Egypt’s military has ordered 30 Rafale Jet from French defence firm, Dassault Aviation to shore up national security.
In a statement released by the military, the order will be financed through a 10 year loan. The order was part of a secret mega defence deal including missiles worth about €4.8 billion. The French defence ministry sources confirmed that the contract was worth the figure and includes weapons and training.
According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Egypt is the world’s third biggest arms importer after Saudi Arabia and India. Its arms purchase grew by 136 percent over the past decade and it has diversified its sourcing beyond the United States, buying military equipment from France, Germany and Russia.
Egypt has a more than 1,000-strong air force fleet, of which 28 percent are fighter planes. Also, arm purchases have stepped up since Army Chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took over as president in 2014.
The new Rafale deal “reinforces the strategic and military partnership between France and Egypt”, French Defence Minister Florence Parly said. Both parties now enjoy a close relationship built on mutual security interests.