UAE signs mega deal to buy almost 100 aircraft from France

A record breaking contract has been signed between France and the United Arab Emirates Air Force and Air Defence (UAEAF&AD) to acquire a record total of 80 Rafale F4s and 12 Airbus H225M Caracal helicopters.

According to a Dassault Aviation Press release on December 3, the contract for the UAE to acquire 80 rafale F4s was signed by Eric Trappier, CEO of Dassault Aviation, and Tareq Abdul Raheem Al Hosani, CEO of Tawazun Economic Council, the company in charge of security and defence acquisitions for the UAEAF&AD. 

UAE Sign major deal with France to acquire 80 Rafales
UAE Sign major deal with France to acquire 80 Rafales. Dassault Aviation

It has also been reported by Reuters "on top of the contract for the Rafale F4s, the UAE has ordered 12 Airbus Helicopters H225M Caracal tactical transport helicopters. This giving the contract a total value of €17bn."

The contract was signed in the presence of the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, and Sheikh Mohammed ben Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Vice-Commander of the Armed Forces of the UAE.

The UAE will be the first operator of the Rafale F4 variant outside of France, and will be the largest export operator of the Rafale fighter. 

This deal with the UAE comes as a good ending to a strong year of foreign export sales for the company. The company signed deals in Croatia, Egypt, and Greece, making the UAE the sixth exportation operator of the French made multi-role fighter.

As reported by Key.Aero at the Dubai Air Show in November, this deal comes as no surprise due to the UAE AF looking for a Mirage 2000-9 replacement for over a decade. (Click link to read the story- ) 


Dassault's display to celebrate the UAE's 50th Anniversary at Dubai International Airshow. Alan Warnes

Eric Trappier, chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation said: “The sale of 80 Rafale to the UAE Federation is a French success story, I am very proud and very happy as a result. I wish to thank the authorities of the Emirates for their renewed confidence in our aircraft. After the Mirage 5 and Mirage 2000, this Rafale contract consolidates the strategic relationship that binds our two countries and the satisfaction of the Emirates Air Force, a long-standing and demanding partner of our company.