Sale of Dassault’s Rafale fighter aircraft to Malaysia could be on agenda during the French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s visit to Kuala Lumpur this weekend.
The French media has reported that Le Drian is expected to visit the South East Asian nation on August 30. In the past, sudden visits by the French defence minister have resulted in contracts signing as in the case of Egypt and Qatar.
Dassault had offered a 10 year financial package to Malaysia from a French bank guaranteed by the government of France for procurement of its Rafale fighter jet at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) exhibition earlier this year.
Dassault Chief Executive Officer Eric Trappier had expressed willingness to have a long term business deal in Malaysia. He had said that Dassault is looking at different types of industrial packages that includes final assembly line of aircraft, production of some parts, development, maintenance and support to local industries if they were willing to collaborate with them.
"We believe we can succeed in Malaysia. We have a good aircraft to offer and as far as I am concerned, good government-to-government relations as well," Trappier had said during the exhibition.
Malaysia is eyeing to replace its fleet of Russian MiG-29 fighters. Boeing's F/A-18, Saab's Gripen and the Eurofighter Typhoon are the other alternatives that Malaysia may eye.
With fiscal troubles due to low oil and commodity prices, Malaysia might delay its decision to buy fighter jets, local reports said. However a French government financial package, along the lines of what sealed the deal with Egypt might tempt Kuala Lumpur which needs new aircraft to serve as deterrence against Chinese aggressive maneuvers in the South China Sea.
That Malaysia could be a candidate for a Rafale sale has been indicated earlier. "There should be two other export contracts for the Rafale by the beginning of next year," not including India, Reuters had quoted an unnamed source as saying in July this year.
"The most advanced discussions are with Malaysia and the UAE," the source added. France is aiming to sell 16 Rafale aircraft to the Malaysian military.
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is expected to sign the Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft contract with India on August 31. French publication Tribune reported today that Le Drain would be visiting Malaysia on August 30 probably to get Kuala Lumpur to purchase the two Mistral warships which were recently taken over by France after paying compensation to Russia
Indian and French teams discussing the Dassault Rafale fighter jet purchase could wrap up their discussions within the next fortnight. According to informed sources, the talks are progressing and a draft agreement could be hammered out as early as the first week of September
Quantel Laser has won a $7-million contract to supply lasers to be built into a wing-mounted fighter aircraft pod, such as on the French Dassault Rafale fighter. The multi-year contract was awarded by a French Tier-1 defense contractor
The French defense minister has submitted a proposal to Malaysia for the purchase of 18 Rafale fighter jets. "We provided a full offer to the Malaysian authorities; this offer will be studied by the authorities
Malaysian defense minister omitted mentioning big purchases like Rafale fighter jets and Mistral aircraft carrier ahead of French Defense Ministers visit to the nation. Malaysian defense minister, Hishammuddin Hussein said last Friday, “Malaysia will proceed with acquiring armed forces assets under the 11th Malaysian plan despite current economic challenges
Several business representatives from French defense industry will be part of the delegation that will be accompanying Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian during his visit to Malaysia on August 31st and September 1. Representatives from Dassault Aviation, Thales, Safran, DCNS, DCI, MBDA will be part of the delegation along with 10 members of Parliament, among them Jean-Pierre Raffarin, chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defense and Armed Forces Committee and former Prime Minister, and Patricia Adam, chairman of the National Assembly Defense and Armed Forces Committee, French Embassy in Kuala Lumpur said last Thursday
France and India are expected to sign an inter-governmental agreement on the purchase of the Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft next week. French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is expected to arrive in Delhi August 31 and will hold talks with his Indian counterpart Manohar Parrikar before signing the inter-governmental agreement on Tuesday, various media reported
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