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InternationalHow the French outsider undermined the positions of the Russian aviation industry

How the French outsider undermined the positions of the Russian aviation industry

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Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny - Reporter at The European Times News

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Orders are pouring in for the new generation of the fighter of “Daso” – “Rafale”!

French Defense Minister Florence Parley said Indonesia wanted to buy 42 Dassault Rafale multi-role fighters. Earlier, Jakarta was considering renewing its fighter fleet with a Russian Su-35. Moreover, in the absence of financial resources, Indonesia was going to pay for supplies of local goods, especially palm oil.

The reason for the change of priorities is trivial – the threat of US sanctions: Indonesia has a large trade with the United States. The Elysee Palace gave guarantees for a loan from French banks to buy the planes, and guarantees a fairly correct attitude to the client’s request for a change in the equipment of the machines in view of local specifics. Two things that only Russia could afford until then.

Until a few years ago, Rafale was an outsider in the global fighter jet market – modern but very expensive and produced in small series. France could produce a maximum of 12-15 machines a year. In addition, the manufacturer Dassault Aviation flatly refused to change anything in its product at the customer’s request. Nevertheless, in 2020, the first Rafal units were delivered to India. The new MiG-35 – a technology studied by the local military – also took part in the competition, but it lost. Russia felt that Delhi was driven by a desire not to put all its eggs in one basket. Indian law obliges the authorities to diversify purchases and not to create monopoly suppliers. The contract between Paris and Delhi is estimated at $ 8.8 billion.

In April 2021, Egypt said it was buying 30 French machines. The country already owned 24 such fighters. The total purchase, which also includes helicopters and aircraft weapons, is 3.75 billion euros. Russia is still out of the game, no matter how much it was said before that Cairo will buy a Russian Su-35.

Then came Greece – 18 machines ordered for 2.32 billion euros. Two of them have already been delivered. Qatar is planning to order new batches of aircraft of this type for 6.3 billion euros.

The waiting list includes the United Arab Emirates, which has already signed a “historic” contract for 80 Dassault Rafale multi-role fighters. The package of contracts envisages the UAE to buy 12 multi-role helicopters “Airbus Helicopters” H225M Caracal. The total value of the contract for Rafal aircraft and helicopters is nearly 17 billion euros, 16 billion of which is for Rafal fighters (including 2 billion euros for the supply of aviation weapons), making it the largest deal in the history of French defense exports . Even Ukraine receives offers for Rafale.

Ruslan Pukhov, head of the AST think tank, told Nezavisimaya Gazeta:

“If we talk about Indonesia, the country is poor, it depends on the United States. Much of the exported products go to the US market and are not taxed. Because of Washington’s arms sanctions against buyers of Russian weapons, Jakarta will not risk losing that income. “Even without the country having its own money, an economy like Indonesia’s will be able to repay that debt to the French,” Puhov said.

According to Vadim Kozyulin, head of the Center for Global Studies and International Relations at the Institute for Current International Affairs at the Russian Foreign Ministry, Paris is copying Russia’s tactics in the military-technical cooperation market: “We are apolitical, unlike Americans we do not tie arms supplies and military equipment with interests beyond trade. We were ready to jointly develop weapons, transfer technology and grant licenses, lend and receive local goods in return. Now France is borrowing this tactic.”

Speaking at the Dubai Air Show 2021, Rosoboronexport CEO Alexander Mikheev said the state-owned company had received inquiries from foreign customers about more than $ 2.5 billion worth of planes, helicopters and drones: “The helicopter order portfolio “Rosoboronexport’s equipment includes more than 180 combat vehicles worth a total of about $ 4 billion, and the total number of equipment in the order portfolio is 42 percent for the Air Force and 31 percent for air defense.”

Photo: dassault-aviation.com

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