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Monday, 19 February 2018

Could a missing US component be sabotaging France’s Rafale sales to Egypt?

Could a missing US component be sabotaging France’s Rafale sales to Egypt? Talks over a potential sale of an additional 12 Rafale planes from France have floundered over the US refusing to export a key component of the Scalp missiles which come with the plane, France’s La Tribune reported on Friday. While Paris had greenlit exports of the Scalp missile, the US had blocked the sale, ostensibly over violations of the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations, the newspaper claims, citing unnamed sources. Egypt’s talks over the Rafale purchases with manufacturers Dassault Aviation and MBDA are believed to have been concluded during French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Cairo last year. “Either MBDA changes this component, or France and the US must come to a new understanding,” the newspaper added. Egyptian authorities are reportedly not too impressed, and have been demanding the Scalp missiles before an agreement on the Rafale planes is executed. Armed Forces spokesperson Tamer El Refai told Egypt Independent on Sunday that the issue of the missing American component of the Scalp cruise missile is considered a French “internal affair.”

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