Egypt has begun taking delivery of Almaz-Antey S-300VM long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems from Russia.
Photos of the SAM system’s vehicles and missile canisters being unloaded at Alexandria were posted on vk.com, a Russian social media website.
The S-300VM is an export variant of the S-300. It is equipped with 9M82M and 9M83M missiles, which provide the system with an engagement range of up to 200 km and maximum altitude of 25,000 m. The S-300VM supplanted the S-300V in Russian service in the 1990s.
Almaz-Antey claims the S-300VM can intercept intermediate-range (<2,500 km) ballistic missiles.
Egypt reportedly ordered the S-300VM in 2015 for $1 billion U.S. It was part of a $3.5 billion arms package negotiated with Russia in 2013 in the fallout of General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi-led military coup that ousted then Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi.
The package also includes 50 Mikoyan MiG-29M/M2 and Kamov Ka-52K attack helicopters.
Notes & Comments:
During the last three years, Egypt has been supplanting its legacy systems with weapons that are not only newer, but also substantially more capable. In fact, some systems – such as the Dassault Rafale and Mistral landing helicopter docks – with newly acquired offensive capabilities that were previously not in place.
These include stand-off range precision strike (via the Rafale) and robust expeditionary mobility (via the Mistral and Ka-52K). Interestingly, the S-300VM augments an already sound air defence network, one layered with short, medium and long-range (i.e. PAC-3 Patriot) SAM systems.