Dassault's Rafale made a noisy display appearance on the opening day of the Dubai air show, but away from the flight line, the company was much quieter about its prospects with selling the fighter to the UAE.
Questions about the current status of long-running talks to potentially replace the UAE's Dassault Mirage 2000s with up to 60 Rafales were met with a polite "no comment", one day after a surprise request for Eurofighter to also submit a proposal based on its Typhoon became public knowledge.
The manufacturer has consistently declined to discuss any progress made during negotiations with its potential customer, although reports have previously emerged via political and military circles. These have recently indicated that an impasse has been reached because of factors including price and future enhancements to the combat-proven type.
Despite the uncertainty over the UAE's thinking in requesting a rival bid from Eurofighter via the UK government, the Rafale International exhibit played host to the expected flurry of official delegations at the opening of the show.