The French Ministry of Defense awarded a multiyear procurement contract to
Dassault Aviation, Snecma and Thales as well as other French defense contractors
for 59 Rafale multi-role aircraft. The estimated value of this contract is
€3.1 billion ($3.89 billion).
Under the terms of this contract, the French armed forces will receive 11 Rafale
B two-seat aircraft, 36 Rafale C single-seat aircraft and 12 Rafale single-seat,
carrier-based aircraft. All the Rafales will be configured following the
standard F3, currently under development and envisaged as a fully capable
configuration. Rafale B/C aircraft will be delivered to the French Air Force and
Rafale M fighters to the French Navy.
Standard F3 development was started in February 2004. To date, the French Armed
Forces ordered 120 Rafales with 82 aircraft for the Air Force and the remaining
38 aircraft for the Navy. The contract also includes replacement of older
electronic equipment on Rafales already delivered.
Deliveries are planned to begin in June 2008 and will continue through January 2012.
The French military will use these aircraft to replace aging Mirage F1, Jaguar
and Super Etendard which have been in service with the French Air Force and Navy
since the 1970s or the 1960s.
The French Ministry of Defense expects to release the stake of the contractors
involved in the Rafale multiyear procurement contract before the end of 2004.
According to the Ministry, Dassault Aviation will receive €1.5 billion, Snecma
€600 million and Thales €500 million. MBDA and Sagem stake has not been released
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