Can Egypt’s new French jets boost its Sinai fight?

BLACKEAGLE

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Can Egypt’s new French jets boost its Sinai fight?


French-made Rafale fighter jets (on R) fly near Cairo Tower in central Cairo, Egypt, July 21, 2015. (Reuters)

By Salma El Shahed | Al Arabiya News
Sunday, 26 July 2015

Egyptian pilots flew three Rafale fighter jets from France to Egypt this week - the first of 24 warplanes sold for a total of $5.4 billion - as the country’s military continues to battle a growing insurgency in the Sinai peninsula.

In recent weeks, security threats extended past the restive peninsula and into the capital Cairo, where a bomb killed the top public prosecutor Hesham Barakat. Another attack targeted the Italian consulate.

The latter attack was claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), to which militants in the Sinai province pledged allegiance to earlier this year.

“It is clear Egypt sees airpower as one way of constraining Islamists whether attacking armed militants within its borders, in Sinai, or along its borders in Libya,” said Max Reibman, an analyst at the Risk Advisory Group.

Yet the uncertainty that looms over the Egyptian economy raises questions on the necessity of spending $5.4 billion on an arms deal.

Instead, investing the money in one of many social issues in Egypt would “ultimately work in favor of the Egyptian government” as “that will demonstrate that it’s expanding the social safety net, cares about the welfare of its citizens, and as a disincentive for Egyptians to turn to radical groups,” said Reibman.

However, Reibman said “there is a real sense of urgency the Sisi government sees and if it takes several billion dollars to lock in the most advanced and sophisticated airpower to confront insurgents in Sinai then they’re going to do that,” he added.

Why French jets?
For a long period, France was the only country to buy the jets from French aircraft manufacturer Dassault. Its forces have ordered 180 warplanes and 137 have been delivered.

Attempts to sell the jet to countries such as South Korea, Singapore, Morocco, Switzerland and Brazil have seen the Rafale lose out to its foreign competitors.

Today, Egypt is the first country to acquire these jets, AFP reported.

The purchase of the jets is evidence that “there is a very clear geo-strategic framework at play,” he added.

Additionally, Egypt is in talks with France to buy two additional naval corvettes, a French diplomat said Saturday, as Paris’ Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visited Cairo in an African tour.

The talks also touched on Libya, where Egypt had conducted air strikes on Islamist militants and pushed for intervention amid a slide into chaos in the neighboring country.

Separately, choosing Daussault could be an attempt by the Egyptian government “to diversify their suppliers as they see that U.S. policy towards Egypt within the past year or so has become politicized,” Reibman said.

“Liberal critics in Washington are skeptical of the Sisi regime’s current crackdown on dissent and I think they see this clearly as a point of leverage,” he added.

France has emerged as one of Egypt’s most vocal supporters in Europe following criticism of Sisi over a massive crackdown on Islamists after the former army chief ousted Islamist President Mohammad Mursi in 2013.

And the key European nation is currently dealing with its own security issues, which began in January this year, when Islamist militants attacked the office of Charlie Hebdo, the Paris-based satirical magazine. Since then, France has seen several successive attacks on its soil.

French President Francois Hollande is expected in Egypt for the Aug. 6 inauguration of an extension to the Suez Canal.

Last Update: Sunday, 26 July 2015 KSA 20:01 - GMT 17:01
https://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/analysis/2015/07/26/Can-Egypt-s-new-French-jets-boost-its-Sinai-fight-.html
 
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Not sure how much these jets are going to help in this particular matter as the F-16s they had are more than capable of doing airstrikes against ground targets. But it's clear that Egypt is throwing some cash towards bolstering their defence, a lot has been talked about the possible corvettes they are interested in. Guess they are just preparing for what ever might be coming as the general situation around the middle east and north africa remains volatile.
 

Redheart

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Egypt should learn a thing or two from the U.S and their allies who are battling the same enemy. Airstrikes can weaken jihadist militias but they won't have much of an effect unless the troops on the ground finish the job [either killing them all or driving them out of their strongholds]. So while the new Rafale jets can boast Egypt's fight against militias in Sinai, they don't guarantee victory.
 

Corzhens

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Egypt should learn a thing or two from the U.S and their allies who are battling the same enemy. Airstrikes can weaken jihadist militias but they won't have much of an effect unless the troops on the ground finish the job [either killing them all or driving them out of their strongholds]. So while the new Rafale jets can boast Egypt's fight against militias in Sinai, they don't guarantee victory.
For me, it's not much of the functionality of the jets that matters. The big deal is the accord reached by Egypt and France with the sale of the jets. And considering that the Rafale is going broke due to lack of market, it is clear that Egypt had given that French company some business to speak of. But since those are fighter jets, somehow the Sinai forces will be stymied.
 

Susimi

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The new state of the art jets will help but what about their F-16's? I would have thought they would be more suited to muti-role combat...or maybe they are phasing them out?

It's clear that Egypt is building it's defences up and rightly so, what with all the stuff that's happening around that region.
 

Rowe992

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Well I am hoping that Egypt can bomb a couple of the bastards bases and reduce their weaponry and training abilities. It is full time that Africa helps to rid the world of these scums. Will need to have sustained attacks to put intense pressure on them.
 

Redheart

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For me, it's not much of the functionality of the jets that matters. The big deal is the accord reached by Egypt and France with the sale of the jets. And considering that the Rafale is going broke due to lack of market, it is clear that Egypt had given that French company some business to speak of.
Apparently it's not only the Egyptians who are buying Rafale jets. India isn't being left behind. They're buying 36 Rafale jets.

India Will Buy 36 Ready-to-Fly Dassault Rafale Fighters from France | The Diplomat

during his state visit to Paris, France, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an unexpected request to purchase 36 French Dassault Rafale jets in “fly away” (i.e. ready for immediate operational use) condition.

“I asked [French president Francois Hollande] to supply us with 36 Rafale jet fighter planes, the ready-to-fly models,” Modi noted on April 10, at a joint press conference with France’s presidential residence.

Modi’s announcement represents a major advance for India’s medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) upgrade plans and represents a pragmatic approach to what had become a major point of contention for the two countries.

Last week’s announcement leaves the door open for India to purchase additional fighters from Dassault.

“France has always been a reliable supplier for India from jet fighters to submarines,” Modi said. “We want the terms and conditions to be negotiated on this issue and our civil servants are going to debate these aspects in depth and press ahead with the negotiations.”

French President Francois Hollande remarked that with the announcement of the deal, the defense relationship between India and France would shift “into a new gear.”

Dassault Aviation released a statement noting that it welcomed India’s “intention to finalize the acquisition of 36 Rafale aircraft at conditions that will allow [it] to meet rapidly the security needs of India.”

India, one of the largest importers of weapons worldwide, was slated to originally purchase 126 Rafale fighters as part of an $12 billion 2007 tender.
 

Corzhens

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Well I am hoping that Egypt can bomb a couple of the bastards bases and reduce their weaponry and training abilities. It is full time that Africa helps to rid the world of these scums. Will need to have sustained attacks to put intense pressure on them.
Although you sound violent, I like your stand on bombing. That's also my idea of ending the wars all over the globe. Why don't countries who have the bombs use their armaments to finish off those war addicts? Once and for all, when those warriors in the field are annihilated and no one's left to fight then there will be peace. What's the point in holding your punches when you have the deadly fists? Pardon me for this comment, just sounding out my thoughts.
 
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