France has a good chance of winning export sales for the Dassault Rafale fighter, which is needed to balance the defense budget books, French air chief Gen. Denis Mercier said on Dec. 11.

“I am fairly confident there will be a good story,” he told the defense journalists association, when asked about the export prospects for the twin-engine fighter. “This is a high-quality plane.”

The French government has written an assumed sale of the Rafale to foreign clients into the multiyear budget. The deals are needed to maintain annual production of 11 aircraft from the line near Bordeaux, southwest France. […]