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. This proposal marks the beginning of formal discussions with Malaysia over the acquisition of 18 Rafale planes," Jean-Yves Le Drian, French defense minister said at a press conference with his Malaysian counterpart Hishammuddin Hussein during his visit to Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.
Hussein however warned that Malaysia would have to judge whether any short-term plans to replace the fleet were affordable, with the country grappling with an economic slowdown and a sharp fall in its currency.
Malaysia is looking to replace its 18 Russia-made MiG-29 fighter aircraft fleet. Boeing F/A-18, Saab’s Gripen and Eurofighter Typhoon are other possible aircrafts Malaysia is studying.
Dassault had offered a 10 year 50 per cent 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.