Russian 50 MiG-29 fighters to be delivered to Egypt in 2020

Egypt will receive some 50 MiG-29 fighters from Russia as scheduled in 2020, reported Sputnik.

The deputy director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) Alexei Frolkin said that Russia’s contract on the delivery of MiG-29 fighter aircraft to Egypt is in keeping with its schedule.

Sputnik quoted Frolkin saying that “The delivery will be carried out within the period set out in the contract.”

The contract, reportedly initiated after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in February 2014,” would be the largest order for the MiG-29 jets in the post-Soviet period.”

The contract on the delivery of some 50 MiG-29 Fulcrum multirole fighters reportedly sets the 2020 completion deadline.

In May 2015, Russia’s Vedomosti newspaper reported that the jets were going to Egypt as part of a US$3.5 billion arms deal signed by Putin and Sisi in April 2015.

The MiG-29 aircraft is a multi-role fighter of “4+” generation. The multi-role fighter is known for Russians by the name of Fulcrum, and has been designed to act as air defense, ground attack, and can carry six air-to-air R-73 missiles, in addition to missiles R-60, and 30 mm automatic cannon, and its top speed is 2445 km/h.

Despite its deteriorating economic conditions, Egypt ranked the second among developing nations for importing arms in 2015 – buying almost $12 billion worth of arms, according to a new US congressional report released last December.

The report,”Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations 2008-2015″ was prepared by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, a division of the Library of Congress, and delivered to legislators.

The annual review is considered the most comprehensive assessment of global arms sales available in an unclassified form. The report adjusts for inflation, so the sales totals are comparable year to year.

Last June, IHS Inc., the leading global source of critical information and insight, released a report stating that Egypt is the world’s fourth-largest defense importers. Egypt’s spending on military imports reached US$2.268 billion in 2015, according to the report.

In the same context, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), an international think-tank based in Sweden that tracks arms based on production price rather than the price at the time of purchase, stated that the value of arms transfers to Egypt in 2015 reached $1.475bn, compared to $686m in 2010 and $368m in 2014.

Egypt is the largest US military aid receptor after Israel with US$1.3 billion in annual military aid.

However, Egypt has also made many crucial arms purchases from other countries, including Russia, France, and Germany since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi reached power by a military coup in 2013.

The Egyptian-French agreement in 2015 is the most high-profile deals to purchase 5.2 billion euros’ worth of military equipment, including 24 Rafale fighter jets and a naval frigate, and a contract with Russian firm Rosoboronexport to buy 46 attack helicopters.

Egypt’s entire defense budget is classified as a state secret and no details on defense spending are available.

Even basic information unrelated to defense is classified on the grounds of national security.

The defense budget estimated to be around $4.4 billion according to the Transparency International.

In the same context, industry intelligence firm BMI Research estimated defense spending at US$5.1 billion in 2015, predicting it would exceed US$5.4 billion in 2016 and US$6.5 billion in 2020.