26-09-2021 03:02 AM Jerusalem Timing

France, Egypt Negotiate Rafale Fighter Jet Deal

France, Egypt Negotiate Rafale Fighter Jet Deal

France is in advanced talks to sell Dassault Aviation-built Rafale fighter jets to Egypt for around 6 billion euros ($6.88 billion)

fighter jetsFrance is in advanced talks to sell Dassault Aviation-built Rafale fighter jets to Egypt for around 6 billion euros ($6.88 billion), Les Echos newspaper reported on Thursday.

Despite exclusive negotiations with India for the last three years, Dassault has still not found a foreign buyer for its multi-role jet, the Rafale, billed to be one of the most effective and sophisticated fighter jets in the world, but also one of the most expensive.

The business daily said the two countries were close to finalizing a deal for 24 jets and a naval frigate worth 5 to 6 billion euros.

The deal could be financed by as much as 50 percent through a credit facility arranged by French credit insurer Coface.

A spokesman for Dassault declined to comment.

France secured its first major military contract in Egypt in about 20 years in 2014 with a 1 billion-euro (880 million pounds) deal to sell four naval frigates.

Senior French officials have repeatedly travelled to Egypt over the last year and Sisi in November undertook a state visit to Paris, where discussions were held about replacing Egypt's fleet of 18 Dassault-made Mirage jets.

Egypt was the first foreign buyer of the Mirage in 1981.