French fighter jet firm Dassault makes offer to Malaysia

French fighter jet firm Dassault makes offer to Malaysia
Small talk: Tappier chatting with the Rafale crew during LIMA ‘15 in Langkawi, Kedah.

LANGKAWI - France-based Dassault Aviation can offer a customised financial package to support the Rafale jet fighter should Malaysia decide to procure the combat aircraft from the company.

Dassault chief executive officer Eric Tappier said the package could be similar to the one taken up by Egypt to support the Rafale multirole fighter aircraft.

"In the case of Egypt, there is a 10-year repayment loan, guaranteed by the French government, from a commercial bank from France.

"This can be a good package for Malaysia also," he added during a briefing at the 13th Langkawi International Maritime and Aero­space Exhibition yesterday.

Dassault Aviation sold 24 Rafale combat aircraft, a multi-mission frigate, and associated equipment worth 5.3 billion euros (S$7.91 billion) to Egypt recently.

In Malaysia, Dassault is already collaborating with Zetro Airspace and Airod to expand its business in the country, said Tappier.

He said the company was also exploring other local companies to collaborate with Dassault so that they could absorb its techno­logy to build aircraft and provide support services for the aerospace industry.

"We are exploring various industrial packages for Malaysia that could include the final assembly line for the aircraft, production of parts and maintenance-and-support work.

"We believe that the local companies here have the capability to absorb the transfer of such technologies should they collaborate with us," he added.

When asked what kind of capabilities Malaysia wants in its next jet fighters, RMAF chief Jeneral Datuk Seri Roslan Saad said there were plans to acquire new multi-role combat aircraft.

On whether there are plans to purchase the Rafale from Dassault Aviation, Roslan said: "That one, not yet."

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