French fighter offer unworkable: UAE

DUBAI — The UAE, which was said to be in final talks with France to buy 60 Rafale fighter jets, said on Wednesday the French offer was unworkable and uncompetitive.

By (AFP, Wam)

Published: Thu 17 Nov 2011, 12:40 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 10:37 AM

“Unfortunately, Dassault does not seem to realise that political will and all diplomatic efforts could not overcome uncompetitive and unworkable commercial terms,” General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said after touring the Dubai Airshow.

Gen Shaikh Mohammed praised French President Nicholas Sarkozy for the efforts made to secure the deal for Dassault, adding that the relations between the two countries could not have been better. “Thanks to French President Sarkozy, France could not have done more diplomatically or politically to secure the Rafale deal,” he said.

“Bilateral relations have never been stronger and his constant personal intervention in this process has kept Dassault at the top of our considerations,” he added.

Last month, French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet said that Paris was in the final stages of negotiations with the UAE on purchasing Rafale fighter jets, the pride of France’s Dassault Aviation.

On Sunday, the European consortium behind the Eurofighter Typhoon said it was invited by the UAE to present a counter offer. The consortium said that the UAE had asked Britain, which uses the Eurofighter, to provide it with information about the aircraft capacity and that a briefing took place on October 17.

“We have subsequently received a request for proposal for the potential supply of Typhoon,” Eurofighter said of its fighter jet in a statement, adding: “We are now working hard to deliver a response.”

Touring the Dubai Airshow, Gen Shaikh Mohammed said the UAE has made remarkable progress in human and material resources and etched its position on the global map of international specialised exhibitions, which are the fruits of a visionary approach, thanks to the wise leadership of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

“The Dubai Airshow has grown in terms of the number of exhibitors, visitors and deals. This reflects the significance of the Dubai Airshow as an exemplary launch pad for manufacturers to showcase their various products to countries in the region and meet their market requirements,” he said.

Gen Shaikh Mohammed added that the UAE is keen today to enter the aviation and defence industries with the help of qualified Emirati cadres and through effective partnership between local and international companies.

“As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of our Union, we are certainly sure that our endeavours for progress, prosperity and welfare are limitless”, he said, indicating that the success of the Dubai Airshow is an indication of the UAE’s progress under wise leadership of President Shaikh Khalifa and His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai; and Their Highnesses Members of the Supreme Council and Rulers of Emirates.

Gen Shaikh Mohammed praised the efforts of airshow organising committee, wishing it more successes in the future editions. “They have proven Emiratis are efficient when it comes to managing and organising major sessions.”

Gen Shaikh Mohammed, who visited the pavilions of major exhibitors at the airshow, was briefed about the latest aviation and space technology and modern devices for airports and air defence systems. — AFP, Wam

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