Our Bureau - : Nov 30, 2021 - : 3:38 pm

French military exports to Egypt are expected to surge from 2022, with the contract for the acquisition of 30 additional Rafales to equip the Egyptian Air Force coming into force. Announced on 4 May, this contract completes the first acquisition of 24 Rafales, signed in 2015, and will bring to 54 the number of Rafales operated by the Egyptian Air Force, the second in the world, after the French Air Force, to operate such a fleet of Rafales. The additional orders, worth €5.4 billion, set a new milestone in the strategic partnership between Egypt and France, and demonstrates the satisfaction of the Egyptian authorities with the smooth execution of the first contract.

Key Defence Partner
“In a demanding geopolitical context, Egypt has chosen the Rafale to ensure its role as a key player in the regional and international arena, in full sovereignty. This is an honour for Dassault Aviation and its partners, who are fully committed to meeting the expectations of the Egyptian authorities,” said Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation. The follow-on order is also a confirmation by the EAF of the technological and operational excellence of the Rafale. With France as its new defence procurement partner, Egypt will acquire additional military equipment including FalconEye observation satellite and A330 multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) aircraft manufactured by Airbus. Egypt has reportedly signed a contract with France to buy the observation satellite and two MRTT aircraft.

In April this year, the EAF, the largest C295 fleet operator worldwide, signed a fiveyear services contract with Airbus for the performance-based support of its fleet, composed of a total of 24 aircraft. The EAF now joins the community of C295 operators that benefit from the provision of integrated and performance-based services which ensure that all elements of support are in place where and when required, to optimize fleet availability and mission readiness. The contract includes the provision of material services, on-site technical support as well as on-wing maintenance.

Since the delivery of the first aircraft in 2011, Airbus has been providing support through a wide service portfolio with the highest quality standards including both technical and personnel resources. In signing this contract, Egypt goes further by reaffirming and extending their trust in Airbus by implementing the first integrated support contract. Stephan Miegel, Head of Military Aircraft Services at Airbus Defence and Space, said: “This agreement is a significant step forward in the integrated service support that we offer our customers in the region. Our goal and commitment to our customers is to maximize their fleet availability, ensure their mission readiness, all while saving maintenance costs.” Egypt recently received four units of a French-made long-range, mobile, 3D air defence radar system called Thales Ground Master 400 (GM400) AESA, that has a maximum
range of up to 515 km.

Boosting the Navy
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is also looking at strengthening the capabilities of the Egyptian Naval Force (ENF), by acquiring high-sea submarines. Reports indicate that France is offering Egypt submarines produced by French shipbuilder.

Naval Group. In 2018, Naval Group had signed an agreement with the Egyptian Navy for the in-service support of the vessels provided by the group over the next five years.

Egypt had inked a contract with the company in 2014 for the construction of four Gowind corvettes. The first-of-class was built in Lorient and delivered to Egypt in September 2017. The second of the series built through technology transfer in Alexandria Shipyard and was launched in September 2018, and the country’s first-Egyptian manufactured Gowindclass design frigate was handed over to the navy in January 2021.

Naval Group delivered the FREMM multi mission frigate Tahya Misr in August 2015. In June 2016, Naval Group delivered two Mistral-class Landing Helicopter Dock vessels to the Egyptian Navy.

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