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EGYPTIAN STRATEGIST: CAIRO HAS LONG-RANGE MISSILE
AMMAN [MENL] -- Egypt is developing long-range ballistic missile capability, a senior Egyptian strategist said.
The strategist, aligned to the regime in Cairo, said the Egyptian missile program is worrying both Israel and the United States.
Ahmed Abdul Halim, a retired Egyptian general and deputy director of the Cairo-based National Center for Middle East Studies, said President Hosni Mubarak has threatened to use the long-range missiles against Israel in any future war.
In a lecture to the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation in Amman on March 12, Abdul Halim said a joint Israeli-U.S. missile defense exercise held last month in the Negev desert was meant to warn Egypt against using ballistic missiles against the Jewish state. Israeli sources had said the exercise was meant to test capabilities to withstand an Iraqi missile attack.
"The exercises were a message by the United States to Egypt that Washington will stand by Israel if Cairo considers taking any military action against Tel Aviv," Abdul Halim said. "The exercise also aimed at enhancing Israel's ballistic missile defence system in which the United States played a major role in developing."
Abdul Halim's assertion was the first by an Egyptian aligned with the Mubarak regime that Cairo is developing intermediate- and long-range ballistic missiles. He said Israel was alarmed by Egyptian threats to a warning from an Israeli parliamentarian that in any future war with Egypt, Israel could strike the Aswan Dam.
The Egyptian strategist, who has visited Israeli several times, did not detail Egypt's programs. But Western analysts who monitor Egypt said Abdul Halim is appearing to refer to any one of three Egyptian programs to develop intermediate-range weapons.
One is the Project T program, expected to produce nearly 100 missiles based on the Scud C by 2005. The missile is expected to have a range of 450 kilometers and can strike any target in Israel. Another project is to extend the Scud C to a range of up to 1,200 kilometers in a joint venture with North Korea.
A third program is the continuation of a two-stage solid-fuel missile based on the defunct Condor program with Argentina and Iraq. This missile is expected to have a range of at least 900 kilometers and has been taken over by North Korea.
Egypt is closely following Israel's nonconventional weapons and missile programs, Abdul Halim said. He said the Egyptian military "knows very well their whereabouts, forms and types."
-- Martin Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 06, 2001
Friday, April 6, 2001 TOKYO — North Korea has sold more than 500 missiles over the last 15 years to such Middle East clients as Egypt, Iran, Iraq and Libya, a South Korean government institute said.
The Korea Institute for Defense Analysis said in a report released on Friday that Pyongyang sold 540 missiles from 1985 to 2000. The institute listed North Korea's clients as Egypt, Iran, Iraq and Libya.
The report, authored by Lee Jae-uk, a senior research fellow, said North Korea supplied mostly Scud-class missiles to the Middle East. The exception was a shipment of 50 No-Dong-1 missiles to Libya, Middle East Newsline reported.
The Scud missiles include C model missiles, with a range of about 500 kilometers. The No-Dong is believed to have a range of about 1,000 kilometers.
The report said North Korea obtained about $2 million per Scud and $7 million for every No-Dong. But the report said that over the last decade North Korea has abandoned sales of entire missile systems and has focused on selling technology and components.
Friday, April 6, 2001
-- Martin Thompson (email@example.com), April 06, 2001.