Russia’s Military Industrial Company (VPK) chief executive officer Alexander Krasovitsky has said the company may soon deliver an unspecified number of Tiger Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) to the Egyptian Army amid soaring North African demand for Russian-made military equipment.
Krasovitsky told Russian news agency TASS on return from the recent KADEX-2016 exhibition in Kazakhstan that negotiations for the sale of the vehicle are almost 85% complete: “If contract signing and progress were to be rated on a scale from zero to 100%, I’d say we are at the 85% mark now. The Tiger APC is in great demand because its capabilities are already well-known. I would not like to make any guesses for now, but we hope that the contract will be signed soon,” Krasovitsky said.
If confirmed, the order would represent an escalation in Egyptian demand for Russian military products, coming only a month after Russian state-owned arms exporter Rosoboronexport reported that it was negotiating with Egypt for the sale of electronics and electronic warfare systems for the two Mistral-class helicopter carriers bought from France.
An Egyptian military delegation which visited Moscow in May was reportedly shown and treated to a demonstration of some of the electronic equipment and warfare systems.
Of late, Egypt has reportedly expressed interest in acquiring sophisticated Russian equipment which includes the Buk-M2E and the Antey 2500 anti-aircraft missile systems as well as the S-400 ‘Triumph’ missile defence system. Egypt has also ordered MiG-29s and Ka-52s from Russia.
Last week, Rosoboronexport Director-General Sergey Chemezov told Russian-language ‘Kommersant Daily’ newspaper that the company’s order portfolio had gone up from US$45 billion just three months ago to US$48 billion this month on account of new orders from China, Algeria, Egypt and Vietnam.
“Until recently, our order portfolio was $45 billion, and now has increased to $48 billion. The volume of supplies through Rosoboronexport today exceeds $13 billion annually, and together with other companies – exceeds $15 billion,” said the Rostec head.
“China, Egypt and Algeria are very interested in the Buk-M2E and Antey-2500 anti-aircraft missile systems, as well as in the S-400 Triumph missile systems. Many customers have requested their deliveries ahead of time, but we always warn them about the schedule and order of priority,” Chemezov said.
Among other upcoming deliveries, Iran will receive its order of the S-300 missile defence system before the end of the year while China will receive its S-400 missile system not later than 2018.