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  • Rafale: Keeping the French Government Busy
    Posted by Robert Wall 8:55 AM on Oct 23, 2009

    The Brazilian government is about to get another dose of French lobbying to buy the Dassault Aviation Rafale strike fighter.
    At least that's what one has to assume will happen when French defense minister Herve Morin heads to Brazil next week.
    It is the first visit of a top French government official since French president Nicolas Sarkozy visited his counterpart, Brazilian President Lula, triggering the announcement Brazil would buy Rafale. That, in turn, led to the Brazilian air force pointing out that the source selection process was not complete. The back and forth turned into a national embarrassment for Brazil.

    On October 2, Saab, Boeing and Dassault submitted updated bids for the Brazilian competition. Morin's visit will give the French another chance to talk up their fighter in the wake of the dust-up and with the final bids now in. No doubt, Morin will remind the Brazilian of France's intent to support development of the KC390 tanker transport Embraer plans to develop.

    The visit follows Morin hosting Kuwait's defense minister this week, where the two also talked of Rafale (along with other procurement and strategic issues).

    What's more, the French government is now in what could be the final round of talks with the United Arab Emirates to sell Rafale to that air force.

    And, don't forget, the French air force this month deployed Rafales to Libya, where the French fighter also has aspirations.

    Clearly, Paris is leaving no stone unturned in its bid to finally secure the first export order for Rafale.

    Tags: ar99, Rafale, Dassault, France

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