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Air Warfare

Egypt to more than double its Rafale fleet

4th May 2021 - 10:04 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The Egyptian Air Force will increase its fleet of Dassault Rafale fighters to 54 aircraft. (Photo: Dassault)

Dassault receives follow-on order for 30 Rafales for the Egyptian Air Force.

Dassault on 4 May confirmed a follow-on order from Egypt for 30 Rafale multirole fighter aircraft.

‘This new order complements the first acquisition of 24 Rafales signed on February 2015 and will bring the number of Rafales flying under Egyptian colours to 54, making the Egyptian Air Force the second [largest Rafale fleet] in the world after the French Air Force,’ the aircraft manufacturer announced in a statement.

Florence Parly, French Minister of the Armed Forces, stated on social media: ‘I welcome the sale of 30 Rafale to Egypt, a strategic partner. This export success is crucial for our sovereignty and the maintenance of 7,000 industrial jobs in France for three years.’

The delivery schedule for the 30 extra Rafales remains undisclosed at the time of writing. In February 2021, Shephard reported that the Egyptian Air Force was finally able to arm its Rafale fleet with the MBDA SCALP long-range stand-off attack missile. Issues around US export licences for SCALP components had put the Rafale follow-on order in limbo.

The follow-on order for 30 aircraft far exceeds the original offer for 12 more Rafales at an estimated unit cost of $110 million apiece (according to Shephard Defence Insight).

If this value is translated in this new contract, the procurement cost of 30 Rafales alone would be about $3.3 billion. However, the overall value of the deal will be higher than that if (as is likely) munitions and other related equipment and services are included.

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