Egypt and Russia have signed a $2 billion defense contract that will see Moscow supply Cairo with 20 Su-35 fighter jets. Russia has become one of Egypt’s largest arms suppliers as Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi has developed friendly ties with President Vladimir Putin. The reported arms deal comes amid growing U.S. pressure on countries worldwide not to buy Russian-produced arms.
The delivery of the aircraft, as well as weapons for the planes, will begin as early as 2020-21. The Su-35 is a multi-purpose fighter jet, designed by Sukhoi on the basis of the legendary Su-27 twin-engine supermaneuverable fighter aircraft. With 12 to 14 weapons hard points, the Sukhoi Su-35 is able to use K-77M radar-guided missiles that reportedly have a range of almost 200km. The jet is also armed with a 30mm cannon with 150 rounds for strafing or dogfighting. The Su-35 can reportedly carry up to 8,000kg of air-to-ground munitions.
Several nations among them Egypt have expressed interest in purchasing the aircraft following the successful deployment of the Su-35 in Syria.