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UAE asks Eurofighter to counter Rafale offer: statement
by Staff Writers
Dubai (AFP) Nov 13, 2011

The United Arab Emirates, which is in the final stages of talks with France on the sale of Rafale fighter jets, has invited Eurofighter to make a counter offer, the European consortium said Sunday.

The consortium said that the UAE had asked Britain, which uses the Eurofighter, to provide it with information about the aircraft capacity, and that a briefing took place on October 17.

"We have subsequently received a request for proposal for the potential supply of Typhoon," Eurofighter said of its fighter jet in a statement, adding, "We are now working hard to deliver a response."

Further details about the request, such as the number of aircraft required, or the timeline for a decision, have not been revealed.

French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet said last month that Paris was in the final stages of negotiations on the Gulf state purchasing Rafale fighter jets, the pride of France's Dassault Aviation.

Both the Rafale and the Typhoon were recently involved in combat action over Libya, flown respectively by the French air force and navy and the British Royal Air Force.

The types are also in the final stage of a massive contest to meet Indias 126-unit medium multi-role combat aircraft requirement. Final bids were opened early this month, with a selection decision possible within the next few weeks.

Dassault is seeking a first export buyer for its "omnirole" Rafale, while the four-nation Eurofighter consortium is hoping to build on a customer base which also includes partner nations Germany, Italy and Spain and additional users Austria and Saudi Arabia.

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