France is considering offering Rafale fighter jets to Ukraine during the upcomming visit of defense minister of Ukraine.
According to opex360, the possible sale of Rafale fighters to Ukraine is a top priority in the discussion during the upcoming visit.
France has previously sold Rafales to Egypt, Qatar, India and Greece for multi-billion euro contracts.
It is reported that France will offer to deliver used and new Rafale fighter aircraft built by Dassault Aviation for the Ukrainian Air Force for a replacement for the country’s aging MiG-29 fleet.
In addition to the MiG-29s, the Ukrainian air force also has around 30 Su-27 Flankers, 17 Su-24 “Fencer” tactical bombers, and a handful of Su-25 “Frogfoot” attack planes.
Obviously, given the conflicting relations with Russia, this situation is far from ideal, especially since keeping these aircraft in flight condition is costly.
Also, in May 2020, Kiev adopted the “Air Force Vision 2035” plan in order to modernize its Airforce by bringing it to Western standards. This implies the launch of a call for tenders to acquire a generation 4.5 multirole combat aircraft to replace the aircraft currently in service.
This plan provides for an investment of approximately 7.5 billion euros. It should take place in two phases: the first aims to acquire 6 to 12 new combat aircraft between 2023 and 2025. This “in order to start operational test and evaluation activities to study the forms and methods of employment and organization of staff training. Then, between 2025-2030, acquiring around thirty additional planes.
In October 2020, Ukraine’s Minister of Strategic Industries, Oleh Urusky, said that no in-depth study had so far been conducted to determine which type of fighter aircraft would best meet the needs of the air force.
However, it was argued by local media that the choice could be between the American F-16V or the JAS-39 Gripen E / F. But other options are on the table… And it is not impossible that the Ukrainian tender will result in a duel between the Rafale of Dassault Aviation and the F / A-18 Super Hornet of Boeing.
Rafale is a twin-jet combat aircraft manufactured by Dassault Aviation and is capable of carrying out a wide range of short and long-range missions.
Equipped with a wide range of weapons, the Rafale is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike, and nuclear deterrence missions.