ebj1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 2 Reply 1, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 3009 times:
Looks like the Rafale is finally getting its first export sale. I won't be surprised to see more sales come in the next year or so. And it's not surprising the sales are to Middle East nations. I have to wonder, though, why Dassault hasn't developed a somewhat stripped model of Rafale to sell to nations that can't afford the fully equipped model. They did that with the Mirage III and Mirage 50, though apparently not the Mirage 2000, and got great sales for their effort.
One little tid-bit that needs to be put in historical context and remembered from someone that had family that was in the fighter sales business.
Back during the cold-war you could either buy American, Soviet, or a 3rd way which was mostly the French. Many orders of the day for the Mirage were not based on technical or even economic merit, but on political considerations.
Todays fighter marketing world is much more fragmented with no clear 3 option menu which makes it hard for France to exploit it previous standing. Even amongst US manufacturers actively compete against each other which used to not be the case as either the State Dept, or DoD would decide what model would be offered to foreign countries often giving them a single take it or leave it US model.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California