Rafale - Sales
|Oman||2011||F-16 + Typhoon|
|Saudi Arabia||F-15 + Typhoon|
The RAND Corporation's "GRAY THREAT" study of 1995 noted that the EF-2000 [Typhoon] and Rafale were quite similar in several parameters, including gross weight, payload weight, number of store stations, physical dimensions, speed, and field lengths. The basic performance data relevant to aerial combat for the Typhoon and Rafale appeared to indicate a clear superiority in capability compared with the F-16C Block 40, and essential equivalence with the F-15 in important areas. In terms of air-to-ground capability, the new European fighters appear quite capable.
Although none of the European fighters is primarily oriented toward ground-attack operations like the F-15E, the Typhoon and Rafale are nonetheless particularly impressive in terms of quantity and variety of stores carried. Based on publicly available data, these two fighters appear to be considerably superior to the F-16 in these areas. Maximum external loads for the Rafale surpass 70 percent of the capability of the much larger F-15E strike/fighter. All three European fighters [including Gripen] possess important agility advantages that because of the static instability of their basic designs and their canard/delta configurations, combined with their advanced fly-by-wire flight control systems.
On 12 February 2015, Egypt and France reached a deal for the sale of 24 Rafale aicraft to Egypt. The deal, valued at US$ 5.7 billion reportedly also included the sale of a FREMM naval frigate and MBDA air-to-air missiles. The official signing was reported to be set for 16 February 2015. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on 10 April 2015 he had ordered 36 “ready-to-fly” French-made Rafale fighter jets to modernise his country’s ageing warplane fleet as neighbouring states upgraded their military hardware.
Dassault’s deal with Egypt may have helped break the logjam in negotiations with other customers, since they are now on notice that if they want to have Rafales they may have to wait for them. Since the Egypt deal, by April 2015 Dassault was in the “final stage” of negotiations to sell up to 36 Rafale warplanes to Qatar. The order of 24 jets will triple Qatar's fighter force, and when factoring in support, training and weaponry, it will bring $7B to French coffers. It was also in talks aimed at supplying 16 of the multi-role combat jets to Malaysia and had resumed discussions over potential fighter sales to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
It was reported on 31 January 2012, that India had selected the Dassault Rafale fighter jet as the winner of its MMRCA competition. Prior to this deal, France had not been able to sell the Rafale to a foreign customer, although the aircraft was flying in a handful of competitions.
After 20 years, the Rafale had gone from an export zero to export hero in 45 days. One common factor with all of the Rafale’s export customers is that they are are all prior Dassault customers - all fielded the predecessor to the Rafale, the Mirage 2000, in various configurations. The Rafale line, which had been significantly slowed to its minimum pace of about 11 jets a year due to reduced French purchases, still above French demand, will be stabilized and even expanded. France is one of the most ‘creative’ sources when it comes to aggressive finance offers, with very attractive loan terms. For countries with advanced aerospace industries, large industrial offsets can also be offered to sweeten a fighter tender.
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