Egypt has reached an agreement with France for the purchase of another 30 Dassault Aviation Rafale fighter jets, the country’s defense ministry confirmed on May 4.
While the defense ministry did not reveal financial details, reports say the deal is worth around $4.5 billion.
According to French investigative website Disclose, documents for the sale were signed last month and were supposed to remain secret, at the request Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Another two contracts that were reportedly signed with missile specialist MBDA and Safran Electronics are worth $240 million.
The agreement has also been confirmed by French armed force minister Florence Parly who welcomed the “export success”, adding it would help maintain 7,000 jobs in France over the next 3 years.
The Rafale sale would bring the total number of the aircraft in Egyptian Air Force service to 54. The country previously bought 16 two-seater and 8 single-seater Rafales from France in 2015.
The deal with Egypt comes after another sales success for Dassault Aviation. In January this year, France finalized a deal with Greece for the latter’s purchase of six new and 12 used Rafale aircraft that would be transferred from the French Air Force. Immediately after the bilateral deal, the French defense ministry ordered 12 new Rafales to replace the airframes sold to Greece.
The agreement between France and Egypt has already drawn criticism from human rights watch groups, which say Egypt has been experiencing its worst human rights crisis in many decades under president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government.