A newly-bought Egyptian Air Force MiG-29 jet has crashed during a training flight, prompting both Cairo and the Russian manufacturer to investigate. The Egyptian military says a flight control system error is to blame.
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The pilot had to eject and is alive, the Egyptian defense ministry said in a statement.“The fighter jet has crashed during a practice flight in one of the training areas because of a technical fault in the aircraft control system,” the ministry’s spokesperson said.
An Egyptian Air Force commission is already investigating the crash while Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation – the company that produced the aircraft – also said it would send its specialist to assist the investigation.
The jet was supplied to Egypt earlier this year as part of a contract between Moscow and Cairo worth $ 2.5 billion. Russia is expected to supply 46 MiG-29M/M2 fighter jets to Egypt in total by 2020.
First deliveries were made back in 2017, according to Alerksandr Mikheev, the head of the Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport. At the same time, the Egyptian pilots started learning to fly the new aircraft, he added.
The MiG-29M/M2 is a fourth-generation fighter jet, which is an advanced variant of the classic Soviet MiG-29 fighter. The new model has extended flight range as well as new avionics. The jet has two variants – a single-seat MiG-29M and a two-seat MiG-29M2, both of which have been supplied to Egypt.
The jets sold to the Arab nation are also fitted with the latest Russian infrared search and track systems and electronic countermeasure jamming pods, in addition to upgraded smokeless engines.
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