Report: Rafale sale sparks war between France’s “industrial jewels”

Selling weapons to the United Arab Emirates must not be as easy as it looks. Sure, the Emiratis have plenty of cash and happen to occupy the non-Iranian half of the Strait of Hormuz, but they still like to drive a hard bargain. 

The global arms industry has waited for years for the UAE to sign a contract to buy 60 Dassault Rafales, which has already lost more potential customers than BP gas station owners in Louisiana.

Until recently, France was reportedly resisting demands by the UAE to take back about 60 Mirage 2000-9s in exchange for a Rafale sale. But now French newspaper La Tribune has reported the UAE has insisted on a second condition.

In return for buying the Rafale, France must give the UAE’s two airlines — Abu Dhabi’s Etihad and Dubai’s Emirates — more landing slots at major French airports, especially Charles de Gaulle near Paris. According to La Tribune, this forces the French government to choose between “two of its industrial jewels”: Rafale manufacturer Dassault and Air France.

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5 Responses to Report: Rafale sale sparks war between France’s “industrial jewels”

  1. keesje 16 November, 2010 at 8:53 pm #

    It is about time the Rafale gets some exports, it has been on the market for almost 2 decades.. The Mirage 2000 and F1 did better, let alone the Mirage 3

  2. Dude 16 November, 2010 at 10:45 pm #

    Perhaps the French just smile and say “NO!”

  3. Charlie Davies 17 November, 2010 at 1:10 am #

    Heh @ BP.

    UAE knows the French are desperate and it’s also very easy to just grab Super Hornets or Typhoons instead.

    Don’t think the UAE is a difficult country to sell to with the right products. Saab sold some AEW’s without much drama not that long ago so even the smaller players can score big there.

  4. aeroxavier 17 November, 2010 at 7:08 pm #

    UAE saying to french : “we will compensation if we take this plane in first foreign export”
    They know, french need find one export buyer for stop infernal afraid in the eyes of clients.
    This plane need one sale for start and win export market, UAE will win more.
    France have open one military base and make defense pact (with military assistance and nuclear protection) with UAE.

    @keesje
    not 2 decades, the first plane was ready in 2004 in the first version.He was on the market early 2000
    Not all country can buy plane like this,the great majority buy f-16 or old plane.

  5. jetcal1 18 November, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

    Aeroxavier,
    Nice post. And you only bashed the F-16 once. Great job!

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