The official ceremony marking the acceptance by the Arab Republic of Egypt of its first three Rafale was held this 20 July at the Dassault Aviation flight test center in Istres (southern France) in the presence of Ehab Badawy, Egyptian Ambassador to France, and Dassault Aviation CEO, Eric Trappier.
This first delivery comes just five months after the Egyptian decision to acquire 24 Rafales (16 two-seaters and 8 single-seaters) in order to equip its Air Force with a latest-generation multirole fighter.
Eric Trappier declared: “This contract constitutes a new milestone in the cooperation between Dassault Aviation and Egypt since the 1970s. (...) After the Mirage 5, the Alpha Jet and the Mirage 2000, the Rafale is the fourth Dassault aircraft to fly in Egyptian colors, and Egypt is the first export customer for the Rafale, as it was for the Mirage 2000. We are very pleased with this partnership, which over time has shown its solidity and ensured the durability of the historical links between our two countries.”
An initial group of Egyptian pilots and mechanics has been trained in France by the French Air Force. The Egyptian pilots delivered the first three Rafales to Cairo on 21 July, 2015. Three other aircraft will be delivered at the beginning of 2016.