Dassault not to start work on Qatar Rafale Order Until Advance Payment Received
01:57 PM, November 14, 2015
French President François Hollande and Cheikh Tamim Ben Hamad Emir of Qatar witness the signing ceremony. Photo Credit:Dassault-Aviation.
Work on building the Rafale aircraft for Qatar will not start until the Gulf nation first pays a deposit for the 6.3 billion Euro deal to purchase 24 fighter aircraft including 2 billion Euro worth weapons.
Various French newspapers reported disquiet in the French government and Dassault over the non-receipt of an unspecified amount as first installment. It is in this context that the proposed visit of the Prime Minister of Qatar, Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, to Paris starting next week assumes significance.
“No down payment, no contract in force,” commented The Tribune newspaper, continuing that Qatar had signed the contract in early May for the Rafale fighter equipped with the latest weapons including Scalp and Meteor air-to-air missiles. The aircraft are to be delivered from 2018 onward at the rate of 11 aircraft per year, a schedule which Dassault Aviation would find difficult to keep unless the deposit is paid and production commenced.
Various other reports have suggested that the slump in the price of oil, which dictates much of the Gulf nations budget priorities, could be a reason for Qatar to go slow on the Rafale purchase.
The Qatar deal, coming soon after Egypt signed up to buy the Rafale was celebrated in Paris as breaking the single export customer jinx. Rafales sales prospects in India is yet to materialize while there is a question mark over its sales prospects in the UAE.
Reports from the Dubai Air show say that the UAE government just fell short of announcing a major deal, believed to be the Rafale purchase, on the last day of the show. The reasons for this are not known.
Frances Dassault Aviation is not attaching any firm time limit to the conclusion of negotiation and the signing of a contract with India on the purchase of 36 Rafale aircraft.
Dassault Aviation chief Eric Trappier said...
Dassault has recorded more sales of its Rafale fighter jets than the business class Falcon aircraft in 2015.
Dassault has sold 48 Rafale split evenly between Qatar and Egypt whereas it won orders for 45 Falcon...