Thursday, November 17, 2011

Big Bad Blow To Rafale, UAE Threatens To Punch Out

Calling this bad news for Dassault is like saying Luca Brasi is a rough man. The unexpected words of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheik Mohamed bin Zayed on Wednesday -- released through a series of innocent looking tweets, no less -- will have created an exit wound the size of a grapefruit in the psyche of the supremely jinxed French fighter programme. A splendid fighter plane that nobody wants to buy. With this latest, decidedly rough threat by the UAE, there's no telling where things stand for Dassault.

If you haven't been keeping up, France said it was poised to win a $10-billion deal from the UAE for 60 Rafales, a deal it has negotiating for years. On Nov 12, a day ahead of the Dubai Air Show, it became known that the "near-final" deal wasn't actually a deal at all -- and that arch-rivals Eurofighter had been invited to submit details about the Typhoon (for which they'll be in a mad scramble right now, I imagine). And today, boom. A handful of tweets by the Crown Prince brought it down with all the gentleness of a guillotine. Sample this:

"Thanks to President Sarkozy, France could not have done more diplomatically or politically to secure the Rafale deal. Regrettably Dassault seem unaware that all the diplomatic and political will in the world cannot overcome uncompetitive and unworkable commercial terms." (Somehow, "ouch" doesn't quite say it.)

Reuters says its sources pointed to Dassault's "arrogance" as the reason behind frustration both in the French government and in the UAE. Dassault is presumably in too much shock to comment officially just yet, or may be, at the very least making an effort to confirm that this is indeed curtains in the Emirates -- this is of course a bread-and-butter pressure tactic to force the vendor into shaving off a few euros. Either way, as FlightGlobal's Steve Trimble wrote a few days ago, "[S]uch a loss would surely be long remembered in the industry as yet another can't-miss deal that only the French could mess up."

Like I said, it isn't over yet -- far from it. Dassault remains in "contention" -- all of this might just be the UAE's final attempt to get them to bring their final price down. They were going for the same pressure tactics when they invited the Americans in last year, and Eurofighter earlier this week. Will Dassault buckle and give UAE an acceptable price?

Yeah, we're all thinking the same thing: Where does this leave things on the MMRCA?

Photo / Rafale News



36 comments :

RockyT said...

An even better reason for our MoD to choose the Rafale now. I was actually worried at the thought that PAF would have access to UAE's fighters if the same were chosen by India, giving them valuable insight into the platform's strenghts and weaknesses; information very crucial in war.

Ravi Khanna said...

india will secure deal with rafale... rafale is much cheeper than euro typooh and india knows it does not have that much fund...

Mr. Ra said...

Now it may be further away from the reach of Pakistan and Rafale will be more eager to sell it to India.

Anonymous said...

Too early to know , as said in the gov. owned daily UAE newspaper, "The National" :
"Our current bilateral relations are stronger than ever, and DASSAULT REMAINS ON THE TOP OF OUR LIST. But, unfortunately, it seems that Dassault does not realise that political will and all diplomatic efforts cannot eclipse uncompetitive and impractical commercial requirements."
http://www.thenational.ae/business/aviation/dassault-offer-on-jets-comes-under-fire

Wait and see

Ravi Khanna said...

hi shiv, one question to you.. india says that it will give the low bidder the tender. euro is way way far more costly. then why is still india taking time. in the other hand it also says to public that it will opt for the latest technology. i think euro is much more capable than rafale.. then what do u think india will choose cost of fighter or technology??

Anonymous said...

A good plane indeed.
So are the Mirage. The concern is if it's Dassualt's terms that made way, then it's kind of similar to the Mirage deal where I'm sure they had options to bring the prices down or provide a better package.

Any way while that was seen through and should help, let's see what the MMRCA has in hand

Anonymous said...

Shiv,

While the French have universally been regarded as lousy negotiators, I wonder what the UAE were thinking for the 3-4 years they were negotiating?? What did they expect as a fair price for a rather expensive aircraft with very few orders (compared to the American teen and Russian SUs). And all this in a purely political purchase. And they even wanted the aircraft to be beefed up in a manner similar to the F-16 Block 60 they operate-AESA radar, enhanced engines, EW etc.

They seem to have forgotten that they got that F-16 variant after a pretty intense competition.

Will it affect the MMRCA-may be in a P.R sense, it will. But the contours of both purchases are too different.

Anonymous said...

Dassault wants to command a premium price that no body is willing to pay. This wasnt the case with its successful Mirage series, maybe they can learn from their own past.

Manne said...

I have been saying this for years - if Dassault is smart they will offer GoI and IAF a co-dev, co-prod pact so that they can collaborate and sell to the world in addition to IAF and LADLA.

If anyone from Dassault is reading this, please talk to your bosses!

- Manne

AGworld said...

this is very good news.
india should now buy the rafale's thrown away by the UAE (metaphorically speaking).

manmohan should go on live TV to position this as a noble gesture for india's servility -- sorry friendship -- towards the arab world and a continued desire to "help" french industry (like we want to "help" kingfisher).

if indian pilots die as planes fall out of the sky, its ok... look at how much we're doing for world peace!

AGworld said...

this is very good news and a superlative opportunity for india to show her friendliness to all nations.

manmohan should go on live TV and offer to buy the discarded(so to speak) UAE jets as a healing gesture or a friendlyy gesture of india's servility -- sorry friendship -- towards the arab world and a continued desire to "help" french industry (like we want to "help" kingfisher).

It will be a diplomatic masterstroke.

So what if a few indians die because we cannot afford spares, we did it all for friendship and peace, right?

\* end sarcasm

Animesh said...

While it can be read in many forums that Dassault is a tough nut to crack in case of negotiations, but then french are always like this. Take the example any Indo-French military deal, especially of Migrage upgrade & just see the amount of money which India is paying. But then, their instruments are world beaters.
However, in a recessionary world, Dassault must understand that they are not the buyers but sellers.
It high time Dassault must intropect what went wrong & use this lesson as a learning opportunity in MMRCA. They had a good chance, now they need to supplement it fair & reasonable pricing.

Animesh said...

Further adding to MMRCA deal,

EUROFIGHTER TYPHOON, from what I know, appears to be a Air Superiority Fighter(ASF) with none & only till now introduced secondary capabilities of ground role. That means they can perform multi role missions(read ground attack & other missions).

Dassault Rafale is true multi role fighter with almost every kind of missions support included. But then this comes in way of Air Superiority Capabilities of the aircraft.

This is a very tough dilemma for IAF. Since Su-30MKI can already perform these mutli roles, IAF now faces a choice whether to go for ASF or a mutli role fighetr.

Anonymous said...

Shiv

If the 60 Rafale deal is for 10 billion dollars for UAE?

Then whats gonna be the end price for 124 MMRCA fighters?

DJ said...

So when every country on earth is refusing to buy this plane what valid reason Indians have to buy it.
60 units for $10billion comes down to $166 million per plane! Really?! With per capita income less than that of Mexico, India has that much money to spend on a plane nobody wants?!
The hysteria of MMRCA is so overblown.
We didn't have any of advanced planes and didn't have war with China for 40 years and with any weapon buy there's no way we can win one against them.
What is the logic of fighting wars with foreign weapons?! Isn't this new form of slavery?

Anonymous said...

That is clear, Dassault doesn't want down its price and don t want pay to its charge, all specfic developmment requested by UAE, it prefer lost the market. Like UAE can request to LM the engine of F35 into F16. UAE is like a child. Offer is rejected for second time, Negociations continu at request of UAE, sure because they can lost $1,5 Billion for M2000 if don t take rafale.

Anonymous said...

The UAE use this contract negociation with France for other purposes: new rights for their airliners to use French airports, a new camp of the french foreign legion etc etc...There is no end to what they want, every 6 months they are coming up with a new request.It is said that the last meeting in France between President Sarkozy and Crown Prince Sheik Mohamed bin Zayed want very bad.

About the cost, one must remember that this is a double deal in one: the UAE want France to take back 60 Mirage 2000-9 !That 's a lot of money.

For several years the technical negociations and pricing were changing continuously. Dassault, Snecma and Thales spent moneys into several specific UAE requests: new airframe and fly by wire design, new radar, new engine.

Look at the UAE F16: even the USAF has not this plane flying at home, and are not interested with that!

Anonymous said...

Anon28

Keep going on about Rafale if you guys want. Be smart and look into whats going on in the background, you will know the exact problem.

Each jet at UEA cost 130mill Euro.

I got this from somone in France, the entire deal was ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I thought the issue between Dassault and UAE was a conflict between who would pay for the upgraded features that UAE wanted (ie uprated M88). I was under the impression that UAE funded much of the Block 60's integration costs and Fance expected the Emirate(s) to do the same for the updates it desired...

Anonymous said...

http://rafalenews.blogspot.com/2011/11/uae-tough-negociations-on-rafale-deal.html

Is UAE trying to get a hard bargain for itself and using the offices of the french president to achieve it ? That is certainly a perspective.....

I think India should also be doing the same.

Anonymous said...

seems there is US presuure on UAE to buy F16 or F18.

Mr. Ra said...

Either UAE does not wants less than a flying carpet OR it is a trick created by EFT.

Chandan said...

UAE and ARAB have been looted by these westerners for years and i think this time they realize that..for $ 10 billion , india has been offered 120+ jets while they are offered half.ie 60 ...hece they decided to kick the balls of the french ...wondering what effect it will have on MMRCA saga ...

Ravi Khanna said...

why did france help india in mirage upgrade after long time negotiation many times which has collapsed????

Bhavin said...

EADS conducted huge propaganda during Libyan conflits to sell their white elephants.

Most of Surgical strikes were performed by Tornado scoutted by EF2000. It is clear that EFs were used only for recci & intercepter role which its core application & for which it was designed for.

Rafale proved its self. In Libyan war, Rafale was given task to perform surgical strikes, but in return thy were assignd task of recci of sensetive & dangerous zone while saving own self from any SAM attacks. It realize its name - The OMNIROLE.

Moreover denial frm UAE will benifite us a lot. They will ready to 100% ToT, i think.

And we hv excellnt track record of Mirage with us.

All know why EADS, LockHeed & Boeing are eager to sell their aircraft. .(to save thousand jobs !!!!!!)

Choise is final : RAFALE.

Vader said...

Rafale, the almost sold fighter:

"Almost" sold in Korea. Lost to the F-15;
"Almost" sold in Morocco. Lost to the F-16.
"Almost" sold in Indonesia. Lost to the Su-30.
"Almost" sold in Saudi Arabia. Lost to the Typhoon.
"Almost" sold in Brazil. Lost to nothing.
"Almost" sold in Libya. Missiles at the head of Gaddafi.
"Almost" sold in Greece. Came to nothing.
"Almost" sold in Poland. Came to nothing.
"Almost" sold in Oman. Lost to the Typhoon.
"Almost" sold in the UAE. Lose to the Typhoon.

Will India be the only buyer for the Rafale in the whole world?

Greetings from Brazil.

Anonymous said...

India Goes for Rafale very soon.

Anonymous said...

India is a nuclear power... and Brazil do not have to deter two nuclear powers right on its borders. India has been at war with both ... That makes a lot of differences. Let's hope that India will made the right choice about independancy....

About the Rafale... don't forget too fast how it did the first strike over Lybia, while neither the US or Brits send their fighters before some few hundred of cruise missiles targeted on Lybia SAM positions.. In Lybia, the F22 has been out of the field: no strike capacities... and even no network capacities. This is painfull for the USAF...Open your eyes...

Anonymous said...

yes Vader India could be the first Rafale buyer because it seems India wants a good aircraft for its pilots, not for its politicians

Anonymous said...

Anon28

"India goes for Rafale very soon"

Yeah, that will be good for business. Make factorys to build these jets that NO ONE WANTS. I see a bright future in india. As soon as the jets are finnished you will be stuck with factorys that will get rusty. Great going. Has Shiv Aroor read the new Eurofighter magazine that is open to the public.

Makapaka said...

Vader, Typhoon sold to Oman and UAE ? Never heard about that. Rafale proposed to Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Greece ? Never heard about that either. The two only export success of Typhoon are Austria and Saudi Arabia in the pure political agreement (without competition), with high suspicions of corruption. Nothing to be proud about.

Anonymous said...

If UAE puts a twist as it is friend of pakis and also the pakis fly UAE a/c, that if you dont sell to india we will buy from you ,otherwise you are out" kind of thing....Of ourse the indian deal is bigger..but it has to be L1 here,where as no such thing in UAE...AoA..Ayyo..Amma...Appa and Amen...

Gilberto Rezende said...

What people don't understand is Dassault is a PRIVATE company not funded and not guided by the French government.
It is a small company by compare to Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Eurofighter GmbH.

It is not allowed to do discount price in his prime product..

The only two actual products by Dassault are three Falcon jets models and Rafale. nEUROn and MALE UAV (in association with Bae UK) are in development stage yet.

In that view the only thing that could make them lower their price 20% to UEA is a french extension contract for more 60 Rafales with 120% in the price tag or 30 Rafales with 140% price tag.

Is how USA do to force political interest sales with Lockheed and Boeing...
But this is impossible in France willfully and legally speaking...

As I speak to Vader in ours Brazilian forums, is not a matter of cost in war is a matter to get the best plane with the max independence possible. The answer of that is Rafale. For may great joy some responses after Vader post here, by home forum members, was tailor made this argument he constant fails to understand. Have nuclears China and Pakistan in the borders change dramatically the cost/effective calculations formula away from the cost factor..

One final thinking to the fellow BRICS friends of India:

If you look carefully the missions requirements of JSF family variants to a 5º generation ground attack plane, is a matter to design a aircraft to do many missions make by F-16, F/A-18 and US marines Harriers. Is in certain words the omnirole 5º generation US LOW fighter. But is funded by 4 contries...

The Rafale is the French 4.5 Generation HIGH and LOW omnirole fighter.

Differences against Rafale is that it is obviously not 5º generation aircraft and could not replace Harriers or be a STOVL kind of plane.

But can do all the others missions on the pack intended to the F-35 A and C variants and do much more above in the HIGH arena. For a fraction of the cost off the JSF program. And in reality with a much less financial support for French government.

The best India could do is to became full partner of Rafale program.

I think one future goal goal could be IAF is to established the full network integration of it's Su-30MKI, Tejas and a future MMRCA Rafale in a lethal air power combination. Am I right?

And could even go better with the addiction of the 5º generation PAK-FA and with the improvement of military relationship between France and Russia is not a bad thinking to India to propose the adaptation of hindi-russian thrust vectoring technology to improve both Tejas and Rafale in future variants...

Again greetings from Brazil.

But now for a Rafale support fan...

Anonymous said...

A couple of observations for Vader and Makapaka:
Almost sold to UAE. Lost to F-16E Block 60
Almost sold to Norway. Selected JSF
Almost sold to The Netherlands. Selected JSF
Pushed in Saudi till the last minute. Lost to Typhoon
Pushed in Greece till the last minute. Typhoon selected
Austria was a regular competition with Gripen, Mirage 2000 and F-16c Blk 50
Saudi is a strategic deal. But also strategic deals—as the UAE affaire demonstrates—must offer value for money.
Rafale does not seem to offer value for money and buyers, after examining closely the deals, walk away. This is not one or two cases, but every single prospective customer has been horrified when had the chance to examine very closely the Dassault offer. It looks like India will join the long list of Rafale´s failure soon.

Anonymous said...

For three years the UAE have been negotiating with Dassault to get a Rafale with a 20,000-lb thrust engine (from 17,000 lb) and a radar with a longer detection range. Other items may also been included, but these two are the key shortcomings the UAE wanted to redress before signing the contract for what was, as clearly admitted, a highly political selection. Because if they wanted—outside the the constraints of politics—a new generation multirole fighter with that kind of thrust and a significantly better radar range, the choice was obviously Eurofighter Typhoon. In the new environment of a less politically driven process, Typhoon has now been considered as a potential candidate for the UAE requirement. Typhoon, with two state-of-the-art 20,000-lb engines (and IMPORTANTLY plenty of growth capability) and a big aperture radar, is REALLY what the UAE always wanted. Is unlikely the M88 will deliver that kind of thrust while maintaining the same levels reliability and durability and, more importantly, will have no potential growth left. That is always bad. Secondly the Rafale´s nose is small and will physically not allow a big aperture radar, not to mention a re-positionable AESA antenna, to increase its field of regard.
So Dassault did not manage to square the circle on the technological front, their price was absolutely unrealistic and their arrogance boundless as usual. No wonder the UAE is joining the long list of Rafale failures (see Vader´s post).

Anonymous said...

The Dassault CEO Edelstenne has always complained (Korea, Netherlands, Singapore losses to quote a few) that Rafale lost to the competition because of the political might of the US military-industrial machine and not because his machine was under-powered, with a second-rate radar and over-priced. He always implied that in a fairer competition Rafale would triumph. It never did. What he really wanted was was an exclusive deal, with no competition whatsoever. A monopolistic situation where he could suck the last drop of blood from his customer. That was the only sure way his under-powered, “under-radared” and over-priced merchandise would “sell”. Or so he thought. But even under such circumstances the potential customers walked away. In dismay! Morocco was the first. Then Libya followed the same road (Sarkozy was in fact pestering his good old friend colonel Ghaddafy to buy Rafale up to a few weeks before starting to bomb him!). Now is the turn of the UAE, after three years of negotiations, tests and you name it. You have heard the words of the Sheik. Unbelievable.