Thales has confirmed that Egypt has ordered 24 Dassault Rafale multirole aircraft, following a selection announcement for an undisclosed number of the type on 12 February.

Dassault had previously announced that the aircraft had been selected by Cairo, but an order was not specifically announced, and nor was the number of required aircraft disclosed.

This will mark the first export order for the Rafale; until now Dassault has encountered difficulties in securing an international sale outside of France.

One such promising export sale comes from India, which, despite having selected the aircraft to meet a 126-unit requirement some three years ago, has not yet finalised the deal. Dassault says that negotiations are underway with “several governments”.

Rafale Egypt - Dassault


Egypt already operates three Dassault strike types, namely the Alpha Jet, Mirage 5 and Mirage 2000.

For Rafale, Thales provides an active electronically scanned array radar for the aircraft, which is the first European combat radar with the electronic scanning capability, Thales says.

It also supplies the Spectra electronic warfare system, optronics, communications systems, navigation, an identification suite, avionics and power-generation systems. This amounts to approximately 25% of the total value of the Rafale, Thales says.One DCNS FREMM-class frigate was also ordered by Egypt at the same time as the 24 Rafale order.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian air force announced on 16 February that it conducted air strikes against Islamic State militants in Libya in retaliation for IS beheading 21 Christian Egyptians.

The air strikes took place in the early hours of 16 February, and targeted the camps and assembly and training centres of the IS terrorist group in Libya. The strikes were carried out "completely andaccurately", according to theEgyptian government.