Egypt will buy 24 Rafale and an accompanying frigate, Mr. Hollande said at a news conference after a European summit in Brussels.
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France and Egypt have been negotiating since November last year on the sale of the multipurpose war planes, a Fremm naval frigate and MBDA air to air missiles in a multibillion-euro deal, according to people close to the talks.
The French president said the contract is a triumph for French industrial policy and the action of the state, which has intervened to guarantee part of the financing of the deal.
“We’ve missed out on contracts several times over the last 10 years, probably because there wasn’t the will to accompany the talks, to finance and conclude a deal,” Mr. Hollande said.
The contract would be the first overseas for the Rafale, 14 years after it entered service and three years after Dassault Aviation entered exclusive negotiations to sell 126 of the combat jets to India.
Delays in finalising the Indian contract are expected to be discussed at a major Indian air show starting on Feb. 18.