TEL AVIV (Jul. 26)
Russian pilots and air defense technicians continued their departure from Egypt today but the planes and missiles they left behind are being manned by Egyptians. According to information reaching here, the only Russian pilots remaining in Egypt are those assigned to squadrons shadowing the US Sixth Fleet and pilots of the MIG-23, the world’s fastest combat aircraft which have been deployed in Egypt in limited numbers.
It was learned here today that about 150 MIG-21 jet fighters of improved design, previously flown only by Russians, are now in Egyptian hands. The Egyptians have also taken charge of 65 batteries of SAM-3 ground-to-air missiles previously manned almost exclusively by Russians. The Egyptians have been operating the less sophisticated SAM-2 batteries for some time. But the Russians reportedly do not permit Egyptians to man their highly sophisticated SAM-6 missile batteries which guard the Soviet naval base at Merseh Matruh and other strategic points in Egypt.