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Egypt receives first single-seat Rafales

26 July 2017
Photographs of the first two single-seat Rafale C fighters for the Egyptian Air Force were released by the country's MoD on 26 July. Source: Egyptian MoD

Egypt has received the first of eight single-seat Dassault Rafale C multirole combat aircraft, the country’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 26 July.

Two aircraft making up the fourth installment of Rafale deliveries (the previous three installments being made up of twin-seat Rafale B platforms) arrived in-country seemingly on the same day as the announcement that was made via the MoD’s official Twitter account.

With these latest arrivals, the Egyptian Air Force (EAF) has received into service 11 of the 24 Rafales that it ordered from France in February 2015. By the time deliveries are complete, the EAF will field 16 Rafale B two-seat and eight Rafale C single-seat aircraft.

While most fighter customers receive twin-seat variants first to allow for the training of pilots ahead of the arrival of the fully operational single seaters, in the case of the Egyptian Rafale deal it appears that the EAF intends to use the Rafale Bs in a full combat role, with the additional crew member taking on a mission commander role. Indeed, it was reported that in March this year a number of the twin-seat aircraft delivered to date participated in strikes against the Islamic State in Libya in retaliation to a terrorist attack on Coptic Christian pilgrims in Egypt.

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