Saudi Arabia to Order 54 Rafale Fighters After Eurofighter Typhoon Order Was Blocked By Germany

In a significant development in the global defense market, Saudi Arabia is reportedly considering the acquisition of 54 Rafale fighter jets from French manufacturer Dassault Aviation. This move comes as a result of the impossibility of acquiring additional Eurofighter Typhoons for the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF).


Saudi authorities have sent a detailed cost request to Dassault Aviation for the acquisition of 54 Rafale fighter jets, demanding an answer by November 10, 2023. This potential acquisition would strengthen France’s standing in the Middle Eastern defense market and solidify Rafale’s position as a sought-after combat aircraft in the region.


The potential acquisition of Rafale jets by Saudi Arabia would be a direct challenge to the Eurofighter Typhoon, produced by a consortium of European companies including BAE Systems, Airbus, and Italian Leonardo. In August 2006, Saudi Arabia entered into an agreement to procure 72 Typhoon fighter jets, which were delivered between 2008 and 2017. However, in July 2023, the potential order negotiated by the United Kingdom was blocked by Germany.

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The decision by Saudi Arabia to consider purchasing Rafale jets from Dassault Aviation marks a significant shift in its defense procurement strategy. It underscores the changing dynamics in the global defense market and highlights the growing influence of French military technology in the Middle East. It remains to be seen how this potential deal will impact the balance of power in the region and influence future defense deals.

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