Major milestone in Rafale export programme

Egypt and Dassault Aviation have recorded a major milestone in the Rafale export programme.


Rafalation: The Egyptian air force has celebrated the completion of 10,000 flying hours.
Picture: Dassault.

The Egyptian air force has celebrated the completion of 10,000 flying hours by its fleet of Dassault Rafale fighters, becoming the first Rafale export customer to do so.

A formal ceremony was held In the presence of senior Egyptian authorities and Dassault Aviation representatives at Gebel el Basur air base (Beheira), home to Egypt's Rafales, which serve with the 203rd Tactical Combat Wing.

Eric Trappier, chairman and chief executive of Dassault Aviation, said: “This celebration around the 10,000 flight hours of the Rafale salutes the great mastery of the Egyptian air force, the excellence of the Rafale, and honours Dassault Aviation, which has maintained strong relations with Egypt based on trust and commitment for nearly 50 years.”

Egypt became the first export customer for the Rafale with an order for 24 examples In 2015. Sixteen Rafale DM two-seaters and eight Rafale EM single-seaters were delivered between 2015 and 2019.

A second order, for 30 Rafales, was delayed until February 2021 while a solution was found to International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) considerations which blocked the delivery of MDBA SCALP-EG air-launched cruise missiles.

When these examples are delivered, the Rafale will become the second most numerous fighter type in  Egyptian air force service, after the 200 or so Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons in use.

Jon Lake

Jon Lake

Jon is defence editor for both Arabian and African Aerospace magazines.