03:52 GMT19 April 2021
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    The Egyptian Ministry of Defence announced on August 4 that a Molnya-class missile corvette presented by Russia to the Egyptian navy in 2015 has been commissioned into service.

    Last year Russia announced that it would lend to Egypt an R-32 missile warship that was formerly part of Russia's Black Sea fleet. The vessel participated in a ceremony marking the opening of a new expanded section of the Suez Canal. Following the ceremony, the ship returned to Russia, where Egyptian sailors and engineers were trained to operate the ship.

    The vessel, now renamed Ahmed Fadel, has returned to the Egyptian navy base in Alexandria. At a flag-raising ceremony attended by the Russian military there on Thursday, the commander of the Leningrad Naval Base, Rear Admiral Igor Smolyak, said that Egyptian-Russian military relations are "strong and extending over a long period of time."

    According to the Egyptian Ministry of Defense, the 57-meter corvette displaces 550 tons and has a top speed of 38 knots. It is armed with AK-630 30-mm close-in weapons systems, an AK-176 76-mm main gun, and supersonic Moskit (SS-N-22 Sunburn) anti-ship missiles. The Sunburn is the world's fastest anti-ship missile and reaches the speed of Mach 2.2 at low altitudes, and Mach 3 at high altitudes.

    In 2015 the Egyptian Defense Ministry said the vessel's advanced electronic warfare and combat systems were a new addition to Egypt's armed forces.

    The warship is being put into service amid the ongoing military cooperation between Moscow and Cairo. Earlier, Egypt purchased from France two Mistral helicopter carriers that were built for Russia but not delivered because of the sanctions imposed on Moscow as a result of the conflict in Ukraine.


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