Military Aviation

SALE OF 12 RAFALE FIGHTERS TO EGYPT BLOCKED BY FRENCH MINISTRY OF FINANCES

Cairo intends to purchase the Rafale fighters with a loan but the civil servants at the ministry are unwilling to grant the loan as Egypt had borrowed a huge amount to fund its weapons purchase from France

A report by La Tribune says the French Ministry of Finances has blocked the sale of 12 Rafale fighters to Egypt.

Cairo intends to purchase the fighters with a loan but the civil servants at the ministry are unwilling to grant the loan as Egypt had borrowed a huge amount to fund its weapons purchase from France.

Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to bring up the issue with President Emmanuel Macron during his visit to Paris this week.

In November 2014, it was reported by several sources, that Egypt was in negotiations with France to purchase 24 to 36 Rafales, subject to the financing agreement. By February 2015, the two countries were negotiating a loan from France’s export credit agency to reach an export agreement for up to 24 Rafale fighters. Egypt hoped to complete the deal quickly to have aircraft on display at the inauguration of the Suez Canal expansion in August 2015.

On Feb. 16, 2015, Egypt became the Rafale’s first international customer when it officially ordered 24 Rafales, as part of a larger deal (which also included a FREMM multipurpose frigate and a supply of missiles) worth US$5.9 billion (€5.2 billion). Egypt’s order has 8 single-seat models and 16 two-seaters. In July 2015, the official ceremony marking the acceptance by Egypt of its first three Rafales, was held at the Dassault Aviation flight test center in Istres. In January 2016, Egypt received three more Rafales for a total of six fighters. All six aircraft are two-seat models (Rafale DM) and were diverted from delivery to the French Air Force. Egypt received the third batch of three Rafale fighter jets (which also were the first single-seat Rafales to join the Egyptian Air Force and were designated Rafale EM) from France in April 2017. Egypt took delivery of the fourth batch of two Rafale EM fighter jets in July 2017. The Egyptian Air Force was set to receive three more Rafale fighter jets in 2017, increasing the number of aircraft in service to 14 Rafales.

In June 2016, it was reported that Egypt was in negotiations with Dassault to acquire 12 additional Rafales for a total of 36.

Photo credit: AHMED XIV via Wikipedia and Master Sgt. Gary Emery / U.S. Air Force

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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