Egypt: Talks with France over €5bn submarine deal amid country’s dire economic crisis

The Egyptian government is on talks over purchase of €5bn worth of Naval Group Barracuda-class submarines from France

Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi wants to buy up to six Barracuda-class submarines from Naval Group, the European naval defence leader of which the French state owns 62%.

However, France is dragging its heels on what would be a more than €5bn contract, according to Africa Intelligence.

Rassd News Network on its Twitter account published a tweet speaking about “Details of the French submarine deal that Sisi seeks to buy worth 5 billion euros. Rassd News Network attached a videograph explaining details of the  deal, as follows:

Despite the economic crisis in Egypt, the Sisi regime is seeking to buy submarines loaded with cruise missiles worth billions of euros from French companies.

According to the Africa Intelligence website, negotiations began in February 2022, and that the Egyptian navy wanted to equip the submarines with cruise missiles for an additional one billion euros.

However, France is stalling on the deal due to several concerns, most notably:

– The reactions of neighboring countries, as the French Defense Minister opposes the deal because of his fear that it will contribute to destabilizing the Mediterranean basin, which is witnessing strong regional tensions and is already saturated with dozens of submarines of the Italian, Greek, Turkish and Russian Navy.

– Also, the export of cruise missiles to Egypt would worry Israel, something that France does not desire.

– Concerns about Egypt’s debts, as the French Ministry of Finance fears that Egypt will not be able to pay the price of the exorbitant deal due to the huge debts that the country suffers from, as it approaches $400 billion, and that Paris may have to pay the value of contracts signed with French companies in If Egypt fails to pay the price of the deal.

It is noteworthy that Sisi concluded several arms deals with French companies worth billions of euros, most notably:

– 24 Rafale planes, a frigate and two Mistral ships, for 1 billion euros in 2015

– 30 Rafale planes for 4 billion euros in 2021.

French Barracuda-class nuclear-powered submarines are being built by shipbuilding company Naval Group. The company was chosen by the Australian Government on 26 April 2016 to build twelve submarines under a AU$50 billion (US$35.8 billion) contract.

However, On 16 September 2021, Australia cancelled the project and entered into a partnership with the US and UK, known as AUKUS pact, to obtain nuclear submarine technology.