Egyptian fighter order a shot in the arm for RSK-Mi

A Soviet-built MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter from Germany (DEU), flown by Colonel (COL) Pitt Hauser, Wing Commander of the 73rd Fighter Wing (FW), Laage Air Base (AB), Germany, flies over the Gulf of Mexico during a live-fire training exercise.

The imminent sale by Russia of 46 Mikoyan MiG-29 fighters to Egypt, reported by Russian business daily Vedomosti on 25 May, was stated to be worth about USD2 billion, making it the largest order for the MiG-29 since the fall of the Soviet Union.

The MiG-29 contract would follow the announcement in February that Egypt is buying 24 Dassault Rafale multirole fighters, continuing Egypt’s history of operating both French and Russian combat aircraft that dates back to 1973. Using Russia and France as suppliers also insulates Egypt from any US sanctions affecting its fighter fleet, as happened in the wake of the July 2013 coup when Washington froze the transfer of defence items such as Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters.

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