France and Egypt signed a contract for the delivery of 30 Rafale fighter jets manufactured by Dassault.

Rumors of the order emerged on May 3, 2021, based on information obtained by the online investigative media Disclose. On the early morning of April 4, 2021, the Egyptian Ministry of Defense confirmed the news on its website: the Middle-Eastern country is about to acquire an additional batch of 30 French-made fighter jets. “Within the framework of the political leadership’s interest in developing comprehensive state forces, Egypt and France signed a contract to supply 30 Rafale aircraft to the Egyptian Armed Forces, provided that the concluded contract is financed through a financing loan of a minimum duration of 10 years,” the Ministry announced. 

The contract, valued at €3.95 billion includes the sale of 30 Rafale fighter jets as well as two other subcontracts for the missile maker MBDA as well as Safran Electronics & Defense, according to Disclose. For several years, Egypt has been interested in acquiring the SCALP cruise missiles, developed by MBDA, to equip its Rafales. But the negotiations were stalled by the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), as the weapons contain components manufactured in the United States.

This brings the total fleet to 54 aircraft. In February 2015, Egypt was the first export contract ever for the Rafale, with an order for 24 fighter jets that have all since been delivered.

After years of doubt, Dassault’s fighter jet is attracting more and more customers. Along with Egypt, Qatar and India both ordered 36 French-made fighter jets. More recently, Greece acquired 18 Rafales and mulls another batch of 6. The aircraft is also competing in call for tenders in Switzerland, Finland, and Croatia, and could also be offered to Ukraine.

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Greece is reportedly considering the acquisition of 6 additional Rafale fighter jets, bringing its fleet to 24 aircraft.