Saudi Arabia Seeks 54 Dassault Rafale Fighter Jets as Germany Bans Eurofighter Sales
Riyadh has sought a proposal from France for the supply of three squadrons of Rafale fighter jets.
12:39 PM, October 23, 2023
Dassault Rafale jet
Riyadh wants the proposal to supply 54 Eurofighters to be sent by November 10, indicating some urgency to the procurement, according to La Tribune newspaper,
The move comes after a German embargo on further exports of the Eurofighter Typhoon to Saudi Arabia. "There will be no decision on the delivery of Eurofighter jets to Saudi Arabia any time soon," German Chancellor, Scholz had told reporters on July 12 during the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Interestingly, Saudi Arabia was intending to procure 2 additional squadrons of Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets to add to the ones already in its inventory before it got slapped with Germany's embargo decision.
The Eurofighter consortium’s major partners include Germany and the United Kingdom. While the UK is in favor of continuing the supply of Eurofighter jets, the aircraft cannot be sold without the consent of Berlin which has put it foot down on further arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Air Force Eurofighter
Another reason attributed to the German red flag is that Eurofighter aircraft production like is expected to run out by 2030 with the completion of production of 38 fighter jets for Germany.
Eurofighter partners- UK, Spain and Germany have selected the F-35 and later will induct the sixth-generation SCAF/FCAS fighter which the European nations are working on together. It will not make sense to keep a Eurofighter production line to be kept working to fulfil just the Saudi order.
Saudi Arabia’s strained relations with the U.S. has ruled out a follow-on order for the F-15SA. It received the last of its 84 F-15SA jets in 2020.
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