In the light of the intensive naval activity of Egypt this year, the New Defence Order. Strategy talked to the Egyptian military and defence blogger Sameh El-Gallad to have a glimpse into the upcoming deals Egypt is looking forward to achieve.
"Egypt is keen to continue training and exchange experiences with the Russian side," says El-Gallad as Egypt has ecently conducted together with Russia the Bridge of Friendship-2020 exercise in the Black Sea.
In 2016, Russia gifted Egypt the Molniya RKA-32 missile boat ( FMC Ahmed Fadel C-801) armed with the P-270 Moskit missiles. Egypt has also signed a contract with Russian coastal defence systems to protect Egyptian maritime borders. Cooperation between the two countries is rapidly growing.
"Egypt is closely following the Ka-52K Katran naval attack helicopter project, which is now undergoing development and final tests in Russian factories in order to enter the phase of quantitative production. Egypt wants the "Katran" to be the main helicopter is on its "Mistral" helicopter carrier," says the Egyptian military blogger.
He adds that this interest relates to the power of this helicopter, its exceptional characteristics, and its ability to carry the mobile air-to-surface missile kH35UE with a range of 260 km and a fragmented high-explosive warhead weighing 145 kg.
"If Egypt does purchase the Ka-52K Katran attack helicopter, it would purchase the equipment and defence systems for the Mistral ships from Russia as well," he continues.
According to El-Gaald, Egypt is also interested in the Russian Kilo Projet 636 submarines to replace the aging Chinese “Romeo-Class” submarines. He believed that the Kilo submarine is the best alternative due to its armament power.
In 2021 the 10th International Maritime Defence Show will take place in Saint Petersburg 23-27 June, Egypt will participate says El-Gallad. Products, says El-Gallad, that Egypt plans on participating with include:
- the Gowind 2500 corvette, which Egypt obtained a license to manufacture from France;
- AL HURREYA 3 Cargo ship for marine transport and military shipping;
- the Swiftship coastal patrol vessel;
- the Rihb speedboat;
- and also several types of boats and unmanned submarines to transport frogmen and some modern technologies in the field of communications and marine signals.
The Egyptian Navy is a significant regional power in the Middle East and North Africa. It is mainly responsible for the protection of more than 2,000 kilometers of coastline of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, defense of approaches to the Suez Canal, and support for army operations.
With the arrival of President Al-Sisi to office, he started a modernization plan of the Egyptian Armed Forces including the navy. This plan of modernizing the navy has so far included the development of infrastructure of the naval units as developing of the main maritime bases to contain a large number of Naval vessels and troops, dividing the navy forces into two combat fleets one in the Mediterranean and the other in the Red sea to make the navy work independently in the strategic directions and also to divide the modernization plan among the two fleets, as well as the acquisition of equipment and naval vessels.