The Dassault Rafale, winner of the Indian MMRCA deal, can “easily” meet all the requirements of Qatar’s defence needs for the present and the future, a top Dassault Aviation (DA) official said recently.
Benoît Dussaugey, DA’s senior executive vice-president (international), told Gulf Times that the French company was in the race to win the multi-billion dollar contract for new fighter jets for Qatar’s Emiri Air Force and was “very confident” of its chances given the “excellent capability” of its aircraft.
“The final decision, of course, is with the Qatari authorities and we are sure that they will choose the best aircraft,” he was quoted as saying.
The Rafale is in competition with the Euro fighter Typhoon and Boeing’s Super Hornet F-18 and F-15 Strike Eagle.
Dussaugey attributed his confidence despite not having won any major contracts in the Middle East, by saying that the “whole world acknowledges the high performance of Rafale” and also pointed out that while it was true Saudi Arabia went ahead with its Typhoon jet deal, the UAE had backed out of it citing budgetary restraints.
He also added that Dassault was still a big contender in the Middle East market and was looking to bag contracts not only in Qatar, but also other countries such as Bahrain.