Egypt will equip its air force with 30 additional Rafale. Despite accusations of human rights violations even within the confines of the UN, Cairo has become one of the first clients of French armaments.
“The Arab Republic of Egypt has decided to acquire 30 additional Rafales to equip its air force,” announces the Dassault aviation group in a press release posted on its website and dated May 4.
This new order completes the first acquisition of 24 Rafale, signed in 2015, and should bring the number of Rafale in Egyptian colors to 54, making the Egyptian Air Force the second in the world, after the French army. , to own such a Rafale fleet.
“This new order is proof of the unwavering link that unites Egypt, the first export user of the Rafale as it was for the Mirage 2000, to Dassault Aviation for nearly 50 years”, declared, quoted in the press release, Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation.
“This contract illustrates the strategic nature of the partnership that France maintains with Egypt, while our two countries are resolutely committed to the fight against terrorism and work for stability in their regional environment”, we also read in a report. press release published on May 4 by the French Ministry of the Armed Forces, quoted by AFP.
7,000 jobs in France
This sale had been announced the day before by the Disclose website, which mentions an amount of 3.95 billion euros. The investigative website, which cites Egyptian government documents, also claims that Cairo obtained a loan guaranteed by France to the tune of 85% to finance these purchases, which would put French taxpayers on a possible default. .
The financial aspects of the transaction have not been confirmed by the ministry. On the other hand, it confirms the signature of associated equipment contracts with the MBDA missile and the engine manufacturer Safran also announced by Disclose. The ministry also specifies that the first aircraft will be delivered three years after the entry into force of this transaction which should generate a total of the equivalent of 7,000 jobs in France for three years.
Egypt has become one of the main customers of the French armaments industry, with a surge in the overall amount of orders since the 2010s. These have increased considerably with the coming to power of Abdel Fattah al-Sissi in 2014, with the sale of Rafale, a frigate, four corvettes and two Mistral helicopter carriers.
Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor
Between 2010 and 2019, Egyptian imports of French armaments amounted to 7.7 billion euros, making Cairo the fourth largest client country of France in terms of armaments, according to the annual report to Parliament.
While NGOs regularly accuse the Egyptian regime of flouting human rights and of using armaments against civilians, the ministry pleads in its press release that “exports of military equipment are part of the defense and security policy of the France ”and evoke a“ strategic and military partnership between France and Egypt ”.
Human rights violations in Egypt by Marshal Al-Sisi’s regime were denounced in March in a letter signed by 31 of the 47 members of the Human Rights Council. A few months earlier, in December, President Sissi was received by Emmanuel Macron, who presented him with the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor, the highest French honorary distinction.