In the aftermath of the delivery of the three fighter jets, which are the first part of the $2 billion agreement signed between Egypt and Russia at the beginning of 2020, other batches are also underway. According to the Russian economy magazine Expert, the first fighter jets, were expected to be delivered to Egypt in early 2021, but more planes could be delivered in the first batch. Although a clear figure is not disclosed to the public, it is reported that it covers two dozen of fighter jets.
It is stated that the production of Su-35 fighter jets for Egypt started at the JSC Sukhoi factory in Komsomolsk-na-Amure, Russia. Finally, on 7 December 2020, the Su-35S fighter aircraft with tail number 9213 produced by Russia for the Egyptian Air Force was airborne. Also in December 2020, other coated Su-35S fighter jets (with tail number 9214) flying used by the Egyptian Air Force were also spotted. The said flights were carried out at the facilities of Russian aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi in Ramenskoye, Moscow.
US Warns Egypt about Sanctions
Washington, on the other hand, tried to block the agreement between Russia and Egypt. R. Clarke Cooper, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs responsible for political-military relations, said during the Aviation Fair in Dubai on November 18, 2019, that Egypt could be subjected to sanctions due to this purchase and that it could be prevented from making new military purchases from the US. Prior to that, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper also warned Egypt.
Egypt’s Import Figures Continue to Increase
Egypt has become the third-largest arms importer country in the world, reaching a share of 5.8% with 212% growth compared to the previous period between 2015 and 2019. SIPRI founds Egypt’s extraordinary armament arises from its military involvement in Libya and Yemen and terrorist operations in Sinai. However, the main increase in the armament of Egypt is due to the fact that the administration, who took office through a coup in the country, used its arms purchases for its international legitimacy. In this way, Egypt increases its military power and keeps its relations with many countries vivid. Egypt’s powered military wing receives serious support, especially from the Gulf countries.
France (35%) and Russia (34%) met 69% of Egypt’s arms imports in the 2015-2019 period. The USA’s market share in Egypt fell from 47% to 15% in the previous period.