France, Qatar sign Rafale deal, Hollande hails Gulf ties

A Rafale fighter jet prepares to land at the air base in Saint-Dizier

(Reuters) – France and Qatar signed a 6.3 billion euro ($7.02 billion) deal on Monday for the sale of 24 Rafale fighter jets, an accord President Francois Hollande hailed as a mark of Gulf Arab regard for French regional strategy including its firm line on Iran.

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French fighter jets find takers in a worried world

View of the assembly line of the Rafale jet fighter in the factory of French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation in Merignac near Bordeaux

(Reuters) – After failing for years to win a single order for the Dassault-built Rafale fighter jet, France has scored a string of multi-billion-euro wins in recent weeks and is on a quest for more.

Global appetite for the jets has surged as a result of the United States’ diminishing influence in the Arab world along with wider security concerns over the rise of Islamic State insurgents – which Paris is more than happy to assuage. Egypt, India and Qatar have all just signed contracts.

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No Tears For The T-50

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A In late March Russia finally admitted that they were having serious problems with their new “5th generation” T-50 (or PAK-FA) stealth fighter. The admission came in the form of a decision to cut the number of production T-50s to be built by the end of the decade from 52 to 12. Russia already has five development models of the T-50 flying, although one was damaged in a fire. The Russian announcement did not cover specific reasons for the change. But Indian Air Force officials have been criticizing the progress of the T-50 program for over a year.

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The mysterious Rafale riddle

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Rafale in IAF colours: artistic conception

When analysing a subject like India’s air force, it is important to rely only on facts. Thus an air force, which is one of the top five forces in the world, today has an ageing asset, with “some 500 fixed-wing operational aircraft, significantly down from the total of 850 in 2006”.

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Air force rejects ‘false’ and ‘unfounded’ reports of China locking on to a fighter

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NOT A CHANCE:The air force said in a statement that pilots on sorties must refrain from fleeing, taunting aggressors or showing weakness if encounters occur

The air force yesterday rejected as false and unfounded media reports suggesting that one of its Indigenous Defense Fighter jets had been automatically tracked by the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) missile defense system during a routine patrol last year.

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GX-6 to boost China’s anti-submarine capabilities

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China’s new GX-6 anti-submarine patrol aircraft appears to be ready for action, reports China’s nationalist Global Times tabloid.

Citing leaked photos posted on a military forum, Global Times claims that the GX-6, which has been modified from the Y-8 medium-size medium-range transport aircraft produced by Shaanxi Aircraft Corporation, has recently begun supporting troops from the PLA’s Naval Air Force.

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