This is undoubtedly good news for the French military industry.

This is undoubtedly good news for the French military industry. Many sectors are currently facing bad or, let’s say, difficult winds:

  • the pharmaceutical industry, in check against the Covid;
  • the automotive sector, which must make an expensive transition to electric;
  • nuclear, which is still waiting for EPRs to work in Europe;
  • agro-food, subject to strong competition;
  • space, shaken up by Elon Musk …

This contract for 80 Rafale, which follows others, in Egypt, Greece, Croatia, this contract is an economic success

14 or even 16 billion euros, there are not many precedents in French industrial exports. Of course, we would prefer that the defense industry did not exist. ; and naturally we would prefer to sell equipment to countries that are good in all respects – Pierre Haski said Friday morning what the trip of Emmanuel Macron to Saudi Arabia can inspire.

Anyway, this sale will provide work for thousands of employees for years: a Rafale is made up of 300,000 parts 90% manufactured in France, manufacturers tell us, and 7,000 highly qualified people will take part in this project.

Dassault is the prime contractor but it is not the only group concerned, it there is Thales, the MBDA missiles, the Safran engines, there are family SMEs like Ametra and Realmetra - in total 400 companies would contribute to the operation. Above all, it is a high-tech field and that means that French specialists are recognized as competitive, against the Americans, for fighter aviation.

After a slow start, the Rafale has found its market - we are already in the 4th modernized version: between sales to the French army (192 planes ordered) and exports, the counter displays 430 copies.

European customers are missing ...

Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom have bought Rafale's competitor, the American F35 from Lockheed Martin, which is approaching a thousand units exported (against 240 for the Gust).

Some experts estimate that 500 F35s could fly within European armies in 2035… when the European SCAF approaches the runway. Obviously, we must not be fooled: the Americans consider that the purchase by the Europeans of their aircraft is the obligatory counterpart to their protection via NATO.