According to the French Defense Procurement Agency, Dassault Aviation has been awarded a contract for 42 Rafale combat aircraft. The announcement reads below:
“At the end of December 2023, the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) awarded Dassault Aviation an order for 42 Rafale combat aircraft, known as ‘tranche 5’, for the French Air Force (AAE).
Éric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, stated, “On behalf of Dassault Aviation and the 400 companies involved in the Rafale program, I would like to thank the Ministry for the Armed Forces, the DGA and the AAE for their renewed confidence. We are ready and determined to use our skills as prime contractor and complex systems integrator to serve the sovereignty of our nation. This military industrial sovereignty is an exception in Europe. It guarantees the superiority of our combat aviation. It is also an asset for diplomatic influence and an economic strength in export trade.”
This purchase mirrors the 2023 budget which included a procurement of another 42 Rafales. Both these purchases demonstrate the increased French military budget in light of the war in Ukraine and France’s intent to achieve an “all-Rafale” air service by 2030. The French Air Force still has about 66 legacy Mirage 2000s.