Egypt will order 30 additional Rafale fighter jets from France, a source familiar with the matter told AFP on Monday, partially confirming information from the investigative media Disclose. armament, Cairo was the first foreign country to buy Rafale (24), in 2015.
The aircraft manufacturer Dassault did not wish to comment on this information which would mark another big commercial success for its aircraft. “Very advanced discussions are in fact taking place with Egypt and announcements could be made very soon,” for his part reacted to AFP a French government source.
According to details unveiled by Disclose, France and Egypt on April 26 signed a contract worth a total of 3.95 billion euros, including the sale of 30 Rafale fighter jets as well as two other contracts for the benefit the MBDA missile and Safran Electronics & Defense. An Egyptian delegation was to initial the agreement on Monday in Paris.
A source close to the case confirmed to AFP the order of 30 devices, without specifying the financial terms.
This sale will confirm the late but real export success of the French combat aircraft. Ordered by Egypt, then Qatar (36) and India (36), it was sold in January to Greece in 18 copies, including 12 used. And the next few months could be good, hopes Dassault Aviation: the Rafale is in competition in Switzerland, Finland and Croatia.
“It is up to the customer to communicate on this type of order, but if this announcement were confirmed, it would be a great success for the French industry and for employment in France”, reacted Monday to AFP Cédric Perrin , vice-president of the Senate defense committee.
According to Disclose, which cites Egyptian government documents detailing the terms of the contract, Egypt has obtained a loan guaranteed by France up to 85% to finance these purchases, causing French taxpayers to default on payment.
Despite Paris’ stated desire to refocus its arms exports to Europe, Egypt is one of the main recipients of French military equipment. If these were only a few tens of millions of euros at the beginning of the 2010s, they were considerably reinforced with the coming to power of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in 2014, mainly between 2014 and 2016 at the favor of the sale of Rafale, a frigate, four corvettes and two Mistral helicopter carriers.
In total, Egyptian imports of French armaments amounted to 7.7 billion euros between 2010 and 2019, making Cairo the fourth client country of France in terms of armaments, according to the annual report to Parliament.
But the concern expressed by French President Emmanuel Macron over the human rights situation in Egypt, during a joint press conference with his counterpart in January 2019, had ended the honeymoon between France and Egypt, which had not since concluded a new contract, observed in November the deputy Jacques Maire in a report on the control of arms exports.
A recent sign of warming, President Sissi was received last December by Emmanuel Macron, who even awarded him the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor, the highest French honorary distinction. This decision, in a country accused by NGOs of flouting human rights and using armaments against civilians, had sparked outrageous reactions on social networks. During this last meeting, Mr. Macron this time refrained from putting too much pressure on Cairo, where the coming to power of President Sisi was accompanied by a growing repression against any form of opposition.
“I will not condition our cooperation in defense, as in economic matters, on these disagreements”, declared the French president.
On the other hand, France is one of the countries which have asked Egypt, within the framework of the UN, to stop abusing its anti-terrorism legislation to muzzle opponents.
Cairo and Paris also readily show their convergence on other regional security issues, such as rivalries with Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Egypt will order 30 additional Rafale fighter jets from France, a source familiar with the matter told AFP on Monday, partially confirming information from investigative media Disclose. A big customer of the French arms industry, Cairo was the first foreign country to buy Rafale (24), in 2015.The aircraft manufacturer Dassault did not want …