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01:23 PM, January 20, 2016
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Dassault Rafale Fighter Jet

France doubled its arms sale to 16 billion euors in 2015 as against 8.3 billion in 2014 and may be a close third behind Russia as the world’s largest arms exporter for the year.

Dassault, MBDA missile, DCNS and Airbus are the four major contributors of export contracts for France in 2015.

France totalled last year (2015) sales of around 16 billion euros against 8.2 billion in 2014, Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drain confirmed, La Tribune news daily reported Monday.

The contracts include two Rafale fighter jets export orders from Dassault, 24 each to Egypt (at an approximate 4.5 billion euros) and Qatar (6.3 billion euros), MBDA which manufactures missiles will have a windfall equipping these Rafales, DCNS sold FREMM multi-mission frigate to Egypt for 1 billion euros and three more contracts adding an approximate 3.1 billion euros.

Apart from them, Airbus group of which France has a stake of 30 per cent sold four MRTT aircraft to Seoul will bring in 1 billion euros in total. Airbus Helicopters has signed a development and production contract for civil and military version of a device of the class 5 tons, the Civil Light Helicopter (LCH) and LAH (Light Armed Helicopter). It is developed on the basic version H155 B1, the latest version of the Dauphin. This program is 10 billion (development and production of 214 AHL and CHL a hundred for the Korean market) while the cost of support and services is estimated at 9 billion over 20 years.

This outstanding amount does not include sales of Caracal helicopters to Poland and Kuwait, contracts have not yet been implemented. It also does not integrate the two buildings Projection and Command (BPC) Mistral type to Egypt.

The Middle East accounted for about 13 of the 16 billion euros in defense exports by France. However, the France should not anticipate that Russia arms exports would reach, according to first estimates around $ 18 billion. Paris should rank in 2015 to the third largest exporter of weapons behind the US.

Of the 16 billion devices sold in 2015, aviation accounted for more than 14 billion euros, 1.5 billion naval and ground 400 million.

The year 2016 may well be the same level as that of 2015, if not better. France could indeed conclude this year two other contracts Rafale larger scale than the first two: one in India by the end of the month (36 aircraft) and one in the United Arab Emirates (60 aircraft). In addition Airbus Helicopters could achieve two major orders still ongoing negotiations (Kuwait and Qatar), while in Poland the manufacturer could however never finally concluded (50 Caracal) due to the change of the Polish government.

MBDA and Thales are also well placed to sell an air defense system in Turkey. Finally, Thales Alenia Space and Space Systems Airbus could complete negotiations with Egypt and Saudi Arabia for the sale of several observation satellites.

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