Egypt’s military has confirmed it ordered 30 Rafale jets from French defence firm Dassault Aviation to shore up “national security”. The order, which follows the 2015 purchase of 24 Rafale jets, will be financed through a 10-year loan, the military said in a statement late Monday.
Investigative site Disclose had reported earlier Monday that the order was part of a secret mega-defence deal worth almost four billion euros ($4.8 billion). Egypt is the world’s third biggest arms importer after Saudi Arabia and India, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Its arms purchases grew by 136 percent over the last decade and it has diversified its sourcing beyond the United States, buying military equipment from France, Germany and Russia, the institute said in a report released earlier this year.
The new Rafale deal “reinforces the strategic and military partnership between France and Egypt,” French Defence Minister Florence Parly said in a statement on Tuesday.