The Egyptian army confirmed that it had ordered 30 Rafale planes from the French defense company Dassault Aviation to strengthen “national security”.
The order, which follows the purchase in 2015 of 24 Rafale jets, will be financed by a 10-year loan, the army said in a statement Monday evening. Investigation site Disclose reported earlier Monday that the order was part of a secret mega-defense deal worth nearly four billion euros.
Egypt is the third largest arms importer in the world after Saudi Arabia and India, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Its arms purchases have grown 136% over the past decade and it has diversified its supplies beyond the United States, purchasing military equipment from France, Germany and Russia, said the institute in a report released earlier this year.