Photos of the Egyptian Air Force’s (EAF) first Mikoyan MiG-29M2 (or MiG-35D) multi-role fighter recently emerged, showing the twin-seat unit the aircraft number of 811.
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Rosonboronexport inked a U.S. $2 billion sale of 50 MiG-29M/M2 or MiG-35 to Egypt in 2016, with Russia confirming that the sale was to Egypt in April 2016. Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG (RAC MiG) reportedly said that the first aircraft will be delivered to Egypt in 2017, with the remainder due by 2020. Egypt’s MiGs entered production in June of last year.
The MiG-29M/M2 is a major development of the legacy MiG-29, boasting design changes to the airframe, improved turbofans in the RD-33MK (which is similar in weight to the RD-33, but benefits from a higher thrust rating and full-authority digital engine control), fly-by-wire flight control system, updated avionics and Zhuk-ME pulse-Doppler radar. The MiG-29K/KUB is the naval variant of the MiG-29M/M2.
The MiG-35 is directly based on the MiG-29M/M2; whilst retaining the engines and airframe, the MiG-35 is equipped with the Zhuk-AE active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar. RAC MiG and its parent company United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) launched the MiG-35 in January of this year, positioning the fighter as an affordable high-tech multi-role fighter suitable for the developing world.
Earlier news reports of Egypt’s Fulcrum purchases claimed that the EAF would be procuring MiG-35s. This has not been confirmed, especially since the MiG-35 is undergoing tests in Russia.
Besides the Fulcrum, Egypt also has 46 Kamov Ka-52K attack helicopters on order from Russia. These Ka-52Ks will begin joining Egypt’s inventory in 2017. Analysts believe the Ka-52Ks will be deployed from the Egyptian Navy’s newly acquired Gamal Abdel Nasser-class landing helicopter docks.