Paris — Egypt has told French President François Hollande of the decision to buy 24 Rafale fighter jets and a multimission frigate, with a contract signing to be held in Cairo on Monday, the Elysée president's office said in a statement Thursday.
"The Egyptian authorities have informed me today of their intention to acquire 24 Rafale combat aircraft and a multimission frigate as well as related equipment," the statement said. "This equipment will allow Egypt to increase its security and play fully its role in promoting regional stability.
"In this way the Rafale combat aircraft wins its first export contract.
"The state has been fully engaged in the negotiations and by implication permits the closing of this contract.
"The signing will take place Feb. 16 in Cairo and I have asked the French defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to sign on behalf of France."
The sale is worth €5 billion (US $5.6 billion) to €6 billion and concludes detailed talks begun in December. Egypt is keen to fly the twin-engine Dassault Aviation Rafale and sail the DCNS multimission frigate at the opening of a new waterway on the Suez Canal in August.
"I would like to thank the highest Egyptian authorities for this strategic and historic partnership. Dassault Aviation will be equal to the faith that they have placed in us yet again," Eric Trappier, chairman of Dassault, said in a statement.
"I would also like to thank the French authorities, which were behind the Rafale program, and have provided the political support, without which we cannot make any military exports.
"I would also like to pay tribute to the skills and know-how of the 7,000 people who work on the Rafale at Dassault Aviation, Thales, Safran and for our 500 subcontractors."
France is expected to send over two or three fighters and the warship under Egyptian colors for the opening ceremony. The vessel will be the Normandie frigate, which had been built for the French Navy.
MBDA air-to-air Mica missiles and Aster 15 surface-to-air weapons for the frigate are part of the deal. Maintenance is also included in the package.
The Egyptian Air Force is equipped with F-16 and Mirage 2000 fighters, and the Navy sails US-built frigates.