Sunday, November 13, 2011

UAE, another Rafale vs Eurofighter battle ?

After India and Switzerland, it seems that another battle between the twin European fighters is on the way in the UAE. The Eurofighter consorsotium has confirmed today at the opening of the Dubai AirShow that it was asked by the UAE to make an offer for an unknown Typhoon number in order to replace the Mirage 2000-9 of the country. This comes as a surprise as France was supposed to be in final negociations to sell the Rafale.  It's worth noting that it is Britain and BAE which are in charge of exporting the Typhoon in the Middle East. They had a first informative meeting with the UAE authorities about the jet capabilities on October 17.

What does this last minute development mean for the Rafale ? First it is almost certain, now, that no deal can be expected during the Dubai Air Show or even before the end of the year. As a mater of fact, the UAE ar not in a hurry (their Mirage 2000-9 are almost new) and they will take all the time necessary to squeeze the French offer until the last drop. By the way, this situation looks very much like when Saudi Arabia was negociating its Typhoon and put the Rafale in the Balance to get more from BAE and the UK. 

Last year, The UAE had already asked Boeing to make a F-18E offer and earlier in 2011, they were also negociating with Lockheed Martin for additional F-16E.

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