Rafale training centre

Egypt opened a pilot training centre for the Rafale fighter during a ceremony attended by Egyptian defence minister Sedky Sobhy and his French counterpart Florence Parly on December 16.

Sobhy and Parly toured the new facilities, understood to be at Gebel El Basur Air Base outside Cairo, and held talks that touched on the exchange of expertise and training and cooperation between the French and Egyptian defence industries. Egypt ordered 24 Rafales from Dassault in 2015 and in late November received its final three single seat Rafale EM fighters, which joined 34 Squadron ‘Wild Wolves’ a unit assigned to 203 Tactical Fighter Wing ‘Storm’ also understood to be based at Gebel El Basur.

Egypt has so far ordered 16 twoseat Rafale DM and eight single-seat Rafale EM fighters. Six Rafale DMs are in service and the type has been used operationally, conducting air strikes against Islamic State in Libya. Egypt is now looking to acquire another 12 Rafales, which are an option on the original contract.