Subscribe Free
in Defence

Dubai 2011: UAE re-opens fighter contest

Posted 13 November 2011 · Add Comment

The UAE is re-opening its multi-billion dollar fighter contest, just weeks after it seemed certain that the Dassault Rafale would be selected unopposed. French hopes that the Rafale's selection would be announced here in Dubai appear to have been dashed and the competition to supply the UAE Air Force & Air Defence with a next-generation fighter is again wide open.

Rafale

On the eve of the show, UK sources reported that the UAE had issued a request for proposals (RFP) covering the supply of the Eurofighter Typhoon, and Eurofighter GmbH subsequently confirmed that such an RFP had been received, and that the company was working hard to deliver a response.

The issue of an RFP followed a UK briefing to the UAE on the Typhoon and as to how it might meet future Emirati fast jet requirements. The brief, requested by the UAE, took place on October 17 2011.

In September, it was being widely predicted that Rafale’s selection would be announced at the Dubai Airshow. The UAE’s flirtation with Rafale has been a long one, the French fighter having originally lost out to the F-16 Fighting Falcon in 1998, with renewed discussions having been announced in mid-2008.

The UAE never ran a full competition to select a fighter to replace its Mirage 2000s, but instead simply opened negotiations with Dassault for the supply of an improved and upgraded Rafale.

There was a brief wobble in September 2010, when the UAE requested information on the Boeing Super Hornet, but in December Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and commander of the UAE armed forces, asked the French side to renew its proposal to sell up to 60 Rafales to the UAE.

Though Rafale performed brilliantly in recent combat operations, the UAE has made it clear that it requires a more advanced aircraft than the current Rafale in service with the Armée de l’Air, and may be unwilling to fund the required modernisation.
 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Much more than a remote possibility…

Remote towers are now operating elsewhere in the world, so how could the concept be applied to the Middle East? Alan Corner, who heads up the Dubai office for aviation consultancy Helios, gives his views.

Gulfstream streams seamlessly into the Gulf

With a hefty order from Qatar Executive and strong interest in its new aircraft, Savannah-based Gulfstream is enjoying blue skies all the way in the Middle East. Liz Moscrop reports

Iomax delivers first production Archangel to the UAE

Iomax delivered the first of 24 new Archangel aircraft to the UAE Air Force and Air Defence in June 2015. Jon Lake looks at the programme and the aircraft.

New Saudi-Ukrainian aircraft programme launched

Ukrainian manufacturer Antonov has formally announced the launch of its new Antonov An-132 military freighter. The aircraft, which is a derivative of the existing An-32 Cline, will be produced jointly by Ukraine and Saudi Arabia for

Superjet move for Iran as Sattari visits Moscow show

Reports that Iran's days of buying Russian aircraft are over, have been scuppered by the country's vice president for science and technology, Sorena Sattari, who attended MAKS - Russia's largest air show near Moscow this week.

Four dead as Saudi jet crashes near London

A Saudi Arabian registered business jet crashed on landing at Blackbushe Airport near Farnborough, UK yesterday killing all four people on board.

Turkish Aviation Academy SSC 2015
See us at
MEBAA MoroccoGulf Defense and Aerospace - Kuwait 2015Dubai Airshow 2015DIAC 2015 BT Aug19-8N15Aviation Festival Mena BT Aug-26O15