Egypt currently flies Rafales and F-16s, and is now looking forward to induct the new Russian Mig-35s in its Air Force. Egyptian Air Force (EAF) which already flies Rafales and F-16s maintaining a higher degree of aerial superiority in the region, is now set to receive 50 MiG-35 from Russia under a $2bn military agreement signed in 2015.
The $2 billion deal, the largest in the post-Soviet era. It comes following joint negotiations that took place between the two countries in November 2013 over Egypt’s purchase of 24 MiG-29M fighter jets from Russia.
MiG-35 is a revision of the basic MiG-29. The aircraft features a more robust multi-role capability with enhanced use of air-to-air and air-to-ground high-precision weapons. Also, it has an increased combat range owing to an increase in its internal fuel capacity.
Mutual cooperation between the two countries developed after Al-Sisi was sworn into office on June 2014, particularly at the level of military aid, however, relations strained after a Russian passenger jet crashed over the Sinai Peninsula in October 2015. The resumption of Russian air traffic to the Egyptian capital of Cairo last year played a significant role in mitigating relations between the two countries.
In December 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a visit to Egypt, during which he agreed to build Egypt’s Al-Dabaa nuclear power plant. He also visited the North African country in February 2015 to attend the signing of several deals between Cairo and Moscow.