Bahrain 2012: Fighter contenders line up
Dassault's Rafale and Eurofighter's Typhoon briefly sat side-by-side in the static display here at the show, with a US Navy Boeing Super Hornet close by.
The Typhoon was later moved to a less controversial location, near the Royal Bahraini Air Force F-16.
While there is no immediate Bahraini requirement for a new fighter, elsewhere in the GCC all three aircraft types are in contention to meet a number of near- and medium-term requirements in the region and nearby. Competition between the aircraft is fierce.
Most immediately, the Typhoon and Rafale are the ‘last men standing’ in India, where an announcement of the winner of the IAF’s medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) requirement is tentatively expected on January 24.
Though the Rafale seems to have been eliminated from consideration in the UAE, the aircraft remains under active consideration in Kuwait and Qatar (both long-term Dassault Mirage operators), where the type is up against the Eurofighter Typhoon and Boeing’s F-15 Eagle and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet respectively.