CAIRO: France delivered the first three Rafale fighters to Egypt Monday, among the 24 Rafale air jets deal signed in February, Youm7 reported.
Egypt’s flag was printed on the air jets as an assertion for joining the Egyptian Air Force.
The jets were delivered in a ceremony held in Aster air base in Southeast France; Egyptian pilots trained by the French air force will be flying the fighters to Cairo Tuesday, reported Reuters.
In February, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le signed a $5.9 billion deal with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi on the sale of 24 Rafale fighter jets, a naval frigate and related military equipments to Egypt.
“The Egyptian authorities have just let me know their intention of acquiring 24 Rafale planes, a multi-mission frigate as well as related equipment,” French President François Hollande stated in February.
The deal, which will upgrade Egypt’s arsenal, comes amid security threats in the Sinai Peninsula and the rise of Jihadist groups in the Egypt-Libya borderline.
The deal was first planned during Sisi’s visit to France in November when he discussed ways to upgrade Egypt’s fleet of 18 French Mirage gets, according to Youm7.
Dassault Aviation, the company that produces Rafale and Mirage jets, describes them in its website as “the right answer to the capability approach selected by an increasing number of governments.”