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Russia, Egypt agree on contract for MiGs worth up to $2 billion

Staff writer |
Russia and Egypt have agreed on a contract to supply 46 Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter aircraft, the Vedomosti newspaper reported, citing sources in the Russian aviation industry.

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The contract could be signed in the very near future, the paper says. A Rosoboronexport spokesman declined to comment. Efforts by the newspaper to reach a spokesperson for the Russian aircraft manufacturing corporation MiG have failed.

Plans to supply the MiG-29 fighters to Egypt were reported a long time ago, the newspaper said. Last year Russia and Egypt signed and are now implementing a contract worth at least $0.5 billion to supply S-300V4 surface-to-air missile systems.

The new contract, for 46 MiG-29 armed aircraft, could be worth up to $2 billion, the newspaper said, citing an unnamed aviation industry manager.
br> According to Military Balance, the Egyptian Air Force has fighter aircraft made in the United States (F-16), France (Mirage 2000) and the USSR (MiG-21 and its Chinese derivatives, J-7).

The U.S. F-16 fighters make up the largest fleet in the Egyptian Air Force. After the Islamist president Mohammed Morsi was toppled by the military in July 2013, the U.S. suspended its arms shipments to Egypt, hence the current diversification policy.

In February 2015, Egypt bought from France 24 Rafale fighters, a FREMM-class frigate and missiles to the tune of 5 billion euros. Deals with Russia are part of the diversification, and its MiG-29 fighters are intended to replace obsolete Soviet and Chinese fighters in the Egyptian Air Force.

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