Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu start a two-day visit to Cairo Wednesday, Nov. 13, to wind up a major sale of advanced Russian weaponry for the Egyptian army and the Russian Navy’s access to port facilities on the Mediterranean.
debkafile’s military sources, which first revealed the coming transactions in the last week of October, now amplify that report by disclosing that Moscow has agreed to equip Egypt with a sophisticated combined double-layered system which covers both its defensive and offensive requirements.
1. The first layer will provide a shield against attack by stealth aircraft, drones and cruise missiles for all of Egypt’s airspace, including the Suez Canal, the Red Sea and its coastal waters, up to the central Mediterranean. Our military sources add that part of the system will be positioned in eastern Egypt for the protection of key Saudi cities as well.
2. The second layer will be built around sophisticated surface missiles with ranges that cover all points in the Middle East including Iran. Moscow and Cairo are keeping the types of missiles secret.
Egyptian officials continued Tuesday to deny reports that a Russian naval base would be established in an Egyptian port as “illogical,” saying it would “undermine the country’s independence and sovereignty.”
However, according to our sources, planning is already underway for the deployment of some 1,500 Russian military personnel in Egypt to have the new missiles up and running and local personnel trained in their use by mid-2014. A similar number of Russian naval and marine servicemen have been assigned to setting up the naval base, most probably in Alexandria.
We have learned that the visiting Russian ministers and Egypt’s rulers will also discuss permission for Russian warships to dock in Egypt’s Red Sea waters opposite the Saudi coast.