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France May Cap Purchases of Rafale Combat Jets -Report

03/22/2013 | 12:34pm US/Eastern

The French government is considering limiting its purchases of Rafale multi-role combat aircraft, made by Dassault Aviation SA (>> DASSAULT AVIATION), to 225 from the 286 planned over the life of the program, according to a report Friday on financial information website latribune.fr.

Such a move would be part of a general effort by the government to scale back public spending in the coming years, the website reported, without citing sources.

The report said the government hasn't yet decided on the exact number of aircraft it will purchase.

The government is expected to publish soon a new White Paper that will detail the country's defense strategy and requirements for the coming years.

A defense ministry spokesman said he has no knowledge of the information published by latribune.fr.

The government has so far agreed on a contract with Dassault Aviation to buy 180 of the Rafale jets, with 115 of those jets delivered at the end of last year.

Dassault is manufacturing Rafale planes at a rate of 11 a month, a pace that Dassault Chief Executive Eric Trappier said recently is the bare minimum that is sustainable for the program's supply chain.

Newspaper website: http://www.latribune.fr

Write to David Pearson at david.pearson@dowjones.com

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