A North African country is set to receive its first two MiG-29 fighter jets from Russia this year, after a contract for 50 MiG-29M/M2s was signed with Rosoboronexport in April 2015.
This is according to RAC MiG deputy director general Alexey Beskibalov, who made the comments on 5 February, according to RIA Novosti. Deliveries should be completed by 2020. Beskibalov said that instalments have already been paid to Russia.
It is likely the order comes from Egypt – in 2014 Egypt expressed interest in MiG-29 fighters, Mi-35 attack helicopters and other hardware and in September that year Rosoboronexport said it reached a preliminary deal for Cairo to buy arms worth $3.5 billion
In May 2015 Russian business daily Vedomosti quoted two aviation industry sources as saying that Egypt had agreed to buy 46 MiG-29s, after more than a year of deliberation. Representatives from the Egyptian military have visited the MiG-29/35 production facility.
The MiGs would likely be used to replace the Egyptian Air Force’s MiG-21s/J7s while the 24 recently ordered Dassault Rafales would be used to complement and/or replace some of its Mirages, F-16s and F-4s.
The MiG-29M (and two seat MiG-29M2) is an improved version of the MiG-29 featuring longer range due to increased internal fuel, a lighter airframe, slightly more powerful and improved RD-33MK engines, an in-flight refuelling probe, multi-function displays in the cockpit and improved avionics.