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šŸŽ¬France’s Dassault Confirms Talks to Sell 54 Rafale Fighter Jets to Saudi Arabia

(VIDEO) The CEO of Dassault Aviation Eric Trappier noted that Dassault Aviation was approached by Saudi Arabia after Germany impeded Riyadh's attempt to purchase Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets due to its involvement in the civil war in Yemen.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) ā€“ French aircraft manufacturer, Dassault Aviation has confirmed ongoing negotiations with Saudi Arabia for the sale of 54 Rafale fighter jets, following Germany’s continued obstruction of Riyadh’s efforts to acquire further batch of the Eurofighter Typhoon.

Eric Trappier, the CEO of Dassault Aviation, the company responsible for developing the fighter jets, stated in a recent defense journalists’ association meeting in Paris that, although Saudi Arabia traditionally purchases British fighter jets, it now intends to acquire French fighter jets.

Trappier noted that Dassault Aviation was approached by Saudi Arabia after Germany impeded Riyadh’s attempt to purchase Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets due to its involvement in the civil war in Yemen.

This confirmation aligns with earlier reports in the French weekly Le Tribune, indicating Saudi Arabia’s formal request for the pricing of 54 Rafale fighter jets from Dassault Aviation. The overall intention is for Saudi Arabia to acquire up to 100 Rafale fighter jets.

If negotiations between France and Saudi Arabia proceed successfully, Riyadh will become the latest customer for Rafale fighter jets in the Middle East, following Egypt, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Egypt has already acquired 55 Rafale fighter jets, Qatar 36, and the UAE 80.

“We will pursue these negotiations with Saudi Arabia,” stated the CEO of Dassault.

Currently, the Royal Saudi Air Force operates fighter jets such as the F-15 from the United States, Eurofighter Typhoon, and Panavia Tornado, a consortium-made aircraft from several European countries.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has sought to expand its fleet of Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets built by Britain, Germany, Spain, and Italy.

In 2018, Saudi Arabia and Britain signed a Memorandum of Intent regarding the country’s desire to purchase 48 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets to augment its existing fleet.

Rafale
Eric Trappier
Typhoon
Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets

 

However, the proposed sale of 48 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets to Riyadh faced obstacles after the German government suspended arms sales to Saudi Arabia following the kidnapping and murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Riyadh involvement in military conflict with Yemen.

Ā To date, German arms restrictions against Saudi Arabia persist, likely prompting Riyadh to initiate talks with France for the procurement of Rafale fighter jets.

Meanwhile, given the cordial relations between Saudi Arabia and China, there were also media reports suggested that Saudi Arabia is considering to acquire Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group’s J-10C fighter jets if efforts to obtain Typhoon fighter jets prove unsuccessful due to continued objections from Berlin.

This potential sale of J-10C fighter jets to Saudi Arabia is part of a broader weapons purchase package from China, including the Sky Saker drone, VTOL CR500 drone, and HQ-17 air defense system.

Defense analysts indicate that the acquisition of J-10C fighter jets and other weapons by Saudi Arabia has significant potential, given the diplomatic rapport between Riyadh and Beijing in recent times. — DSA

DEFENCEĀ Ā SECURITY ASIA APPS

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