Egypt felt betrayed in 2013 when the US decided to freeze the supply of its Apache helicopters to Cairo amid its fight against terrorism, says an Egyptian expert. Since then, the nation has learned from its past mistakes and decided to diversify its sources of military equipment reaching out to countries like Russia, despite US objections.
Russia has reportedly started manufacturing 24 Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets for the Egyptian Air Force, in accordance with a $2 billion deal inked between the two countries in 2018.
The delivery of the first batch was scheduled for earlier this year but the process has been delayed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus which led to the shutting down of several defence production plants in Russia.
Now that the country is gradually opening up, reports suggest that production has been resumed, with Moscow expected to send the first jets as early as the third or fourth quarter of 2020.
Washington Eyeing the Deal With Concern
While Egypt awaits delivery, Washington is eyeing the deal with concern. Less expensive, capable of carrying more missiles, and flying farther than some of America’s fighter jets, the Su-35 is set to challenge America’s superiority in the sky.
Earlier, it was reported that the US administration had threatened Cairo with sanctions if the latter dared to move ahead with the purchase of Russia’s 4++ generation supersonic multirole fighter jets but Maged Botros, professor of political science and the chairman of Egypt’s…