The French government provided a financing structure that was crucial to the sale of a sophisticated multimission frigate to Egypt, a source close to the deal said.
“Without the financing structure there would not have been the contract,” the source said.
Cairo signed the contract on Feb. 16 with DCNS for the frigate, part of the €5.2 billion ($5.9 billion) French arms package comprising 24 Dassault Rafale fighter jets and short- and medium-range missiles.
There is a lack of official information on the prices. But the amount for the frigate for Egypt is based on a price of some €800 million per ship that France will pay for its order for eight of the new warships, the source said. That figure does not include maintenance.
The price of the multimission frigate, dubbed Frégate Multimission, has risen as the orders fell from an initial 17 to 11 and now eight FREMMS, with a prospective order for three intermediate frigates.
Egypt is due to pay for the frigate in full rather than by installments when the ship is handed over in time for the August opening of a waterway on the Suez canal. Payment of a deposit and installments is the method used when the ship is being built, but the frigate is already ready for delivery.
Egypt bought four DCNS Gowind corvettes last summer for some €1 billion and talks continue for the two additional ships under option. That deal is seen by some as key for the larger order just placed and which includes the first export order for the Rafale.
Morocco, a former French protectorate, is the only other export customer for the FREMM. That purchase, which was at a low price, was effectively a goodwill gesture as Rabat had ordered the Lockheed Martin F-16.