Libya Expected To Buy Rafale Fighters

 - December 17, 2007, 12:11 PM

Libya plans to buy 14 Dassault Rafale fighters as part of an arms package agreed by French President Nicholas Sarkozy and Libyan leader Muammar Ghadaffi during a state visit to Paris this month. The package, which is worth $5.8 billion, also includes 35 Eurocopter helicopters and the return-to-service and upgrade of Libya’s Mirage F1 fighter fleet. This would be the first export order for the Rafale, but Dassault officials will probably await a firm government-to-government contract before celebrating. Earlier this year, French government and industry officials badly mishandled the potential sale of 18 Rafales to Morocco. Amid mutual recriminations between Dassault and the French government agency responsible for arms sales, Morocco turned to the U.S. and bought 24 F-16s instead.