Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Rafale negotiations resumed between the UAE and Dassault Aviation

After visiting Francois Hollande last week, negotiations resumed between the UAE and Dassault Aviation for the sale of 60 Rafale, according to our information.

This is another good news for the Rafale and Dassault Aviation. After the confirmation last week that India was ready to take additional Rafale (63 units), as revealed to the magazine "Capital" in May, serious negotiations have indeed resumed between the manufacturer and tricolor United Arab Emirates (UAE), according to our information. But without setting any timetable for signing the contract on 60 Rafale.Teams between Team Rafale (Dassault Aviation, Thales and Safran) and the UAE have returned to work ... to the dismay of the British, who had done everything to sabotage relations between Dassault and Abu Dhabi. They offered the Typhoon Eurofighter consortium (BAE sysntems, EADS and Italy's Finmeccanica). Negotiations between Abu Dhabi increased since 2008 starting date of negotiations, several periods of crisis ... but these situations have jmais cut the link between the two parties ... as wished London.

A question of price

It's François Hollande who revived the Rafale during his visit to Dubai early last week. The French president and his UAE counterpart, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, discussed the fighter tricolor during their discussions. "We think this is a very good plane, I dare not say that the experience has shown, but that is the case, both in Libya and even theater Mali", he had explained at a press conference."We think this is a great technology, we told our friends the UAE. They do not dispute elsewhere. Following is a question of price," he said. "But it is not the President of the French Republic, which had fixed prices. So it obeys the logic of discussions and negotiations." François Hollande also asked the Defence Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, to return to the United Arab Emirates to continue discussions.

Negotiations slowed

End of 2011, negotiations on the sale of 60 Rafale in Abu Dhabi took a cold, the Emiratis were deemed "uncompetitive and unworkable" supply the manufacturer tricolor, which had focused the anger of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the crown prince and defense minister Abu Dhabi. But the links between Abu Dhabi and Paris have never been cut even if the French presidential campaign and the coming to power of a new management team has significantly hampered relations between the two states.Especially, Abu Dhabi, free of the pressure put considerable Nicolas Sarkozy to sign a contract, was also forced to buy quickly new combat aircraft. Not that they were more interested in the Rafale but there was no urgency to replace their Mirage 2000-9, which had been successful in Libya, where they made out air-air and air-to-ground . "It was a political campaign by Nicolas Sarkozy and not the industry initiative", said an observer. Where a discrepancy between the client's wishes and the proposal of Paris ... which also may have missed the boat by not linking the construction of the French base in the UAE for the purchase of fighter aircraft by Abu Dhabi. "Is it too late now?" Asks an industrialist. Possible. "Over time, we forget the gifts that have been made," he says.

The Eurofighter track

To show his displeasure vis-à-vis Dassault Aviation, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan had ended 2011 in the tabs of the Rafale, Eurofighter. Without putting an end to negotiations with Dassault Aviation distended. To the chagrin of the British and the Prime Minister, David Cameron, who has tried everything to torpedo yet definitively French offer during his visit to the UAE last November.

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