Egypt has signed a $2 billion contract to buy more than 20 Su-35 multirole fighters from Russia, the Kommersant news daily reported on March 18, citing two senior defense industry officials.
The newspaper report says that the order for “over two dozen” fighters was finalised in late 2018, with deliveries expected to begin in 2020–21.
Russia has become one of Egypt’s largest arms suppliers. In 2017, Cairo started receiving MiG-21 interceptors under another amrs deal with Moscow.
The Su-35 is Russia’s most advanced serial fighter jet. It is also in service with the Chinese air force (a total of 24 jets was ordered) and has been ordered by Indonesia (11 jets).
The reported Su-35 purchase deal comes amid growing U.S. pressure on countries worldwide not to buy Russian-produced arms. In September 2018, the US imposed sanctions on the Chinese military for buying Su-35 jets from Russia.
This comes in the framework of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) signed by President Trump in August 2017. The CAATSA aims to punish Russia for its alleged hostile behavior, includng supposed election interference. The document threatens that states involved in defense and intelligence cooperation with Russia can face secondary sanctions.