Why Egypt is armed with modern weapons and how it affects Russia?
This post was published in Hi-Tech. The point of view expressed in this article is authorial and do not necessarily reflect BM`s editorial stance.
MOSCOW, (BM) – Why Egypt is armed with modern weapons and how it affects Russia Is the country defending itself from aggressive neighbors or is it ready to start a war?
Immediately after the leader of the Libyan Jamahiriya Muammar Gaddafi was killed and several scattered groups seized power in the country, the Egyptian government began to equip its own army with advanced military equipment.
The first and most fundamental step in this direction was made thanks to NATO – close cooperation with the Alliance allowed the country to arm itself with modern aviation with high-precision weapons (manufactured by Dassault / Airbus), modern ground forces with American-made M1 Abrams tanks and M109 self-propelled guns, as well as developed military naval forces.
The latter were created thanks to a largely unique approach – to take a little from everyone. As a result, the Egyptian Navy received both “age” German Project 209 submarines and modern French FREMM-class frigates, as well as American Oliver Hazzard Perry capable of carrying missile weapons.
The amphibious triad is crowned by the French UDC Mistral, which were sold by France after refusing to supply the same ships to Russia. However, a Russian mark on the French deck is still left – in addition to the American AN-64 Apache helicopters, the Mistrals are armed with Ka-52K attack helicopters.
In addition, the Egyptian Navy has at its disposal a huge number of landing speed boats and ships, with the help of which it is possible to deliver numerous troops directly under the nose of the enemy. But the likely landing and Egyptian intervention in the Libyan conflict may not be as bloodless as expected.
Libyan Omaha Beach
Local conflicts like the Libyan one have long gone beyond the confrontation between small local elites. The army of the “eastern” in Libya (the forces of the Libyan national army led by Marshal Haftar) are secretly supported by Egypt, France, the United Arab Emirates and a number of other states. “Western” (Government of National Accord) is actively supported by Turkey.
The political balance of power in the region as a whole and in Libya in particular is closely related to which side has more weapons and who has more modern weapons. Frankly, any military operation of the Egyptian Armed Forces is unlikely to go smoothly from the very beginning.
The problem is that the Turkish-backed PNS (“Western”) have been in charge of the warehouse of the Libyan army since 2011. And there really was something to profit from there: Libya for decades regularly bought advanced Soviet weapons as soon as they entered export markets.
The difficulty lies in the fact that weapons capable of changing the course of hostilities are on both sides of the conflict. Launchers for Soviet anti-ship missiles were regularly spotted at PNS positions.
Their use can significantly reduce the rate of advance of the Egyptian Navy in the event of an invasion, and under certain circumstances, Soviet anti-ship missiles, which Libya has been purchasing in commercial quantities for many years, can completely disrupt the offensive of the Egyptian Navy and turn it into a “D-Day” in a new manner.
But that’s in theory. In practice, the balance of power is shifted in favor of the “eastern” ones under the command of Marshal Haftar. Here are modern drones of European and Middle Eastern production, short-range ballistic missiles R-17, loaded on operational-tactical missile systems.
And now the “rocket”
Preparatory measures for Egypt’s war “for the unification” of Libya (read – control over it) have long been in an active phase. Oddly enough, but all the main stages of the coming war will be solved mainly with the help of Russian military equipment. By the way, significant funds have been spent on its purchase. Count for yourself:
500 T-90 tanks for $ 2.5 billion, at least 22 multifunctional Su-35 fighters for $ 2 billion, and a contract for 46 Ka-52 combat helicopters for the French Mistral. The choice in favor of Russian aviation technology is quite simple to explain.
In addition to strong traditions and strong ties in the line of military-technical cooperation, the Egyptian military more than once tested Russian equipment in conditions as close as possible to combat.
In addition, all the weapons from the Egyptian military shopping list have been battle tested and are ready to go. T-90 tanks, Su-35 fighters, Ka-52 helicopters – all the equipment took part in the hostilities in Syria and showed itself from the best side.
Taking into account the fact that the Egyptian army has nearly 400 thousand “bayonets” and, if necessary, can take another 250-300 thousand reservists, it becomes easier than ever to win a war against one Libyan front with such forces.
Abroad will help them
The main snag is who will intervene in the conflict and on whose side, when all sides pass the Rubicon and begin to fight “like an adult.” Turkey may well take the side of the “western”, and then the balance of power will shift significantly in favor of the pro-Turkish armed formations. Turkey is still part of NATO, the “bright side” of which, albeit secretly, but supports the army of Marshal Haftar and does not have much sympathy for the “western”.
To be frank, the “dogfight” of several states has been projected onto Syria many times – too many geopolitical interests have converged in this Middle Eastern country. If you think soberly and think about the prospects, then to complete the picture, only the US Navy frigates with Tomahawk missiles, which invade the territorial waters of Libya and strike at the indicated enemy, are not enough.
But so far, the military cake is turning out quite good even without the Americans – two opposing sides from Libya with missile weapons and drones, support for the belligerents from various NATO countries and Libya’s closest neighbors in the region, and Egypt’s willingness to resolve the issue by force with the help of ultra-modern Russian weapons.
We have not seen anything like this even in the Syrian campaign. As soon as most of the contracts for Russian weapons are fulfilled and the equipment is handed over to the customer, Egypt will reach technical readiness for war.
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