The Egyptian Air Force will within the next ten days receive its first three Rafale fighter jets from Dassault, which is currently test flying them in full Egyptian markings.
Two Egyptian Rafales were seen flying from Base Aérienne 125 Istres-Le Tube on Wednesday. They will be delivered to Egypt before the opening ceremony of the widened Suez Canal on 5 August
Egypt ordered a single FREMM frigate and 16 two-seater Rafale DMs and eight single-seater Rafale EMs from France on 16 February. The multibillion euro contract also includes Mica air-to-air missiles and Scalp cruise missiles. Last month Egypt ordered AASM Hammer guided missiles for its Rafales.
Daily newspaper Al Akhbar earlier reported that France was gearing up to deliver the first Rafales to Egypt on 25 July. Egyptian pilots and maintenance technicians are currently being trained on the aircraft in France. Another three Rafales will be delivered before the end of this year, according to a military source quoted by the paper.
The first three Rafales currently undergoing flight testing were originally produced for the French Air Force but are being delivered to Egypt instead, after some French equipment has been removed. The remainder are due to follow at a rate of five aircraft per year.