Rafale, MiG-29M and upgraded F-16 combat aircrafts will decrease major missions limitations of Egyptian Air Force (EAF).
Real BVR Capability
Until the first Rafale jets arrival, the main drawback of EAF was the lack of BVR capability, because the US Government never permitted the sale of AIM-120 missile to Egypt. As a result, all F-16 continue to carry the AIM-7, a weapon that needs the fighter's guidance until the kill of the target. But MICA changes this. In addition, if the possible delivery of R-77 for the 50 MiGs takes place, Egypt will possess a nucleus of 54 fighters (46 MiG-29M and 8 Rafale EM) ideal for Air-to-Air missions.
Simultaneous Precision Strike
As a major US ally, Egypt had the opportunity to get very early AGM-65 missiles and LGB kits with the appropriate number of targeting pods. Later AGM-88 and JDAM were also delivered. The same happened with Mirage 2000 that can use the AS-30L and ARMAT missile types.
Today EAF takes a further step, getting Black Shaheen cruise missiles and AASM smart bombs. AASM can be carried at six on Rafale and strike different targets if all launched simultaneously. A similar capability have the 20 newest F-16C/D carrying JDAM bombs.
AAR: A New Capability
During the exercise “Ramses 2016” a very rare spectacle took place; the air refuelling between two Egyptian Rafales jet aircrafts. Egypt never had an appropriate AAR platform. As a result, even this unorthodox tactic could boost EAF ability to strike deeper in the enemy land. However, the majority of the war planes, that consists of F-16, cannot receive fuel during the flight with this method.
As the main competitor remains the Israeli Air Force (IAF), EAF has to solve the F-35I enigma. The American - made stealth aircraft is said to be invisible against older generation jet planes, even carrying modern AESA radars. Moreover, EAF has to face the present capable F-15/-16 fleet equipped with extremely advanced EW systems. But the most essential challenge isn't other than EAF staying competitive after its very ambitious modernization program will be completed.