PARIS France will order “by the end of the year” 12 additional Rafale fighter jets to replace the twelve aircraft that will be taken from the French Air Force inventory and supplied to Greece, French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly told Parliament’s Defense Committee during an Oct. 6 hearing.
“We fully intend, by the end of the year, to award an order, in parallel with the order for the aircraft ordered by Greece, for up to 12 aircraft for the Air and Space Force,” the minister told MPs during the hearing.
The contract with Greece will be signed by the end of the year and will result in 12 Rafale being taken from the French Air and Space Force fleet next year for delivery to Greece. These aircraft will be replaced in French service by the 12 new-build aircraft. France will also order six additional new-build Rafales for Greece, which is buying a total of 18 Rafales. The Rafale contract with Greece is worth between “one and two billion euros,” according to Agence France Presse.
In addition, Parly also confirmed that she intends to fully implement the 2019-2025 multiyear program law, which calls for 129 Rafale to be in service by 2025. “I would like to reassure you: we had agreed together on a milestone in 2025 with 129 Rafale aircraft, and I fully intend to keep to this commitment,” the minister told the committee.
This additional order comes at the right time for Dassault, which risked seeing its Rafale production line interrupted in 2024, once the six new aircraft ordered by Athens had been built.
The company is already under contract to deliver 28 Rafale to France between 2022 and 2024, and the new orders for the 18 new aircraft (12 for France and six for Greece) will keep the production line running into 2025, when the final order for the fourth and final batch of 40 Rafale is expected to be awarded