Egypt has received the fourth batch of high-tech French Rafale fighter jets—which consists of two aircraft—financed by a French government loan. Egypt has received 11 of the Rafale fighters so far.
The delivery of the jets comes as a part of a military agreement between Egypt and France that includes, alongside the jets, a FREMM frigate, according to a statement by the military spokesperson.
The new “fourth generation” fighter jets were flown to Egypt by Egyptian pilots trained by the French air force.
Egypt is in fact operating a large number of French-built aircraft by Dassault Aviation, along with its large fleet of US-manufactured planes, this time completing the deal in record time.
The Dassault Rafale is now the most modern aircraft operated by the Egyptian Air Force despite its fleet of modernised American F-16 fighter jets. The Rafale is a semi-stealth multirole fighter designed to conduct close air support, as well as air superiority missions, and is rumoured to have advanced radar-jamming technology.
The recent deal is partially financed by a loan from the French government. Recently, Egypt has sought out more diverse sources of weaponry other than the US, which took a critical stance towards the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi. The US, however, resumed weapon deliveries as well as financial military aid earlier this year.
The defence deal between the two countries is worth a total of €5.2bn and has been financed with the help of a €3.2bn loan by the French government.
It is the second biggest arms deal in a relatively short time between France and Egypt, after the former sold four Gowind corvettes to Egypt in 2014, rumoured to be worth around €1bn.
Egypt has undertaken arms purchases from countries other than the US since President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi took office. The US was formerly the only arms supplier to Egypt.