Friday, April 10, 2015

India wants to buy 36 Rafale off the shelf

Prime Minister Modi and President Hollande ©LaProvence
Paris, April 10th 2015
During the first day of his Visit in France, India Prime Minister Narenda Modi officialy announced that India will buy 36 Rafale "ready to fly":

“Keeping in mind critical operational necessity of fighter jets in India, I have talked to him [F. Hollande] and requested for 36 Rafale jets in fly-away condition as quickly as possible under government-to-government deal”  




This new agreement between France and India is therefore a big change from the original MMRCA deal : 126 jets among which only 18 were to be built in France. Some sources indicate that this first batch of 36 Rafale would be, in fact, the option part of the MMRCA (which was about a possible order of 63 Rafale in addition to the 18+108 other airframes) but it may also be a completly separate deal. 

Apparently, this new contract will not replace the project to build a Rafale assembly line in India but it will allow a quick delivery of a big first batch of jets to the Indian Air Force which can't wait anymore to replace some of its older Mig-21 and Mig-27.
Prime Minister Modi told that the exact terms (price and delivery schedule) of this new contract are still to be discussed by the  two parties but according to his official announcement this morning, he wants the jets as quickly as possible.

This is a very good news for Dassault Aviation and its workforce in France. When this new order will be signed, Dassault will have an order book of 60 Rafale for the export market only (24 for Egypt + 36 for India) and will most probably have to increase (double ?) the production rate of the Rafale assembly line which is currently one aircraft per month.

Sources :
Dassault Press release
aviationweek.com
www.livefistdefence.com
www.thehindu.com
www.laprovence.com

www.ndtv.com

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Egypt, the order for 24 Rafale is signed

Mr Le Drian (left), president Al-Sissi (center)
 and Mr Sobhi (Right) © AFP

As scheduled, French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was in Cairo on Monday February 16th to sign the first export order of the Rafale. The contract was formally signed by himself and Egyptian Defence Minister Sedki Sobhi at 05h30 PM in the presence of Egyptian President Al-Sissi.





Key points :

  • 24 Rafale ordered : 16 Rafale B (two seater) and 8 Rafale C (single seater)
  • A first batch of 3 Rafale B to be delivered before July
  • A second batch of 3 Rafale delivered in 2016 and then probably 6 aircrafts delivered each year until 2019
  • Air to ground weapons : AASM missiles, Black Shaheen (export version of the scalp) cruise missiles, 
  • Air to Air weapons : Mica EM and Mica IR Air to Air missiles
  • Reconnaissance : Reco-NG pod (according to "Secret Defense" blog)
  • About €3 billion for the aircrafts, their equipments and pilots training
  • About €1.1 billion for the weapons

Source :
AFP video 1
AFP video 2

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Egypt, French President officialy confirms the sale of 24 Rafale

Thursday, February 12th, French President François Hollande has officially announced that Egypt will buy 24 Rafale. The French Defence Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian will go to Cairo on Monday February 16th to sign the contract.

Official press release (un-official translation):

"I've been informed today by the Egyptian authorities that they intend to order 24 Rafale fighter jets and one Multi-mission fregate as well as the associated equipements. These equipements will allow Egypt to increase its security and to fulfill its role at the service of the regional stability.
So, The Rafale combat aircraft wins its first export contract.
The [French] state was fully involved in this negiociation and thus allowed the conclusions of this contract.
The signature will happen on February 16th in Cairo and I've asked the French defense minister, Mr. Jean-Yves LE DRIAN, to sign in the name of France."


Source :
www.elysee.fr
In the Press :
www.bbc.com
www.wsj.com
abcnews.go.com
www.reuters.com

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Egypt, Rafale Deal would have been approuved by President Al-Sissi

According to French Newspaper "Le Monde", The contract for the Purchase of 24 Rafale fighter jets and 1 Fremm frigate would have been approved by Egyptian president Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi on Monday February 9th.

The contract would be worth some 5+ billions € and include advanced weapons such as SCALP and AASM stand off Air to Ground missiles as well as Mica BVR Air to Air missiles.

However, the French Ministry of Defense maintains that nothing has been officially signed yet.

11 F’s Rafales work-up on R91, Charles de Gaulle

Rafale M38 ©Steve Comber
"The Aéronavale’s 11 Flottille (11F) was recently deployed to the Mediterranean on board aircraft carrier R91, Charles de Gaulle, for a work-up exercise aimed at preparing the squadron for forthcoming deployment.  One of the squadron’s Dassault Rafale pilots spoke to Steve Comber during a recent embark of France’s potent aircraft carrier, relating his experiences of flying and training on both the Dassault Super Etendard and the Rafale..." [Read the full article on Global aviation ressource]

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Egypt, the deal is about 24 Rafale

According to the french newspaper Les echos, the Egyptian delegation which left France last Friday reached an agreement for an order of 24 Rafale and 1 FREMM Frigate.

Egypt will have to pay 15% of the total cost to validate the purchase. 50% of the remaining cost will be covered by a loan garanteed by the French state.

Egypt would like the frigate and a first batch of jets to be delivered before august in order to display them during the inauguration of the new Suez Canal.

But besides the Canal parade, Egypt needs to renew its ageing fleet of non-american fighters : Indeed Egypt mainly operates modern american F-16 bk40 but the use of these aircrafts is closely monitored by Washighton. The rest of the Egyptian Air Force is composed of oudated Mirage 5, Mig-21, Chinese J-7 as well as a squadron of first generation Mirage 2000. In addition to the Rafale deal, there are rumors of a potential Mig-35 order from Russia and used mirage 2000-9 from the UAE.

Egypt is currently facing several potential threats from armed Jihadist groups from Libya and in the Sinai desert, not to mention the violent insurgencies in Syria and Irak.

Sources :
Les Echos
Aviationweek
defenseindustrydaily.com

Monday, February 2, 2015

Egypt keeps showing interest in the Rafale

President al-Sissi and President Hollande. Paris 11/26/2014
Egypt had express some interest in the Rafale for more than 3 years but it is only since the last visit of Egyptian President al-Sissi in November 2014 that an actual sale could become reality.
Quickly after this visit, on December 10th, a high level Egyptian delegation came to Paris to negociate a deal for 20 to 26 jets. On January 15th Dassault Aviation and MBDA CEO were in Cairo to try to finalize the deal. President al-Sissi, would have put 3 conditions for the contract to be signed : low cost, comfortable loan facilities and quick delivery of the first batch.
The last events of january 2015 would indicate that the 2 parties are very close to an agreement, but as always nothing is certain until the contract is formaly signed.
Interestingly, Egypt could then be the first Rafale export customer as for the Mirage 2000, 33 years earlier.

sources :
www.latribune.fr
alarabiya.net
www.defense-aerospace.com