Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Egypt Buys 30 Rafale Fighter Jets from France

Egypt Buys 30 Rafale Fighter Jets from France

Tuesday, 4 May, 2021 - 04:15
A file photo shows a French Rafale fighter jet during a drill over France on January 14, 2020 as part of NATO exercises to deter Russian planes from entering allied airspace. (Reuters/Johanna Geron)

Egypt's military has confirmed it ordered 30 Rafale jets from French defense firm Dassault Aviation to shore up national security.

The order, which follows the 2015 purchase of 24 Rafale jets, will be financed through a 10-year loan, the military said in a statement late Monday, AFP reported.

Investigative site Disclose had reported earlier Monday that the order was part of a mega-defense deal.

Egypt is the world's third biggest arms importer after Saudi Arabia and India, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Its arms purchases grew by 136 percent over the last decade and it has diversified its sourcing beyond the United States, buying military equipment from France, Germany and Russia, the institute said in a report released earlier this year.

The new Rafale deal "reinforces the strategic and military partnership between France and Egypt," French Defense Minister Florence Parly said in a statement on Tuesday.

"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 are working for stability in their regional environment," the statement added.

Editor Picks