The Egyptian Air Force (EAF), the most capable in Africa have been further enhanced by the acquisition and delivery of several new modern Russian and French fighter jets.
Egypt recently took delivery of three type of jets, namely MiG-29, Su-35, and Rafales; and has placed orders for additional units.
The north African air force is seeking to significantly upgrade it’s aerial warfighting craft following recent regional security uncertainties.
Recent events in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa is a source of concern to Cairo particularly in the face of rising Turkish, UAE, and Russian influence in Libya.
Likewise, the latest developments with Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam project (GERD) leading to aggression provides an impetus to acquire more capabilities.
This month, Egypt received all its MiG-29M/M2 Fulcrum-E fighter jets it ordered from Russia. Egypt ordered 50 MiG-29M/M2 aircraft in 2015, with deliveries between 2017 and 2021.
The Egyptian MiG-29M/M2 Fulcrum-E are vastly advanced version, capable of aerial refueling equipment, allowing the use of MiG-29M/M2 fighter jets as air tankers.
The type also features a redesigned airframe and mechanical flight controls replaced by a fly-by-wire system.
To arm the new MiGs, Egypt received 300 R-73 and 300 R-77 beyond visual range air-to-air missiles says Stockholm InternationalPeace Research Institute’s (SIPRI’s) arms transfers database.
Likewise, Russia have started delivering two dozen Su-35S SuperFlanker fighter jets to Egypt, the north African country ordered in March 2018, as part of a $2 billion mega deal.
Russia’s JSC Sukhoi factory in Komsomolsk Sur Amour in the Russian Far East began manufacturing the Su-35S for Egypt in May2020, with delivery expected to be completed in early 2023.
The Su-35S is considered Russia’s most advanced operational nin-stealth fighter yet. The type is a heavily upgraded 4++ generation supermaneuverable multirole fighter jet developed from the legacy Su-27 fighter jet.
The aircraft features several fifth-generation technologies, and is distinguished by its new avionics suite based on the information control system, a new radar, and plasma ignition engines of the increased capacity and thrust vectoring.
With 12 to 14 weapon hard points, the Su-35 is able to use K-77M radar-guided missiles that reportedly have a range of almost 200km, and and supersonic Kh-31 (AS-17 ‘Krypton’) Air-To-Surface missile.