French celebrations as Egypt confirms Rafale order
France's defence minister arrived in Cairo today to sign the formal documents with the Egyptian government for the purchase of 24 Dassault Rafale fighter jets.
News of the order was released on Thursday by French President Hollande.
France has been flying Rafale since 2006, putting it to the test over countries like Afghanistan, Libya, Mali and most recently in the U.S.-led airstrikes on ISIS. But manufacturer Dassault Aviation has struggled to sell it abroad. A highly publicized deal with the UAE fell through and other likely contenders such as Brazil, Libya, Morocco and Switzerland all failed to make it to the final stages. , Re-negotiations with India and talks with Qatar are ongoing.
Egypt is facing a number of external threats – today’s killing of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya – has fired up the country.
The sale – unlikely to be at list price – does bring welcome relief to Dassault having been so near before. And it is good news for other companies in the Rafale supply chain.
Technology manufacturer Thales provides numerous pieces of state-of-the-art equipment and systems for the Rafale, as well as for the FREMM frigate which was also part of the Egyptian order,, along with respective armaments. These elements represent around 25% of the total value of the Rafale and 20% of the FREMM.
Thales, a member of the Rafale team with both Dassault Aviation and SNECMA (Safran), equips this combat aircraft with systems providing it with a multi-sensor capability such as the RBE2 AESA, the first European combat radar with active electronic scanning antenna, the SPECTRA electronic warfare system, optronics, the communication, navigation,
identification suite, avionics, and the power generation systems.
“Thales thanks the Egyptian authorities for the trust that they have shown in Thales and in its partners by choosing their naval and aeronautical systems. We also wish to highlight the strong support of the French authorities in the
conclusion of this contract. We are proud to contribute to Egyptian defence with our technological equipment,” said Patrice Caine, Thales Group’s chairman.
The Rafale on display in Egypt - picture by Dassault Aviation's F. Robineau