A consortium of French aircraft firms is considering setting up a manufacturing site in the UAE to build Rafale fighter jets for the country’s air force.

The consortium, which includes Dassault, Thales, Snecma, MBDA and Sagem, plans to sell 60 Rafale fighter jets to the UAE Air Force (UAEAF), under a €10bn ($13bn) deal.

The firms have also proposed to train UAE nationals in aerospace manufacturing and production to handle the local production of the jet.

The consortium will also manufacture executive jets and aircraft electronics in the UAE, according to The National.

The UAE has had plans to acquire Rafale aircraft since June 2008. The aircraft, with its more powerful engine and radar system, will replace the air force’s fleet of Mirage 2000 aircraft.