Russia has started implementing a contract to supply S-300VM/Antey-2500 surface-to-air missile systems to Egypt, with missile launchers and equipment due to arrive in the North African country later this year.
This is according to a Russian Defence Ministry source as quoted by Russia’s Interfax-AVN news agency on March 5. The TASS news agency subsequently reported that the Antey-2500 will be supplied to Egypt before the end of the year under a $1 billion contract, which is set to conclude in 2016. It is not clear how many systems have been ordered.
The S-300VM uses two different missiles to shoot down targets ranging from cruise missiles and aircraft to ballistic missiles. It can engage four targets out to 200 km and altitudes of up to 25 000 metres.
As a result of the US suspension of some of its $1.3 billion in annual military aid following the ouster of President Mohamed Mursi by the military in July 2013, Egypt has looked to Russia to meet some of its military needs and has agreed to a massive $3.5 billion arms deal, announced at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2014 exhibition in Pretoria on September 17. State-owned company Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov told RIA Novosti earlier that under the deal Russia would supply small arms, air defence equipment and artillery.
Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu and his Egyptian counterpart Sedki Sobhi signed a military cooperation agreement on March 4. Amongst other things, this will see the two countries hold a joint naval exercise in the Mediterranean ocean later this year while Egyptian military personnel will be trained in Russia.
The agreement will “determine the vector of our military cooperation for years to come,” said Shoigu following the talks.