|Gerard Longuet (left) talks with Dassault CEO at last Paris air show|
According to French Defense Minister, Gerard Longuet, "The United Arab Emirates is France's best bet in the short term for clinching an export deal for Dassault Aviation's Rafale fighter jet [...] the UAE are no longer demanding a more powerful engine, previously a condition for a deal.The Rafale airstrikes in Libya had helped sway the Emirati government.[...] The operational and multi-role capacities of the Rafale are being proven on a daily basis with these strikes,[...] The Libyan conflict is a clear demonstration that the current engine capacity is sufficient." he said.
Earlier this month Defense News reported rumors about talks between the UAE and Lockheed Martin for the purchase of more F-16E bk60, presumably instead of the Rafale which was said to be too expensive.