The United Arab Emirates has agreed to buy 80 French-made Rafale fighter jets, the biggest international order ever made for the warplanes, officials said on Friday during a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron.

The UAE, one of the French defence industry’s biggest customers, also agreed to buy 12 Caracal military transport helicopters, the French presidency said in a statement. “This is an outcome of the strategic partnership between the two countries, consolidating their capacity to act together for their autonomy and security,” the statement said.

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The crash into the sea of a British F-35B combat jet on Nov. 17 was caught on video and has been subsequently leaked on Twitter. The video shows the jet attempting to take off from the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth in the eastern Mediterranean.

The short-take-off-and-vertical-landing version of the F-35 fails to generate sufficient lift or thrust and the pilot ejects as the aircraft falls over the front of the warship. The ejection and a parachute floating down can be seen in the video posted by the Twitter account @sebh1981.

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At a ceremony attended by the President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron and the Prime Minister of the Croatian Republic Andrej Plenkovi?, the French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly and the Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation Eric Trappier signed today in Zagreb, with the Croatian Minister of Defense Mario Banozic, two contracts for the acquisition of 12 Rafale fighters and associated logistics support.

The state-to-state contract mainly covers the transfer of 12 Rafale fighters from the French Air Force along with their equipment, as well as a training service for the Croatian Air Force. The logistics support contract covers all support resources, including additional spare parts for these aircraft, over a three-year period.

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The meeting was attended by: General Carlos de Almeida Baptista Junior, Commander of the Brazilian Air Force; Major General Carl-Johan Edström, Commander of the Swedish Air Force; Micael Johansson, President and CEO of Saab; and Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and head of Saab business area Aeronautics.

“These deliveries form an important part of strengthening our capabilities and defending Sweden. JAS 39 E Gripen will increase Sweden’s defence capability, allowing us to build a stronger and tactically superior Air Force for every situation,” said Major General Carl-Johan Edström, Commander of the Swedish Air Force.

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Britain has called on the US to help find and salvage a fighter jet that crashed into the Mediterranean after its pilot ejected. Royal Navy servicemen are working with the Americans to recover the F-35B Lightning II from more than a mile below the surface.

The UK is believed to have the equipment and manpower to rescue the destroyed £120million aircraft but their Nato allies were reportedly closer. The Royal Navy were racing towards the crash site amid fears Russia will try to grab the jet which is packed with top secret technology.

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A British F-35 fighter jet has crashed into the sea during a routine operation in the Mediterranean, the Ministry of Defence has said. The pilot ejected and has safely returned to the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and an investigation has begun, the MoD added. The incident occurred at 10:00 GMT over international waters and no other aircraft were involved.

The MoD said it would be inappropriate to comment during the investigation. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the jet came down soon after take off.

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SOURCE: Aviation Week

Sukhoi’s single-engine fighter, the sensation of MAKS 2021 in July, makes its international debut in Dubai. But in a way it is a homecoming, because the stimulus that directly pushed Russia to develop the aircraft came from the Emirates. At IDEX 2017 in Abu Dhabi, Russia and the UAE signed an agreement to cooperate in the development of a next-generation light fighter. The head of Rostec Corporation Sergey Chemezov announced the signing of the appropriate contract later that year. The project, however, did not go any further.

Nevertheless, the development work had been set in motion and Rostec, to which the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) belongs, decided to continue the project without a foreign partner. In early 2020, Sukhoi started the detailed design work and completed a model aircraft in May 2021. The fighter is promised to make its maiden flight in 2023, and in 2027, full-scale production may start.

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