An annual French parliamentary report published on Tuesday showed Egypt topped the list of French arms importers in 2021, after ordering 30 Rafale fighter jets worth 4.5 billion euros, ahead of Greece, Croatia, India and Saudi Arabia, according to France 24 news agency.
The report also revealed that French arms exports doubled last year to 11.7 billion euros, placing France as the third largest exporter of military equipment in the world.
In 2021, Egypt requested the purchase of French weapons worth 4.5 billion euros, ahead of Greece (2 billion euros), Croatia (971 million euros), India (492 million euros) and Saudi Arabia (381 million euros), according to the report, which revealed its content in the middle of September Challenge magazine.
French arms exports doubled in 2021 to 11.7 billion euros, including 5.2 billion for the Near and Middle East, or 44% of total sales.
Exports to Europe accounted for 38% of purchase orders in 2021, with a total amount of 3.9 billion euros.
Armed Forces Minister Sebastien Licornu wrote in the foreword to the report that, with 11.7 billion euros of orders received in 2021, "France recorded its third highest historical level in terms of arms exports. It is already certain that 2022 will also see significant results."
This year France in particular concluded a huge contract for the sale of 80 Rafale aircraft with the Emirates in addition to the sale of six of these combat aircraft and three frigates to Greece.
The 2021 figures put France as the third largest exporter of military equipment in the world after the United States and Russia.
The credit for this is due in 2021 to the combat aircraft contracts produced by Dassault Aviation, from which France sold six new and 12 used aircraft to Greece, 12 used aircraft to Croatia and 30 new Rafale aircraft to Egypt.
Other major contracts include the sale of 52 Caesar guns to the Czech Republic as well as ten H145M helicopters, radar and surface-to-air systems to Serbia, according to the report. Small contracts of less than 200 million euros amounted to 4.1 billion euros.