA

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