First single seat Rafale for Egypt takes flight


The Egyptian Air Force’s first single seat Rafale fighter jet has performed its maiden flight in France ahead of delivery next year.

Dassault flew the first Egyptian Air Force Rafale EM single seater on 1 July from Bordeaux-Merignac. It will then be delivered to the French Air Force’s Base Aerinenne 125 Istres-Le Tube. After flight testing, it will be delivered to Egypt early next year.

Egypt received its first three Rafale DM two seaters on 21 July 2015, allowing them to take part in the opening of the expanded Suez Canal in August, and has so far received six of the type. The second batch of three were delivered to Egypt on 28 January.

Egypt ordered 16 Rafale DM and eight Rafale EM fighters on 16 February last year, which will be flown by 203 Tactical Fighter Wing ‘Storm’/34 Squadron ‘Wild Wolves’.

Egyptian Rafales will be armed with Mica air-to-air missiles, Scalp cruise missiles and AASM Hammer guided missiles.

The first three Rafales were originally produced for the French Air Force but were diverted to Egypt instead, after some French equipment was removed. The remainder are due to follow at a rate of five aircraft per year.