Qatar and France put the finishing touches to a €6.7 billion contract for the sale of 24 RAFALE fighters jets at DIMDEX 2016 yesterday. On the first morning of the show, His Excellency Dr. Khalid Bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah Minister of State for Defence Affairs and France’s Minister of Defence Jean-Yves Le Drian inked the document that brings the contract for the jets fully into force.
The deal was originally agreed between the Emir of the State of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and President Francois Hollande of France, in Doha in May 2015, opening the way for the contractual process to begin.
“This agreement today is confirmation that the contract has fully come into force,” said an industry source close to the project.
The deal to equip the Qatar Emiri Air Force with the French-made fighter aircraft is part of an on-going modernisation effort. Qatar has a long tradition of buying French-made aircraft, with its air force having flown MIRAGE F1s, MIRAGE 2000s and Alpha Jets.
Qatar’s new fighter aircraft will be manufactured and delivered by the RAFALE International consortium. This includes Dassualt Aviation who design and assembly the jets, engine manufacturer SNECNA and Thales, which is responsible for many of its advanced electronic systems. The European company, MBDA, is also to supply many of the air launched weapons to be carried by Qatar’s RAFALE aircraft when they enter service.
Picture shows a model of the RAFALE on show at DIMDEX 2016 (Photo: Tim Ripley)