France, UAE Sign Multi-Billion Dollar Rafale Warplanes Deal
On Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in the United Arab Emirates on an official visit.
France and the United Arab Emirates signed a contract on Friday for the purchase of 80 Rafale fighter jets, manufactured by French company Dassault Aviation, the Elysee Palace said.
"This is an outcome of the strategic partnership between the two countries," a statement from the French presidency said.
In addition to the Rafale, the Emirates have also signed an agreement for the purchase of 12 Caracal (Airbus) helicopters.
French President Emmanuel Macron began a two-day trip to the Gulf region on Friday and will visit Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Earlier, the media reported that the UAE authorities may sign a contract with France to purchase 60 Rafale multirole fighters with the latest F4 modification.
Negotiations on Rafale fighters have been going on for over a decade, and Abu Dhabi publicly rejected a French offer to supply 60 Rafale aircraft in 2011 as "uncompetitive and unworkable". The UAE already has Mirage military jets. According to reports, Rafale will replace the Mirage 2000 fleet.
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