Russia to transfer missile ship to Egypt

Molniya missile ship to be sent to Egypt after completion of deal, Egyptian Armed Forces spokesman says

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Russia and Egypt have completed a deal which will see the transfer of one of the Russian navy’s most advanced missile ships to the Egyptian military.

The Molniya missile ship - which includes multiple armament systems, surface to surface missiles, and as well as electronic war systems - is considered to be one of the fastest moving naval vessels in the world.

According to a Facebook post on Saturday by Egyptian Armed Forces spokesman Mohamed Samir, the ship will be brought to Egypt by a special team that has been sent to Russia to receive training.

The ship had participated in the inauguration ceremony for Egypt’s New Suez Canal earlier this month.

Cooperation between Russia and Egypt has increased since former Egyptian military general Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was elected president in 2014, a year after orchestrating a military coup against his predecessor Mohamed Morsi.

Sisi visited Moscow as recently as May to attend the 70th anniversary celebrations of Russia's victory over Nazi Germany.

Sisi had also visited the city of Sochi in southern Russia in August 2014, and President Putin visited Egypt in February of this year, during which the two countries signed several agreements in the fields of trade and energy, including a memorandum of understanding to build a nuclear reactor for power generation in Egypt's northwestern Al-Dabaa region.

The two leaders had also reportedly discussed possible weapons deals worth $2 billion, which would include anti-tank missile systems, military transport helicopters and gunships and MiG-29s.

Russia could additionally provide Egypt with MiG-35 fighter jets if requested, the Chief Executive of the Russian Aircraft Corporation (RSK) MiG, Sergei Korotkov, said in February.

An arms supply vacuum had been left in Egypt following the suspension of the sale of pricey military equipment by the US due to human rights violations against anti-coup demonstrators by el-Sisi’s administration. The sale ban was lifted earlier this year.

Keen to fill the void, Russia held official arms talks with Egypt last November for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the aftermath of which saw Russia sell Egypt an unspecified number of Antey 2500 (S300) land to air defense systems.



TRTWorld and agencies