GABORONE, Botswana — Egypt and France plan to sign agreements for the purchase of weapons that include fighter aircraft, navy vessels and a military satellite communication system worth €1 billion (US $1.1 billion) during the forthcoming visit of French President Francois Hollande to Cairo, according to French news site La Tribune.
La Tribune reported that the deal, which is expected mid-April, will include the sale of four new navy vessels worth up to €400 million by French naval defense equipment manufacturer DCNS. Two GOWIND corvettes are reported to be part of the upcoming sale.
The deals are expected to be signed during a visit to Egypt by Hollande on April 18. La Tribune said the signing during Hollande's visit to Cairo on April 18 would cap months of negotiations on the military acquisitions between the French and Egyptian governments.
If confirmed, the sale would bring the number of GOWIND corvettes supplied by DCNS to the Egyptian Army to six following the delivery of four variants in 2014. The Egyptian Navy has been negotiating with France for the sale of two military satellite systems for over two years.
The deal has previously been called on and off a couple of times amid reports that Russian and South Korean companies had offered cheaper alternatives to the French system.
The Egyptian-French defense relationship has blossomed since February 2015 when Cairo purchased 24 Rafale fighters, a frigate and missiles.
In October last year, France sold two Mistral helicopter carriers to the Egyptian Navy after cancelling an earlier deal with Russia in line with European Union sanctions imposed on Russia to protest its alleged involvement in Ukraine.