PARIS — Egypt has bought 30 more Rafale aircraft from France, according to statements issued on Tuesday by the Egyptian and French defense ministries as well as Dassault Aviation, the aircraft’s manufacturer.
The new acquisition complements the first Egyptian purchase of 24 Rafales six years ago and will up the Rafale fleet in the Egyptian Air Force to 54, making it the second-largest Rafale fleet in the world after France.
The first aircraft of this new contract will be delivered three years after the contract takes effect, according to a French Defense Ministry statement, but nobody at the ministry was available to specify when that would be.
According to the investigative, not-for-profit website Disclose, the deal, signed on April 26, is worth almost €4 billion (U.S. $5 billion). The Egyptian Defense Ministry said the purchase would be financed through a loan that would be repaid over at least 10 years, but the government gave no further details.
Egyptian officials were expected at the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance on Tuesday to sign the financing deal linked to the contract.
Besides the main contract with Dassault, also included in the pact are deals with Safran Electronics & Defense as well as with missile-maker MBDA for a combined $240 million.
Florence Parly, the French armed force minister, said in a statement that the new deal “reinforces the strategic and military partnership between France and Egypt.” She added that “this contract illustrates the strategic nature of the partnership that France maintains with Egypt, while our two countries are resolutely committed to the fight against terrorism and are working for stability in their regional environment.”
Eric Trappier, CEO of Dassault Aviation, said: “This new order is proof of the unfailing bond that unites Egypt, the first foreign user of the Rafale, as it was for the Mirage 2000, with Dassault Aviation for nearly 50 years. It is also a tribute to the Rafale’s operational quality.”
Christina Mackenzie was the France correspondent for Defense News.