Uzbekistan closer to purchasing French fighter than Kazakhstan

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French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation intends to sell Rafale fighter jets to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the newspaper La Tribune reports.

French manufacturer Dassault Aviation wants to sell Rafale fighter jets to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, according to La Tribune, citing sources and noting that "what seemed almost impossible at the beginning of the decade is now becoming possible."

"Dassault Aviation has been actively exploring these two Central Asian countries for several months, with which France wishes to deepen bilateral relations," claims La Tribune.

The expansion of bilateral cooperation is reflected in the visits of Emmanuel Macron to Astana (November 1) and Tashkent (November 2) in response to the visits to France by Kazakhstan's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on November 29-30 and Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on November 21-22, 2022, the newspaper writes.

It is also stated that the prospects for the company in Kazakhstan, compared to Uzbekistan, "seem much more distant." "Success for the French aircraft manufacturer in Astana would be a huge surprise," the newspaper notes.

According to the publication, Dassault Aviation export representatives are increasingly flying to Tashkent, and allegedly, a "campaign to supply 24 combat aircraft" of French production has already "started in Uzbekistan."

Rafale ("Squall") is a French fourth-generation multi-role fighter developed by Dassault Aviation. It made its first flight in 1986 and was adopted by the French Navy in 2004 and the French Air Force in 2006. As of 2021, 142 Rafale fighters of various modifications are on active duty in France. It is also in service in Egypt, India, Qatar, and Greece.

The cost of one Rafale fighter is estimated, as of 2021, from $85 million to $124 million.

November 28, 2023