Sights on first Egyptian Rafales

A mere five months after the contract for 24 Dassault Rafales for the Egyptian Air Force was signed, the first jets in Egyptian colours were sighted in France this week. They were seen at Istres airbase in southern France while performing training flights. More is at

The deal for 24 Rafales is worth about 5 billion dollars and came as breakthrough for Dassault, which has struggled for years in selling the Rafale. Egypt has been a long time customer for the French company, but the deal came as a bit of a surprise nonetheless.

A reports says the delivery of the first aircraft to Egypt is imminent. The aircraft should fly from France to Egypt as early next week. The Egyptian Air Force is a long-standing customer for French military aircraft. The Al-Qūwāt al-Gawwīyä al-Miṣrīyä flies about 18 Mirage 2000s and between 70 and 82 Mirage Vs, as well as 55 to 65 Alpha Jet advanced trainers and light attack aircraft.

The Rafale was launched in 1998 as France’s next-generation combat jet. The French Air Force (Armée de l’Air) and French Naval Aviation (Aeronautique Navale) already have 137 on strength, with 42 more coming. The planes are being produced at a rate of 11 aircraft per year. Other Rafale customers are India (36 aircraft) and Qatar (24).

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© 2015 editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: Wonderful promo shot of a French Rafale in its future habitat (Image © Dassault Aviation)