After nearly two years of jockeying, France has beat out the UK and US in a bid to sell fighter planes to Qatar.
In a statement posted on Twitter, the Élysée said that the Emir had confirmed the deal to François Hollande:
L'Émir du Qatar a confirmé au président @fhollande l'acquisition de 24 avions de combat #Rafale pic.twitter.com/8rKRgSQM8h
— Élysée (@Elysee) April 30, 2015
French newspaper Le Monde reports that the agreement is worth €6.3 billion (QR25.7 billion). In addition to the planes, France will provide training for 36 pilots and 100 technicians, the publication said.
Negotiations to purchase the fighter jets first began in February 2013, when UK and French contractors bid for the purchase of some 72 combat aircraft.
BAE Systems was offering its Typhoon, and Dassault Aviation, the Rafale.
Qatar ended up postponing its decision as it awaited a bid from the US that involved the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet and the F-15 Strike Eagle.
Qatar has been spending billions of dollars shoring up its defenses in recent years through the purchase of Apache helicopters, anti-tank missiles, warships and artillery.
Analysts have previously attributed the stockpiling to concerns about Iran.
However, the nation’s ambassador to the US, Mohammed Jaham Al-Kuwari, said last year that the purchases were not because of any specific country.
“As you know our region is going through a lot of instability. What we bought are weapons to defend Qatar,” he told AFP in July.
France has already sold Rafale jets to India and Egypt this year.
The contract with Qatar is expected to be signed by Hollande during the president’s visit to the Gulf next week. The first deliveries are expected in 2017.
US fighter jets are best.
How to reply to this deep analysis ….
No.French fighter jets are best.
You are delusional. US built fighters rule the skies and are flown by the best air forces with the most outstanding results. When was the last time French built fighters engaged in dog fights and/or bombing runs that were successful?
Well just for your info the French AF spend most of their time bombing ex colonies in Africa with great success from their perspective. Also for what it’s worth, when you say “flown by the best air forces” I would suggest to you that they are flown by those air forces that trump up the cash to pay for them.
Bombing colonies who have no air defense does not in and of itself prove the French built fighters are good. Show me some battle proof.
French built fighters sucessful…Errhh Falklands War? They didnt do a bad job against us Brits… one or two more ships sunk and we would have been beaten. Dont knock French kit.
Actually, do your homework boy. The Argentinian air force used jets they bought from the Isrealis (who refurbished the French planes). The Falklands war does not in any way shape or form prove French built jets are good.
Boy? 🙂 Ohh yes, them Jews… Isreali… hmmm. lets just forget your xenophobic attitude Tom.
What were the origin of the Jets??? Super Etandards?… French? Exocet Missiles… French??? Common thread… France!
I’m a Brit… I respect what France produced. France… in the Falklands War showed their hardware was one of the best at the time… proved in combat, just like the Sea Harrier, Vulcan Bomber, Scots Guards, Royal Navy… oh yes, and dont forget them Royal Marines 🙂
By the way… Those Pesky Frogs & the Brits – together – built Concorde…the best jet??? Stick that in your pipe and smoke it!!!!! 🙂
love and kisses
mange toute Rodders…
1. Aren’t French fighters performing bombing runs north of here as we speak 2. When did US fighters get involved in one-on-one dog fights? Maybe Korea?
Deleting this thread because it’s devolving into attacks.
And French fighter jets are the most expensive.
If so, buyers are suckers.
Not really; the F16/F18 is getting old and outclassed by many aircraft. F22’s are far too expensive and the US won’t sell them to anyone but the UK and Australia, F35’s are disappointing both in performance and cost so the best international options are either Typhoon, Gripen or the Rafael. If you want the best available fighter right now then the Typhoon seems to be the choice. If you want the best multi-roll then Rafael and if you want a very good aircraft thats value for money then the Gripen. Of course theres the Russian option but who wants to buy Russian at the moment!
Combat experience proves my point. You cannot say the Rafael is good if it is not battle proven.
Well in that case Tom we need to rule out the F22 and F35. That leaves us with the Typhoon and Rafael both used in Libya. The only real air-air combat by any of these nations has been at Red flag / Maple flag. Unfortunately, U.S. Fighter aircraft have been designed around stealth which gave it great advantage back in the late 80’s and 90’s. Modern radar is much more stealth capable and has eroded much of the benefits of stealth design. While in Europe we designed aircraft focusing on capability. The F15 was a great aircraft and for many years kept the U.S. Ahead of the game. It’s a shame they lost that advantage. I’m hoping they eventually clean up the F35 into a world class aircraft but at the moment it’s not looking good.
US Built that have extensive real world experience – F15 F16 F18 B-2
France built – 0
Rafale is a very capable aircraft…. take your point about proven combat ability but in truth, it is the crews that have the experience… not the equipment. As a brit, obviously my choice would be the typhoon…. having said that, as former RAF aircrew (Blackburn Buckaneer, McD Phantom FGR2) for this theatre of combat, the typhoon is a little…. over engineered, requiring far more support than the Rafale.
My biggest concern if I was Qatari would be who will use all this equipment, there just isnt the local population size to have a full Qatari military. The problem with mercenaries they will flee faster than a Frenchman at the sight of a German when things start to heat up.