UAE buys record 80 Rafale jets

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has signed 14 billion Euros of agreement with France for 80 Rafale warplanes. This is the biggest international order ever made for the Rafale jets.

About the Deal

  • UAE and France recently inked a 17 billion Euros deal. Under the deal, UAE is to buy 80 Rafale jets and 12 Caracal military transport helicopters.
  • The deal will support 7,000 jobs in France. Also, it will guarantee the supply chain of Dassault Aviation – made aircraft till 2031.
  • For observation: The UAE rival Qatar had recently bought 36 Rafale jets from France.
  • The Rafale jets are to replace the Mirage 2000 fleet of UAE. However, the US F-35 jets are to remain deployed. France and USA are the two major defence suppliers of UAE.

Criticisms

  • UAE is one of the biggest customers of French defence industry. Between 2011 and 2020, UAE has purchased 4.7 billion Euros worth military goods from France. This made UAE the fifth largest arms customer of France.
  • France was criticised when some of these weapons were used against Yemen. In Yemen, a Saudi – led coalition is fighting against the Iran backed rebels. And UAE is a part of the Saudi – led coalition.

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