PARIS — For nearly a year, the French air force has been operating at a capacity not anticipated in the nation’s current defense strategy, and at a tempo that must be maintained even as a sudden surge in Rafale exports stresses air personnel and platforms. Already the service is feeling the strain of supporting a €5.2 billion ($5.7 billion) deal with Egypt, announced in February, for 24 Rafale combat jets. The contract calls for pulling six aircraft intended for France this ...


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