Egypt Seeks Additional Dassault Rafales

Egypt and France are involved in discussions over another purchase of Rafale fighter jets.

During his visit to France this week, Egyptian President Abdel Fateh el-Sisi will speak with French President Emmanuel Macron about a potential sale of 12 Rafale fighter jets, which were included as options for Egypt’s original purchase of 24 jets.

Egypt’s fourth batch of Rafale fighter jets arrived in July of this year, bringing the total in its inventory to 11. Should it sign a deal for the option of 12, the country will eventually operate 36 jets.

The discussions of the new sale have been reported in the media for over a year. On Tuesday, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire confirmed to Europe 1 radiot station that the two sides were in negotiations.

In response to a question about the Rafale deal, Finance Minister Le Maire said,

If new contracts can be made, it will be much better. As for the terms of payment, President Emmanuel Macaron is set to discuss this during his meeting with President El-Sisi on Tuesday. However, it is standard that the French Ministry of Finance seeks guarantees that Egypt will be able to pay for the deal.

Dassault Aviation declined to comment.

French media La Tribune, which has reported on the potential deal since June 2016, reported that the sale is currently being held up by France’s Ministry of Finance, over the subject of financial arrangements. The report followed another French media outlet’s report earlier in the month that claimed the costs of the sale were preventing completion of the deal.

Financial details of the sale have not been disclosed. It is believed that the follow-on group of 12 jets would include 10 single-seat jets and two two-seat jets.

About Derek Bisaccio

Military markets analyst, covering Eurasia, Middle East, and Africa.

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