UAE arms deal with France includes 80 Rafale jets worth more than $19 billion.
The UAE and France have agreed on a $19 billion weapons agreement. The agreement provides Abu Dhabi with 80 Rafale fighter planes and twelve military helicopters.
Emmanuel Macron started a short visit to the region, where he visited Doha and Riyadh, as part of the biggest foreign sale of Rafale planes. Abu Dhabi has made massive reforms in military sections to facilitated the new UAE arms deal.
On the margins of the Dubai Expo, French president and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince inked the agreement. Following the agreement, French president office issue a statement in which it explicated the details and approaches of the deal. “This contract cements a strategic partnership that is stronger than ever and directly contributes to regional stability,” part of the statement read.
Macron’s trip comes as Arab governments express skepticism about Washington’s emphasis on the area. At the same time, they seek to obtain further hi-tech artillery from their important security partner.
With investments moving between France and UAE, Macron has established a great bond with Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed. According to a French source, the purchase would directly sustain 7,000 employments in France and ensure the distribution network for Dassault Aviation planes for a full decade.
The same official also stated that the UAE order, which comes on the heels of similar agreements in loads of other countries like Croatia and Greece, will lead to a rise in Rafale construction. Dassault Aviation SA, the Rafale’s manufacturer, saw its stock rise by more than 9% recently.
UAE has been recently under pressure for a similar security agreement with Israel. The new UAE arms deal with France has multiple dimensions when looking deep into the ties between the two sides.
UAE Arms Deal with France
Abu Dhabi will be able to receive Rafales of the F4 variant, which is now in construction, only after six years. The Abu Dhabi is taking in the footsteps of its regional competitor Doha, which has purchased less than half number of the same model before.
The scattered discussions for the Rafale warplanes extended for about one decade. Abu Dhabi formally rejected a French offer to deliver 60 Rafale fighter planes, calling it uncompetitive and unrealistic 10 years ago. Abu Dhabi already possesses Mirage 2000 airplanes produced by the same country.
The new Rafale jet will supersede the French Mirage 2000 fleet, according to defense insiders. It is far from probability for the new fleet to take the place of American-built F-35 considering the old technology of Mirage 2000. This is in line with the fact that the UAE has a strategy of expanding suppliers to more than one. The presence of both France and the US secures this security strategy for Abu Dhabi.
Despite this, the UAE arms deal with France might be interpreted as a hint of frustration for the American Congress. The US has kept procrastinating the approval of F-35 fleet sale to UAE. Reservations over the Emirati ties with China, notably its use of Huawei 5G technology, were the main determinants en route.
The UAE arms deal with France also includes 12 Caracal helicopters. Caracal helicopters is the French H225M, the Super Puma’s multi-purpose combat variant.
The two countries have strong relationships with France as the UAE’s key armament supplier after the US. Nevertheless, intervention in Yemen war, led by Saudi Arabia, against its popular uprising has put Abu Dhabi under mounting pressure. Yemen war has turned into one of the world’s most serious humanitarian disasters. of the recent history.