|French Defense Minister and Air Force chief at the Dubai Airshow|
The French Air Force chief, General Palomeros has insisted on the fact that the technical part of the negociations (system upgrades and new weapon loads) have been settled and agreed. The UAE also abandoned their request for a more powerfull M88-2 after several successfull tests in hot temperture condition.
According to General Palomeros on ainonline:
"We would like to achieve a common standard, and invest in new capabilities" (additional radar modes, electronic warfare and communications).They [the UAE] are not buying an aircraft, they are buying a system, and France is a real partner”
"The negotiations are now about the cost of maintenance and manpower. The French defense ministry has also been negotiating a costed, long-term support contract with Snecma for the M88"
This is also confirmed by UAE's former Air Force chief, Major General Khaled al-Buainnain who said last Saturday to Xe.com:
"There's no required enhancements.The UAE has always special requirements. I think the enhancement issue is over, the issue is now financial and contractual. This is a massive project that needs deliberate study."
Tactical Report is also pointing out the fact that from the UAE point of view, the Typhoon RFP should not be interpreted as a lower interest for the Rafale.
With 3 highly important contests (UAE, India and Switzerland) involving the Rafale and the Typhoon, expected to be decided before the end of the year, both delta canard jet teams are pushing hard to occupy the mediatic ground and appear in a favourable stance.