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Why Russia “landed” a helicopter attack into Egypt: Russian motives

Today, national arms exhibitions hold practically all large states respecting themselves. And small too. For example, Bahrain or Abu Dhabi. But in almost 100 million Egypt, the tradition to hold arms fairs was not. Decided to fix the situation. From 3 to 5 December, the first International Military-Technical Forum EDEX-2018 will be held in Cairo. And Russia tried to make the most of the new exhibition platform to promote its weapons. Moreover, that very close, in Syria, all these weapons tested in combat conditions.

The EDEX-2018 exhibition is held at the International Exhibition Center of Egypt in Cairo under the patronage of the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. In addition to the Russian exposition, the exhibition presents the combined expositions of France, the People's Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Greece, South Africa and Belarus.

The main focus of the Russian exposition is on the aviation component and air defense means. It was even decided to deliver to Cairo to participate in the exhibition a full-scale sample of the latest Russian attack helicopter Ka-52 "Alligator". And this is not by chance. Russia has long been offering a ship version of this Q52K Qatran helicopter to equip Mistral helicopter carriers, two of which Egypt acquired in France.

The Mistral project is very well known to the Russian side. In this ship there are even structural elements made at Russian shipyards. All because these two Egyptian “Mistrals” were originally built on the order of Russia. Our country has concluded a contract, paid an advance of approximately 1 billion euros. But after the famous Ukrainian events of 2014, France was forced to terminate the contract as part of the anti-Russian sanctions of the United States and the European Union. Well at least the money back.

By that time, the development of the Ka-52 ship version for Mistral was coming to an end in Russia. Despite the fact that the ships "floated away" from us, they decided to bring the helicopter "snagging" to a logical conclusion. Work is not easy. It was necessary to introduce anti-corrosion materials, to make the blades on the helicopter foldable, to be placed more compactly on the deck, to replace the radar equipment for flying over the sea, and also to ensure a greater flight range.

The Russian Navy said that the Ka-52K would be useful for the fleet and could be based on existing and new ships. More than a year ago, the ship's Ka-52K as part of an air group on the aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov even went on a military campaign to the shores of Syria. And now, apparently, it's time to offer the sea helicopter to a potential buyer. Moreover, according to foreign media, the "land" version of the Ka-52 has already been delivered to the Egyptian army aviation and has made a good showing in a hot and dusty climate.

During the days of the exhibition, Russian helicopter manufacturers intend to discuss the after-sales service of previously supplied Russian-made helicopters, given that Africa has one of the world's largest fleets of Russian helicopters.

In addition to the Ka-52, which is located on a static platform, Russia will present in Egypt about 300 types of modern Russian weapons and military equipment. "I am sure they will cause great interest among the representatives of the armed forces of Egypt, the countries of North Africa and the Middle East, as well as guests from other regions of the world," said Rosoboronexport CEO Alexander Mikheev.

In total, 11 major Russian manufacturers of weapons and military equipment will present their products in Cairo. The stands will provide information on anti-aircraft missile systems and S-400 Triumph, Tor-M2E, Buk-M2E complexes, and the Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft missile and cannon complex. All this technique is actively used in the same Syria.

For the first time, Russia presented overseas aerial reconnaissance complex with unmanned aerial vehicles of the long Orion-E flight duration.

According to the developer, earlier, in October 2018, Egyptian President Field Marshal Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, during a visit to the Egyptian Air Force Base, familiarized himself with the Ka-52 Alligator helicopter and assessed its capabilities.

The company reports that the Ka-52K helicopter is a continuation of the product line of "sea" helicopters developed by the Kamov design bureau. The helicopter is intended for patrolling, fire support of the landing force when disembarking, solving tasks of antiamphibious defense at the front line and in tactical depth, in any climatic conditions, day and night. The equipment provides navigation in the absence of landmarks in the sea.

From the "Alligator" Ka-52K "Katran" is characterized by the presence of a shortened folding wing, which was upgraded to accommodate heavy weapons, and the folding mechanism of the blades, which allows it to be compactly located in the hold. The reduced dimensions of the Ka-52K make it possible to take on board more helicopters. The armored crew cabin and the use of a unique ejection system provide pilots with a maximum level of security.

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