Paris: French planemaker Dassault Aviation SA sees a new sale contract for its Rafale fighter jet in 2018, chief executive officer Eric Trappier said in an interview with French regional newspaper Sud-Ouest on Sunday.
“After a contract signed in India, regarding the delivery of 36 Rafale jets, and the order of 24 of these aircraft by Egypt and 24 other by Qatar, we should soon conclude a fourth contract abroad, but it will rather be in 2018,” Trappier said in the interview.
Dassault Aviation is also in talks with India over a potential second contract, Trappier added. “We’re notably in talks with Malaysia over 18 aircraft, but also with India over a second contract,” the plane-maker’s CEO said. “India’s needs are enormous. Hence, for its navy, 57 aircraft are considered,” he added.
Rafale is seen as frontrunner in Malaysia, as the country looks to replace its aging fleet of combat aircraft. A deal to sell 18 jets could potentially be more than $2 billion, sources have said. Reuters