UAE is likely to defer a decision to procure 60 Rafale jets from France to 2017 or 2018.
The order could also be divided into three tranches of 20 aircraft each.
“It will be better in 2017, but probably after the presidential elections, even in 2018. The order could be divided into three tranches (3 times 20) with a first modernization of equipment purchased,” La Tribune quoted an unnamed source as saying Friday.
The UAE is planning to buy 60 mult-role fighters worth an estimated $15 billion. Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and UAE Minister of Defence, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, reportedly made a promise to his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian during the latter’s visit to the Emirates.
French media had reported that the paperwork for the deal with Abu Dhabi has been concluded and only the formal signature is awaited.