The contract for the acquisition by Egypt of 30 additional Rafale fighters to equip its air force has come into force, Dassault Aviation announced in mid-November.
First announced on 4 May, this contract completes the first acquisition of 24 Rafales, signed in 2015, and will bring to 54 the number of Rafales operated by the Egyptian Air Force, the second in the world, after the French Air Force, to operate such a fleet of Rafales, the French aircraft manufacturer said.
“It sets a new milestone in the strategic partnership between Egypt and France, and strengthens the historical ties forged with Dassault Aviation for nearly fifty years. It also demonstrates the satisfaction of the Egyptian authorities with the smooth execution of the first contract. Finally, it confirms the technological and operational excellence of the Rafale and its export success,” the company said in a statement.
“In a demanding geopolitical context, Egypt has chosen the Rafale to ensure its role as a key player in the regional and international arena, in full sovereignty. This is an honour for Dassault Aviation and its partners, who are fully committed to meeting the expectations of the Egyptian authorities,” said Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation.
Egypt is acquiring the 30 additional Rafales for 3.8 billion euros through a ten year loan.
Egypt received 16 Rafale B/DM two-seaters and eight Rafale C/EM single-seaters from 2015 to 2017.
Its 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.
In Egyptian Air Force (EAF) service, the Rafale is operated out of Gebel el-Basur Air Base, near Cairo. The service has used the type in combat operations against the Islamic State in North Africa, most notably in May 2017 when Rafales struck Islamic State targets in eastern Libya.
Egyptian Rafales have been armed with MICA air-to-air missiles, HAMMER stand-off weapons and SCALP cruise missiles.