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A ceremony at Dassault Aviation’s Merignac facility on 6 February marked the handing over of the first Qatari RAFALE combat aircraft.

Hosted by Chairman and CEO, Eric Trappier, the high-level dignitaries witnessing the handover included His Excellency Dr Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah, Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs, and Geneviève Darrieussecq, French State Secretary to the Minister of the Armed Forces, in the presence of Qatar Emiri Air Force Commander, Maj-Gen Mubarak Al Khayareen.

The first RAFALE delivery, on schedule, comes after the signature in May 2015 of a contract for 24 RAFALE to equip the Qatar Emiri Air Force, with an additional 12, in December 2017, making for a total of 36 aircraft. Under the terms of the contract, a large group of Qatari pilots and technicians are being trained in France, both by the French Air Force and French Industry.

The very high level of guests attending the ceremony reflects the importance of the historic and strategic partnership between Qatar, France and Dassault Aviation. RAFALE, following on from the MIRAGE F1, the ALPHA JET and the MIRAGE 2000, will continue the tradition and contribute to securing the sovereignty of the state of Qatar.

For the fourth time in our long and trustful partnership with Qatar, a Dassault Aviation aircraft will serve proudly in the Qatari Emiri Air Force. This first delivery is the culmination of a relationship started more than 40 years ago and I am very pleased and grateful that once again the State of Qatar has renewed its confidence in our dedication and confirmed not once, but twice, the choice of the RAFALE to protect its land and people,” Mr Trappier observed.

Dassault has delivered the first (of 36) RAFALE to the Qatar Emiri Air Force on schedule. (Photo: Dassault Aviation)

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