UAE "5th Gen" Rafale?


Aussie Digger

Well next year UAE start operating Erieye, and although Boeing may be the front runner to winning the "real deal" one should not discount the possibility of another company winning.

Saab has sold Erieye to 7 countries so far, it's a mature product; however it may also be possible to upgrade and extend, and since UAE now has a temporary solution they may be less in a hurry to buy something more sophisticated, which opens for the possibility of doing with Saab what they did with LM and Dassault in the past; develop a mature system into something much more sophisticated.

An upgraded Erieye may be easier to sell than F-16 block 60 or Mirage 2000-9, neither of which were ever sold outside the Emirates.

And if they decide to work with Eireye also in the future then perhaps they may consider the Gripen NG instead of either the Rafale or the SH. It would give less dependence on the US, and Taurus could be offered as a stand-off weapon.

If RBS-15 is found wanting I think Saab would be happy to integrate SLAM/ER, and unlike the Rafale, Gripen does have a two-way datalink.
True, anything is possible, but I wasn't referring simply to Wedgetail when I mentioned UAE's interest in Boeing products earlier. UAE are reportedly interested in Boeing's 'Vigilaire' air defence C4I system which it developed for Australia, as well as it's HF Mod ( HF radio system modernisation program) which was also developed for Australia. The reason being the networking rendundancy that the new HF mod system provides, should your satellite comms system be degraded...

Australia and the UAE have developed quite a close relationship in recent years through Australian basing it's MEA operations in the UAE (now even admitted publicly, whereas once it was only described as a 'certain middle eastern country') and if these reports ARE true then I expect the UAE is having a close look at Australia's Super Hornet, Wedgetail, Vigilaire and HF Mod construct...

As Swerve mentioned earlier, we shall have to wait and see, but I don't think things are quite as cut and dried as they might have once seemed about a Rafale purchase by the UAE...