France on Friday said that a historic agreement to sell 80 Rafale fighter jets worth 16 billion euros (Dh66 billion) to the UAE is its largest-ever weapons deal.
The agreement was inked during the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to the Expo 2020 Dubai where he was welcomed by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
“Today, France signed a historic contract: the sale of 80 Rafale fighters to the UAE. This is the largest French armament contract ever signed for export, worth around 16 billion euros,” Herve Grandjean, spokesperson for the French Ministry of the Armed Forces, said.
Avec les Émirats arabes unis, nous scellons aujourd’hui la vente de 80 avions Rafale et 12 hélicoptères Caracal. En confiance, nous agissons ensemble pour notre sécurité.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) December 3, 2021
Grandjean underlined that the UAE is a major partner of France both strategically and militarily.
“We owe this export success to the strength of our strategic ties with the Emirates, to a close-knit French team, and to an exceptional aircraft.”
Grandjean pointed out that the fighter jets manufactured by Dassault Aviation will be delivered to the UAE between 2026 and 2031.
Eric Trappier, chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, termed the deal as “a French success story” and said the UAE will be the first user of the Rafale F4 outside France.
“I wish to thank the authorities of the Emirates for their renewed confidence in our aircraft.”