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GABORONE, Botswana — Russian state-owned aircraft manufacturer Russian Aircraft Corporation has announced the sale of 50 MiG-29 M/M2 fighter jets to a North African country, which was not named for customer confidentiality reasons.

Russian media outlet RIA Novosti quoted company deputy director Alexey Beskibalov saying the first two aircraft will be delivered to Africa later this year.

Beskibalov said a deal for the delivery of the fighter aircraft — most likely to Egypt — was signed in April last year.

In May 2015, Russian business daily Vedomosti reported that Egypt wanted to acquire at least 46 MiG 29 fighter jets as part of the US$3 billion arms deal signed with Russia during President Abdel Fatah El Sisi’s visit to Moscow a month earlier.

Egyptian Air Force officials also visited the MiG factory last year.

The new fleet of advanced MiG 29s will likely replace an ageing fleet of Soviet-era MiG-21 and Chinese-made J-7 Thunder fighter jets which are still serving the Egyptian Air Force.

Meanwhile, the Algerian Air Force has taken delivery of two more Mi-26T2 helicopters from Russia. Algeria ordered 14 Mi-26T helicopters in June 2013 and the first two were delivered in June last year.

The two helicopters are believed to have been delivered to Algeria late in November last year but their arrival was only confirmed last week.

Egypt and Algeria remain by far the biggest customers and operators of Russian military hardware which includes fighter jets, helicopters and aerial defense systems.

Email: onkala@defensenews.com

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