Reportedly, this decision was made during President Emmanuel Macron's visit.
Uzbekistan has shown interest in acquiring French multi-role Rafale fighters, as per Intelligence Online reported by Sarbaz.kz.
Tashkent has expressed interest in purchasing 24 Rafale multi-role aircraft.
It's worth recalling that Macron visited Uzbekistan at the beginning of November this year, shortly after visiting Kazakhstan.
If confirmed, this would be yet another country willing to move away from Soviet aviation technology in favor of the French aircraft. European aircraft designs are gaining popularity in Central Asia, where Airbus has been successful in selling transport planes. Among other orders, Uzbekistan has requested four Airbus C-295W light transport planes, and Kazakhstan has ordered two Airbus A-400M Atlas heavy transport planes.
From Uzbekistan's perspective, acquiring 24 Rafales, constituting a squadron with two squadrons, could be highly advantageous. It could allow them to phase out nearly their entire post-Soviet fleet of combat aircraft. Currently, Uzbekistan has nearly a hundred such aircraft, including 38 MiG-29s, 25 Su-27s, and 20 Su-25 combat planes. Most of these aircraft are in storage, and their utility due to age and wear is uncertain.
A brand-new and versatile Rafale could prove far more useful and paradoxically, more cost-effective. Each aircraft could perform a wide range of tasks.