A deal worth more than $1 billion to buy F15E Strike Eagles is in the final stages of clarification with Boeing. This is not only good for Boeing and everyone in general as the F15 lines will remain open, but it’s significant because the choice to go Eagle was made over Dassault’s Rafale, which has yet to receive a single export order. This isn’t good news for France:
The Rafale program was always dependent on some level of foreign orders to help finance its ongoing modernization and upgrade plans. If that option continues to fail, France’s budget constraints could leave the Rafale falling steadily behind even its 4th Generation peers, in a vicious spiral that further crimps export opportunities.
Back when France was still part of the Eurofighter consortium, their rigid insistence on their own specifications and on deciding all work-sharing unilaterally forced a parting of the ways. While French requirements really were quite specific, the decision has thus far proven to be a very expensive one.
For an extensive, fact-filled, and link-rich post on this subject, go read DID.