Russia has reportedly agreed on a contract worth approximately $2bn with Egypt to supply 46 MiG-29 air superiority fighters.

Russia’s business daily, Vedomosti, cited an aviation industry source, stating that both the countries are expected to sign the deal in the near future.

The new Russian MiG-29 fighter bomber aircraft would replace Egypt’s aging fleet of MiG-21s and Chinese J-7s.

Both the countries started talks over this deal earlier in 2014, and if finalised, it would be the largest MiG-29 order for Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union, according to Sputnik International.

Currently, Egypt operates a fleet of US F-16 fighters, French Mirage 2000 jets and Russian MiG-21s, as well as its Chinese derivatives, J-7s.

"If finalised, it would be the largest MiG-29 order for Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union."

Manufactured by RSK MiG and the Irkutsk Aircraft Production Association, the MiG-29 fighter bomber aircraft is designed to destroy hostile air targets within radar coverage limits, and to destroy ground targets using unguided weapons in visual flight conditions.

The MiG-29 fighter can carry up to two R-27 air-to-air medium-range missiles, six R-73 and R-60 air-to-air short range missiles, four pods of S-5, S-8, S-24 unguided rockets, air bombs weighing up to 3,000kg and a 30mm built-in aircraft gun with 150 rounds of ammunition.

Around 1,600 MiG-29s are currently operational worldwide, and approximately 600 MiG-29s and its variants are in service within the Russian Air Force.

Meanwhile, Russia have started sending S-300VM ‘Antey-2500’ long-range missile defence systems to Egypt in March, under a contract signed in 2014, reported the news agency.

Image: A MiG-29 air superiority fighter. Photo: courtesy of Krasimir Grozev.