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Egypt receives first three Rafale fighters from Dassault

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The Rafale jets donning the Egyptian national flag fly to Cairo. A Dassault Aviation photo

ST. CLOUD, FRANCE (BNS): Egypt, which became the first foreign customer for the French-made Rafale multi-role fighters, has received the first three jets from Dassault Aviation on July 20.

The official ceremony marking the acceptance by Egypt of its first three Rafales was held at the Dassault Aviation flight test center in Istres in the presence of Egyptian Ambassador to France, Ehab Badawy, and Dassault Aviation Chairman & 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 capable of meeting the country's operational requirements and enabling Egypt, with full sovereignty, to secure its geostrategic position in the region, Dassault Aviation said.

At the same time, an initial group of Egyptian users has been trained in France. Egyptian pilots, trained by the French Air Force, will fly the first three Rafales to Cairo on the day after the ceremony, the French defence firm said.

In February this year, Egypt had announced to acquire the 24 Rafale fighters as part of a US$ 5.93 billion defence deal, marking the first foreign sale of the French-made fighters.

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