Egypt has signed contracts with the French defence companies DCNS, Dassault Aviation and MBDA worth €5.2 billion for the supply of a FREMM frigate, 24 Rafale fighters and a large batch of missiles. In order to meet the very short delivery timetable for the warship, the French Navy has agreed to the transfer of the near-complete Normandie from the current production line. In return, DCNS is to speed up the rate of production of subsequent ships to head off any gaps in operational efficiency.

In practical terms, the move will only delay completion of the project by several months but will necessitate a one-year service extension of the anti-submarine destroyers Montcalm and Jean de Vienne, whose decommissioning dates will be pushed back to 2017 and 2018 respectively. This will also require the reorganisation of crews and trails programmes with those on Normandie moving to the next in the series, Provence.

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