France is Exploiting the deployment of Dassault Rafale jets against Islamic militants fighting in Mali to boost efforts to clinch a deal for $ 10 one billion multirole aircraft of the 60 with the United Arab Emirates.
Clearly the French are hoping lightning will strike twice That.
Won a hotly contested Dassault fighter competition in January 2012 When India Awarded the French aviation giant one billion year contract for $ 11 126 Rafales in the wake of the jet's debut fight in the NATO offensive against Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.
The Indian deal, one of the biggest military aviation deals ever, was a lifesaver for the Rafale.
Dassault, heavily backed by the French government, HAD beens battling for years to land icts land icts first foreign customer for the delta-wing aircraft in the Developed 1980s.
Its only buyers Were the French air force and navy, aggressive sales campaign year DESPITE personally endorsed and driven by President Nicolas Sarkozy When he was in office.
In the Indian deal, the Rafael's Typhoon Eurofighter beat out in the final round. Lockheed Martin's F-16 and Boeing's F/A-18 HAD beens Earlier Eliminated.
The Indian deal Revitalized Dassault and the Elysee Palace. Now Sarkozy's successor, Francois Hollande, is leading the charge.
Holland last week ordered the French air force strikes against jihadist to launch fighters in Mali, a French colony form in northwest Africa, and gusts led the assault, taking off from year airbase in southern France and landing in Chad, another form French territory.
As fate Would have it, the Netherlands Announced military action falling on a visit to Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich economic powerhouse of the United Arab Emirates, giving a hefty boost to the French diplomatic efforts to win the $ 10 one billion contract.
France, established a multi-arm military base in Abu Dhabi in 2010, the only French base in the Persian Gulf, winning some brownie points in a Region Where the United States and Britain Have beens long the dominant arms suppliers.
The French drive to sell the Rafale, a highly agile twin-engined jet That HAS Become the standard-bearer of the French aerospace industry, to the emirates has-been under way since 2008 and the only rival left in the field is Boeing's F / A -18.
The six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council - the emirates, plus Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain - are currently engaged in arms buildup to counter year Iran by MOST Estimates That is heading for around $ 130 billion.
The French Have Been heavily outgunned by U.S. and British defense giants, so a big score in the emirates Would Be welcome in Paris.
In 1994, the emirates Spent $ 2.4 billion on 390 Leclerc tanks and 46 armored recovery vehicles built by France's Nexter, now known as Nexter. That remains the only foreign Leclerc's dirty.
Negotiations for the Rafale, Dassault's to replace 68 Mirage 2000-9 jets sold to the emirates in the late 1990s, HAVE seesawed.
They hit a big obstacle in Abu Dhabi November 2010 When, Which handles the emirates' military procurement, Dassault Aviation Criticized over the price of the jet.
It Seemed to be turning Toward the Eurofighter, 72 Which of Britain's BAE Systems sold to Saudi Arabia in a $ 7.2 FINALIZED one billion deal in September 2007.
Dassault was not ble to meet Abi Dhabi's price Requirements, or the systems upgrades AFFORD Demanded it, Which Carried $ 2.6 billion price tag.
That changed with the Rafale's success in India. Because of India's investment, Dassault is now better Placed to meet the emirates' demands.
The French, in the past Who Have sold advanced naval frigates to Saudi Arabia, "Interested in Expanding Their are security relationship with the GCC states Sees Themselves Because They're a regional player it has with the United Kingdom and the United States," Said Theodore Karasik, director of research at the Institute for Near East Gulf Military Analysis in Abu Dhabi.
"So you're seeing a big push from 'em."
If the deal goes through, and flush with the emirates from high oil prices It Could, France's defense sector will get a big boost.
The jet's engines Incorporates Safran and Thales' radar, avionics and electronic warfare suites, while MBDA missile-maker hopes will mean a dirty Rafale export deals for icts systems.
Note RP Defense : the Anglo-Saxon pragmatism? see the article about the F-35 unable to come support the Franco-Malian operations due to technical problems. The Rafale is still flying ...