UAE buys record 80 Rafale jets for €14 billion

The United Arab Emirates signed a record €14-billion contract for 80 Rafale warplanes and committed billions of euros in other deals as French President Emmanuel Macron kicked off a West Asia tour on Friday.

The biggest international order ever made for the French jets came as Mr. Macron held talks with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed at the start of a two-day trip which will also take in Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

The resource-rich UAE, one of the French defence industry’s biggest customers, also inked an order for 12 Caracal military transport helicopters for a total bill of more than €17 billion.

The Emirates was the fifth biggest customer for the French defence industry with €4.7 billion euros from 2011-2020, according to a parliamentary report.

France has faced criticism after some of these weapons were used during the UAE’s engagement in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is fighting Iran-backed rebels in a war that has created one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

French Defence Minister Florence Parly said the “historic contract” will contribute “directly to regional stability”.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 8:37:25 AM |

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