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  • Can Dassault Finally Close UAE Rafale Deal?
    Posted by Robert Wall 7:17 AM on Sep 08, 2011

    Dassault seems to have a knack for pursuing the most difficult fighter competitions to secure its first export order for Rafale. Between the uncertainty of Brazil's F-X2 program and the Indian MMRCA program, neither is a straightforward affair.

    But nothing can be as frustrating as the prolonged effort to sell Rafale to the United Arab Emirates, not least because it is not even a real competition in the traditional sense (even if Abu Dhabi has, at times, injected some hints of competition into the proceedings by talking to other suppliers).

    With the Dubai air show approaching in November, Dassault is once more making a big push to finalize the fighter purchase. As the French financial daily, Les Echos, reports here, Dassault has dispatched a team to the UAE to try and close the deal.

    What are the chances they will succeed? French industry officials are themselves not sure. This is the third or fourth time the negotiations are being restarted, notes one industry official, quipping that it is hard to keep count. Once again, it is far from clear whether the prospects for success are any better this time than in previous rounds.

    What is different about the atmosphere surrounding the UAE program is there is a strong sense in France the purchase will happen, eventually, but there is probably nobody ready to put money on the timing.

    Tags: ar99, tacair, UAE

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