France, Egypt 30 Rafale jets deal came into effect on 15 November

Egypt's French-made Rafale fighter jets. Photo by Egyptian Air Force

French Defense Ministry Spokesman Herve Grandjean revealed that the contract that was signed between Egypt and the French Dassault Aviation company to purchase additional 30 Rafale fighter jets would come into force this summer.

In an interview with Egyptian channel Extra News telecast on Wednesday evening, Grandjean added that Egypt will start receiving this batch of the fighter jets, besides additional 24 jets more, in the period between 2024 and 2026.

The French spokesman expressed his country’s keenness in standing by Egypt for upgrading the Egyptian defense equipment. Egypt’s contract with France for a further 30 Dassault Rafale combat aircraft came into force on 15 November.

The manufacturer announced that the contract signed on 4 May to bring Egypt’s total Rafale fleet from 24 up to 54 aircraft has now been activated.

As announced earlier in the year, Egypt is to acquire the additional Rafales for EUR3.8 billion (USD4.6 billion) via a 10-year loan.

Egypt signed for its first 24 Rafales (16 Rafale B/DM two-seaters and eight Rafale C/EM single-seaters) in early 2015, with deliveries commencing later the same year and running through to late 2017. Neither the composition of this latest order nor its delivery timeline have yet been revealed.

Although not noted in the announcement by the Egyptian MoD, the country’s new Rafales are likely to be built to the latest F3-R standard that has recently been declared fully operational by the French armed forces.

The aircraft has a multi-sensor data fusion, and “has the potential to integrate a variety of current and future armaments.”

Rafale jets in Egypt took part in training activities, securing Egyptian vital areas, operations to combat terrorism, and aviation shows when inaugurating Mohamed Naguib airbase, the largest in MENA region.

Egypt is the world’s third biggest arms importer after Saudi Arabia and India, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Egypt is the largest weapons importer of French and became the largest Rafale export customer.

Its arms purchases grew by 136 percent over the last decade and it has diversified its sourcing beyond the United States, buying military equipment from France, Germany and Russia, the institute said in a report released earlier this year.

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