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The Rafale is a hit in the Mediterranean


Written by Gérard Tur on Thursday, November 25th 2021 à 15:29 | Read 492 times


Greece, Egypt, Croatia, sales of Rafales are doing well around the Mediterranean. Even if it means accepting unsavoury customers.


Rafales in Croatia, Egypt and Greece. (photo: Dassault Aviation - A.Pecchi)
Rafales in Croatia, Egypt and Greece. (photo: Dassault Aviation - A.Pecchi)
MEDITERRANEAN. Mediterranean countries appreciate the French Rafale aircraft. Emmanuel Macron is currently in Croatia (24/25 November) to conclude the sale of twelve second-hand Rafales. A contract worth one billion euros, with deliveries scheduled for 2023 and 2025. Dassault will train Croatian pilots and work with local companies to maintain the fighter bombers.

Greece, despite its serious debt problems, bought eighteen Rafales in January 2021 for €2.3 billion (eighteen second-hand and six new).

Smugglers

But it is in Egypt that France is doing the best business with the Rafale. Marshal al-Sissi, who has held the reins of his country with an iron fist since a coup in 2013, has already signed for twenty-four aircraft.

He has just added thirty more to the list, along with missiles, training... in short, an extension of four billion euros all the same. A credit purchase guaranteed by the French state. It must be said that the two governments work hand in hand for "security" in the region and the fight against terrorism.

Marshal al-Sissi has a very broad notion of terrorism that includes his political opponents and the Bedouins who traffic. The media Disclose, Télérama and Antenne 2 are currently publishing a shocking investigation. With the blessing of the French government, three French companies, Nexa Technologies, Ercom-Suneris and Dassault Systèmes, have sold massive digital surveillance tools to Marshal al-Sissi. These technologies allow the dictator's repressive services (there are an estimated 60,000 political prisoners in Egyptian jails according to NGOs) to monitor the net, listen in on telephone conversations, geolocate mobile phones and exploit the mass of this information via a search engine.

Even better, France has "lent" military personnel and the equipment that goes with it for aerial surveillance of western Egypt (the common border between Egypt and Libya). Officially to prevent the intrusion of jihadist terrorists. In reality, the military very quickly realised that their aerial surveillance only concerned smugglers that the Egyptian air force bombed as soon as the French soldiers reported a convoy. Alerted, the French authorities never stopped the mission, according to the three media.

Outside the Mediterranean, the Rafales fan club could grow in the coming months. With there also solvent customers but who are not very zealous when it comes to respecting human rights. After Qatar (thirty-six planes), the United Arab Emirates are hesitating to buy sixty or so, India one hundred and ten (it already has forty), and Indonesia thirty-six.



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