After the Meko frigates of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS), Leonardo's helicopters. And after Brazil, Egypt would she sulk in turn France? Despite political support from Paris and Emmanuel Macron's visit in late January in Cairo, Airbus Helicopters, which offered the NH90 Marine (NFH), was not selected by Egypt for the purchase of 20 to 30 helicopters. It is the rival of always Leonardo, who wins this beautiful export order with the AW149.
The Italian group, which is part of the NHIndustries consortium with Airbus and the Dutch Fokker created under the NH90 program, was able to play on both charts. Egypt informed France last week of the choice of the supplier of its helicopter fleet. The spirit, which had prevailed from 2014 in the relations between France and Egypt, seems today well over.
Three major cases in pain
France, which until now defended three major issues in Egypt (NH90, Rafale and Gowind corvettes), believed it. Especially since after many hesitations, she presented to the Egyptians "very advantageous offers in terms of financing and loan guarantee"says a source close to the file. But on the side of the industrialists, one grunts on the financial proposals of France, which are unacceptable for the Egyptians with regard to those which addressed Germany for the frigates Meko.
Paris is also in "close connection" with Cairo and the industrialists "in daily contact" with the armed forces, it says. France therefore hoped for a rapid and positive outcome. It's missed for the helicopters. The Minister of Armies Florence Parly had an exchange on Tuesday with her Egyptian counterpart to take stock of the other files.
A good newcomer … from the United States
Despite the visit of the chief of staff of the Egyptian Navy ten days ago, the file on the sale of Gowind 5 and 6 is at a standstill, according to La Tribune. On the other hand, according to concordant sources, Naval Group was finally able to tear off the implementation of the maintenance contract of the first four corvettes sold to Egypt, signed last July (150 million euros). But at what cost…
Regarding the additional twelve burst control, the folder moves forward. France has recently cleared a major hurdle. According to our information, the United States lifted the blockage, which they imposed via the ITAR regulation, to France on the export to Egypt of the air-to-air missile Meteor, which is very pleasing to the army of the Egyptian air. A very good news for MBDA, already facing the blockage of the Scalp cruise missile in Egypt. Because Cairo wishes to equip all its Rafale fleet, including the additional twelve, with Meteor. However, we would still be far from a signature, said a good observer of the land of the Pharaohs.