True ‘Klondike’! Egypt can open its ammunition sales to Ukraine

KYIV, UKRAINE — If Cairo does change its mind and open its stockpile for resale to Ukraine, it will be a veritable Klondike of much-needed weapons for the armed forces.

22 weeks of abbreviated Abrams tank crew training for Ukraine
Photo credit: DoD

Following the leak of “classified documents”, some of which said Egyptian authorities were considering the start of a secret sale to the Russian Federation of GRAD-compatible 122mm unguided missiles, Cairo’s position changed.

And now the country is ready to supply weapons to Ukraine, but not directly, but through the United States. The Washington Post writes about this, citing some new files from the same consolidated information. Specifically, the decision to sell Egypt 152- and 155-mm shells under this scheme was made sometime in early March and no later than the 9th.

The fact is that the US is actually a key defense partner for Egypt, on which entire segments of the country’s military capacity depend. In particular, we should mention the licensed assembly of Abrams tanks, a huge fleet of American combat vehicles, including two thousand M113s.

The F-16 fighter jets, which actually form the backbone of the nation’s air force, a vast array of other arms, including the Navy, and plans to purchase the F-35 and Patriot. And although Cairo tried for years to get weapons from both Washington and Moscow, the intention to sell weapons to the Russian Federation was bound to have consequences.

How many Egyptian multirole MiG-29s have been captured in Sudan?
Photo credit: Twitter

At the same time, if, of course, the information about the sale of artillery ammunition to Ukraine through the USA is confirmed, then it is quite possible to count on the fact that Cairo will agree to sell certain weapons that are critical to Ukraine now in a similar way scheme.

And here, thanks to the fact that Egypt has been buying Soviet and later Russian weapons for many years, there are quite wide opportunities. More specifically, the country built its air defense precisely on these systems and has [according to Military Balance]: about 18 S-300s, more than 40 BUKs, outdated S-75s and S-125s, as well as more than 20 TORs.

And although we may not be talking about the transfer of the SAMs themselves, Ukraine needs to replenish the stockpile of missiles for the Soviet systems. And here their resale through the USA will be more than important for the Air Force of Ukraine.

In addition, although it is much more fanatical, Egypt operates about 46 MiG-29M, which it ordered from the Russian Federation in 2018. These machines are an upgraded version of aircraft with much wider capabilities since they already meet the level of the multipurpose machines and received a much newer sighting-radar complex.

3,000 M1 tanks in stock, but US refrains from delivery to Ukraine
Photo credit: Yandex

But of course, even in theory, such a scheme means that Egypt should receive adequate compensation, and not just sell weapons that have long been worth more than money in the world. Therefore, it is here that Cairo’s desire to obtain the F-35 and Patriot may come to the fore.

Problems with Russian weapons

And after all, many countries that exploit Russian weapons already face the looming threat of being scrapped. First, there is a risk of sanctions for cooperation with the Russian Federation. Second, every day it becomes more and more difficult for the Kremlin to fulfill its obligations regarding the maintenance of the weapons sold, and not to produce new ones for export.

In particular, the VK-2500 engines, which are used in the absolute majority of Russian helicopters, are an excellent example. The Russian Federation has already admitted that it can produce only 300 per year when it needs 500. And this is only for themselves, not to mention the huge car park that went for export.

After the Philippines and Japan, Taiwan may also store US ammunition
Photo by Dustin Perry

And what nearly fifty Egyptian Ka-52s or dozens of Mi-24s will fly with, also remains a big question for Cairo itself. But a relatively similar number of AH-64D Apache does not have such problems and risks.


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