Egypt formally inaugurated a strategically significant new base complex on 15 January in an event attended by high-ranking dignitaries from allied Arab states.
Berenice (Barnis) Military Base is located on the Red Sea coast approximately 90 km north of the Halayib Triangle, an Egyptian-controlled area disputed by Sudan. The Egyptian Ministry of Defence said the base has been built to secure Egypt's southern coasts, economic interests in the Red Sea, and international maritime traffic moving through to and from the Suez Canal.
The MoD released a video showing the new base is made up of several facilities for the navy, air force, ground forces, and air defence forces.
Open source satellite imagery shows the existing airbase has been significantly expanded with the construction of 18 new hardened air shelters, each capable of accommodating two fighters, as well as new parking aprons, hangars, and an accommodation and administration area.
A new runway has also been constructed in addition to the two existing ones, albeit this appears to serve a new civilian airport that has been built at the base. The MoD said the airport can accommodate eight aircraft and its terminal can handle 600 passengers an hour.
A new naval base has been built to the northeast. The MoD says this base's quay is 1,000 m long and 14 m deep. A commercial port that will have 1,200 m of berthing space is under construction, it added.
There are also bases for the ground and air defences forces, with the MoD video showing signs for both an Air Defence Group and the 124th Ground Defence Battalion.
The base complex is supported by local infrastructure developments that include a 50-bed hospital, a desalination plant with a 34,000 m 3 per day capacity, and 40 km of roads that link the various bases.
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