By Stephen Trimble on February 17, 2010 2:47 AM
The United Arab Emirates has dropped a bombshell on France's Dassault, according to this UPI story today. Before it agrees to buy 60 Rafale fighters, the UAE wants Dassault to integrate Boeing's standoff land attack missile-expanded response (SLAM-ER), instead of the MBDA AM-39 Exocet. Sacre bleu! And so continues the most tortuous contract negotiations since Boeing offered to lease 100 767s to the US Air Force.
Meanwhile, back in Paris, the Armee de l'Air leaks to French newsweekly Air & Cosmos, providing a few more tidbits about what happened between the Raptor and the Rafale at the Al Dhafra exercise late last year. According to Air & Cosmos' sources, the USAF requested only two training sorties between the F-22 and the Rafale of three engagements each, with one-on-one combat within visual range. [In other words, the USAF says, "If you don't turn on your Spectra system, we won't turn on our ALR-94."]
In those six engagements, the F-22 scored one gun kill, but the other five dogfights ended in a draw, Air & Cosmos says. Another sources tells the magazine the F-22 scored two gun kills, with four nulls.