After India and Qatar, The United Arab Emirates (UAE) sealed a deal for 80 Rafale fighter planes produced in France on Thursday, authorities said on Friday during French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to the Gulf state.
On the first day of his Gulf visit, Macron met with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed and signed the deal.
The total value of the order is €16 billion ($18 billion) between Macron the the crown prince. It’s the largest single acquisition of the plane since it went into service in 2004 after India have already acquired Rafale Jets. It was thought that the order would cover between 30 and 60 planes in the run-up to the announcement but now it is confirmed that 80 Rafale Jets will be acquired by UAE.
Reason to buy 80 Rafale:
The reason UAE is following in the footsteps of Gulf rival Qatar, which has ordered 36 of the planes, and Egypt, which has ordered over 50 and Pakistan Airforce have supported to train the pilots with the new acquired Jets.
As Macron travels around the region, a deal for the Rafale fighter jet is signed.
In addition to the jets, the UAE has committed to acquire 12 Caracal military transport helicopters from Airbus, according to the French president. UAE is making it air force powerful to handle any problems from the neighbors.
“This is the result of the two countries’ strategic alliance, which has strengthened their ability to act jointly for their autonomy and security,” the Elysee said in a statement.
For more than a decade, the UAE and its French suppliers have had on-again, off-again negotiations for the Rafale fighter jets.