Airbus Space Systems (supervisor) and Thales Alenia Space (TAS) signed late last week in London a new contract with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the sale of two observation satellites (Falcon Eye program ), according to several sources. The contract is valued at 700 million euros.
According to French press reports, French defense minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, worked hard behind the scenes to sign the initial contract signed last July between the two manufacturers and Abu Dhabi. But negotiations have also been complicated by internal rivalries inside the UAE. With the expiry of the validity of the contract, France had again to renegotiate with Abu Dhabi. This allowed the UAE to return to the negotiating table with some new requirements, some of which were considered “unconscionable” by the French side, including new guarantees requested by Abu Dhabi and new rules of arbitration of litigation. Emirati negotiators also wanted to renegotiate the price.
But in the end, all obstacles removed.