Dassault Sees New Rafale Export Deal in 2018

Dassault Aviation expects to close a fourth export contract in 2018, and also is negotiating a follow-on contract with India, where it is competing in parallel for a navy fighter order for 57 carrier-borne fighters. (French AF photo)

PARIS --- Dassault is negotiating the sale of Rafale combat aircraft to a fourth export customer, company CEO Eric Trappier told the French regional daily Sud-Ouest on May 14, and expects to sign it in 2018.

"After the contract signed in India, for the delivery of 36 Rafale fighters, and orders for 24 of these aircraft by Egypt and another 24 by Qatar, we will likely soon conclude a fourth contract abroad, but it will rather be in 2018," Trappier said.

“We are notably negotiating with Malaysia for 18 aircraft, but also with India for a second contract. India’s needs are enormous,” Trapper added. “Thus, for its navy, they are talking about 57 aircraft.”

The sale to Malaysia has been under negotiation for several years, and Dassault is currently seen as favorite for a contract valued at over €2 billion, although it could rise higher depending on the size of the weapons package. The Boeing F-18E/F Super Hornet and the Eurofighter Typhoon are also competing for this contract.

Speaking during an open day at a French air force base, Trappier also said that Dassault will hire several hundred people in the Gironde region around Bordeaux, where is located its main production facility, as it gradually ramps up Rafale production.

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