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Egypt and Algeria push for Closer Military Ties

Our Bureau - : Dec 1, 2021 - : 5:24 am

A high-level military delegation from Algeria is at EDEX 2021, hoping to zero in on weapons for potential purchase and to discuss issues of common interest with the military top brass in Egypt. Heading the Algerian delegation is the country’s Army Chief of Staff Said Chengriha, who is at the event following an invite by Egyptian Defence Minister Mohamed Zaki. In recent years, the Algerian and Egyptian armed forces have increased their cooperation, and both countries share a common affinity for Russian weapons. In October last year, Algeria received its first batch of MiG-29 fighter aircraft from Russia. The MiG-29M/MiG-29M2 fighters, which are identical to their Egyptian version, are a replacement for MiG-29S aircraft operational in the Algerian Air Force’s 193rd fighter squadron. Closer military ties with Algeria opens possibilities for Egypt’s indigenous defence industry as well. Algeria, which had a defence budget of US $9.45 billion in the 2021 fiscal year, is Africa’s largest defence market and is among the world’s top six arms importers. The country is currently amid modernising its military and while Russia supplies more than 7 percent of its existing equipment, industry analysts say there is an opportunity for new arms suppliers to enter what is a promising market for military electronics, ground vehicles, military medical supplies and training, drones, and avionics. U.S. suppliers are eyeing the market as well, but Algeria’s discomfort with American export controls limit their ability to gain a larger market share. According to Global Fire Power report on the active military manpower of countries, Egypt is ranked first in the Arab world, followed by Saudi Arabia, and 13th globally. Algeria is ranked third in the Arab world and 27th globally. The U.S., Russia and China occupy the first three spots.

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