- November 20, 2009, 9:29 AM
Although the supply of French Rafale combat jets to the UAE was not finalized at the Dubai Airshow, there were plenty of indications that negotiations are going well. In an unusual departure from custom, the former head of the UAE Air Force gave a detailed interview on the progress of the deal to The National, the main newspaper in Abu Dhabi. General Khalid al Buainnain said, “The brothers at the Air Force are taking their time to make sure that all the operational requirements as well as technical and logistical requirements are met.” Khalid added that the deal was complex, and included a trade-in of the UAE’s Mirage 2000-9 fighters. Meanwhile, AIN has noted that the joint venture company set up by Team Rafale and Khalid’s trading company, Buynama, has a charter to market the Rafale not only to the UAE, but more widely in the region. A brochure produced by DASBAT states that two countries in the Gulf seem likely prospects: Kuwait (which has already formally expressed an interest in the French fighter) and Oman.