France is initiating negotiations with Egypt on buying two more Gowind Corvettes.
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visited Cairo last weekend. A French diplomat said after a meeting between Le Drian and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi “there is a bid for two more corvettes; the discussions are ongoing."
Egypt has already signed a contract with the French company DCNS to receive four Gowind-class corvettes in a USD $1.1-billion deal.
The request for more vessels came days after Cairo took delivery of three of the 24 Rafale fighter jets it bought from Paris for USD $5.9 billion, various media reported Saturday. Egypt has been the first country to buy the warplanes.
France’s increased sale of military equipment to Egypt comes against the backdrop of incessant efforts by Paris to broaden its presence in the Middle East military equations.
The socialist government of President Francois Hollande has already sealed deals with Saudi Arabia for delivering weapons worth more than USD $12 billion.
Egypt said that it wants the jets and warships to improve its military capability in dealing with rising threats from an unstable Libya and also the militancy in its northern Sinai Peninsula.