Dassault may be signing deals with Egypt and Qatar to sell 12 Rafale fighter jets to each of them within the next two months.
Egypt and Qatar could convert their options on 12 additional Rafale fighters each by the end of the year and order 24 aircraft altogether, according to the LaTribune publication.
Egypt has been facing opposition from the French Treasury for several months to obtain the same favorable financial package it obtained for the original order, but President Emmanuel Macron is said to have intervened to ensure that the Egyptian purchase goes through.
Dassault CEO Eric Trappier recently visited Doha as the options offer of additional batch of 12 Rafale was due to expire, La Tribune reported adding that the contract for the additional planes could be signed as on December 7 when French President Macron is due to make an official visit to Qatar.
The original contract with Qatar, and worth €6.3 billion including a very large weapon package, was signed in May 2015 and covered six Rafale two-seaters and 18 single-seaters.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi asked Macron in September to overrule the French Treasury’s veto on the sale of 12 additional Rafale, and La Tribune reported Nov 16 that French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visited Cairo to tell al-Sissi his request had been approved.
An Egyptian delegation is currently in France for the deal’s final negotiations, La Tribune said quoting several unidentified sources, said the contract could be concluded in the coming weeks.
Egypt in the past two years has ordered €6.8 billions’ worth of French military equipment, including the first 24 Rafales.