UAE buys 80 Rafale jets to replace old Mirage fleet

Eudore R. Chand

Rafale de l'Armée de l'Air Française en opérations extérieures (Opération Harmattan) - Equipé de 6 AASM et de Mica IR. / French Air Force Rafale in operations (Opération Harmattan) - Fitted with 6 AASM and MICA missiles.

ABU DHABI 5 December 2021: The UAE Ministry of Defense announced in a statement yesterday that the UAE has signed a contract with France that includes purchasing 80 Rafale fighter jets to replace the UAE Air Force Mirage fleet in addition to training and maintenance purposes.

Commenting on this deal, Major General Staff Pilot Ibrahim Nasser Al Alawi, UAE Commander of the Air Force and Air Defense, said: “The UAE has been in a process of a thorough review of global markets for options. Based on our talks with our French counterparts, we came to a mutual agreement that the Rafale provide the best option for the UAE security and defense.”

Major General Al Alawi added, “The signed contract with France is not a substitute for the US F-35 ongoing discussions. It’s rather a complementary to our Air Force capabilities as we continue to develop our air defense systems and seek new products and advanced technologies as part of our overall National Security Strategy.”


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