Egypt has entered into an agreement to buy S-300VM long-range air defence systems for about USD500 million from Russia, the Russian business daily Vedomosti reported on 23 September, citing unidentified defence industry officials and a source close to the leadership of the state arms export agency Rosoboronexport.

The Vedomosti report came after St Petersburg’s Fontanka newspaper reported on 11 September that the city’s Kirov factory had an order to build 22 of the tracked vehicles used with the S-300VM system for an unidentified foreign customer. It published photographs showing one of the vehicles painted in a desert colour, although another was painted green. The GM-830 chassis is only used to carry the S-300V series.

Alexander Fomin, the head of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, suggested that no such contract had been finalised when he said Cairo and Moscow had reached a preliminary agreement for a USD3.5 billion defence deal. […]