Egyptian Armed Forces

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Egyptian Armed Forces
Founded 1922
Current form 1952
Service branches

Flag of the Army of Egypt.svg Egyptian Army
Naval Flag of Egypt.svg Egyptian Navy
Eafflag.svg Egyptian Air Force

Egypt Air Defense Flag.png Egyptian Air Defense Forces
Headquarters Cairo
Supreme Commander President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
Minister of Defence and Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Sedki Sobhi
Military age 18-49 years old
Conscription 1-3 years depending on circumstances
Available for
military service
41,157,220, age 18–49 (2011[1])
Fit for
military service
35,305,381, age 18–49 (2011[1])
Reaching military
age annually
1,532,052 (2011[1])
Active personnel 778,000.Army Equipment= 6,720 Main battle Tanksb 9,754 Infantry Fighting vehicles & Armoured Personal carriers , 13,513+ artillery (ranked 10th)
Reserve personnel 800,000
Budget USD 7.85 billion (2012) including USD 1.6 billion of U.S military aid annually [2]
Percent of GDP ~3.12% (2009)
Domestic suppliers Aoi logo.jpg AOI
Coat of arms of Egypt (Official).svg MOMPE
Foreign suppliers  United States
 North Korea
 South Korea
 United Kingdom
 South Africa
 Soviet Union
Related articles

World War II
1948 Arab-Israeli War
Egyptian Revolution of 1952
Tripartite Aggression
North Yemen Civil War
Six Day War
Nigerian Civil War
War of Attrition
October War
Shaba I
Libyan–Egyptian War
Gulf War
Egyptian Crisis


The Egyptian Armed Forces is the largest in Africa, and the Middle East. In 2014, it was ranked the 13th most powerful in the world,[3] consisting of the Egyptian Army, Egyptian Navy, Egyptian Air Force and Egyptian Air Defense Command.

In addition, Egypt maintains large paramilitary forces.[4] The Central Security Forces comes under the control of the ministry of interior. The Egyptian Border Guard Forces and the Egyptian National Guard comes under the control of the Ministry of Defence.


The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the senior uniformed officer, is currently Colonel General Sedki Sobhi and the Chief of Staff is currently Lieutenant General Mahmoud Hegazy.

The Armed Forces' inventory includes equipment from different countries around the world. Equipment from the former Soviet Union is being progressively replaced by more modern U.S., French, and British equipment, a significant portion of which is built under license in Egypt, such as the M1 Abrams tank.

To bolster stability and moderation in the region, Egypt has provided military assistance and training to a number of other African and Arab states. Egypt remains a strong military and strategic partner and is a participant in NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue forum. The Egyptian military is one of the strongest in the region,[5] and gives Egypt regional military supremacy rivaled only by Israel,[6] besides being one of the strongest in Africa.[7] Egypt is one of the few countries in the Middle East, and the only Arab state, with a reconnaissance satellite and has launched another one in 2007.[8]

In January 2011, a delegation led by the chief of staff of Egypt's armed forces, Lt. Gen. Sami Hafez Enan, was in Washington, D.C., although the visit was truncated due to the protests. The sessions, an annual country-to-country military coordination, were being led for the U.S. by Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Alexander Vershbow. A meeting with Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other talks had been planned to extend to 2 February. However, in light of events in Egypt, the delegation left Washington to return home.[9] Before their Friday night departure, Vershbow urged the two dozen Egyptian military representatives "to exercise 'restraint'".[10]

Senior members of the military can convene the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, so during the course of the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, when Mubarak resigned and transferred power to this body on 11 February 2011.[11]

On Sunday 12 August 2012, new president Mohamed Morsi announced a series of military appointments. Hussein Tantawi, the minister of defence and the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, were both retired.[12] Morsi also retired Sami Anan, the Army’s Chief of Staff. Morsi awarded both men state medals and appointed them as advisors to the president. Thirdly, the president appointed the head of the military intelligence, Abdul Fatah al-Sisi, as Minister of Defence to replace Tantawi. Sedki Sobhi, the commander of the Third Army, was appointed as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces. Morsi also retired the Commander of the Navy, Mohab Memish, and appointed him as head of the Suez Canal Authority.

On 3 July and up on respond to millions of Egyptians demands demonstrating in streets all over Egypt since 30 June 2013 the head of the Egyptian Armed Forces, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, announced President Mohamed Morsi removal from power, suspension of the constitution, and new presidential and Shura Council elections. The severe crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood commenced.[13] responding to mass demonstrations took streets all over Egypt.[14][15][16][17][17][18]

The U.S. provides annual military assistance to the Egyptian Armed Forces. In 2009, the U.S. provided nominal $1.3 billion to the Egyptian military ($1.43 billion in 2014).[19][20] Much of this is in equipment such as tanks and jet fighters that are surplus to Egyptian needs and kept in storage.[21]

Politics and business[edit]

The Armed Forces enjoy considerable power, prestige and independence within the Egyptian state.[22] During almost the entire history of the Republic of Egypt, active or retired military officers have been head of the Egyptian state. The one democratically-elected civilian who served as president was removed by a military coup after only one year (July 2012-July 2013).

Starting with the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, which created the Republic of Egypt, and was organized by the Free Officers Movement, presidents of Egypt (Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat, Hosni Mubarak) were ex-military officers for almost 60 years. This was interrupted with the 2011 revolution, when one of those presidents (Mubarak) stepped down, and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces ruled until an elected president -- Muhammad Morsi—took office. On 3 July 2013, General Al-Sisiannounced Morsi removal in 2013 Egyptian coup d'état, although the interim president he named was a civilian—the Chief Justice of Supreme Constitutional Court Adly Mansour.

Even the new constitution drafted and passed under Morsi included protections for the military from legal and parliamentary oversight,[23] and deferred to "objections from the country’s military leadership" by removing a "clear prohibition on trials of civilians before military courts" some drafters had tried to include.[24]


The military which has its own Hospitals, Factories, Clubs and Gas Stations which serve its Officers, Soldiers, and public as well also influential in business, engaging in road and housing construction, consumer goods, resort management,[22] and extensive tracts of real estate. Much military information is not made publicly available, including budget information, the names of the general officers and the military’s size (which is considered a state secret).[22] According to journalist Joshua Hammer, "as much as 40% of the Egyptian economy" is controlled by the Egyptian military.[25] the number which is described as a "myth" by some economists and journalists and contribution considered by some as "necessary" for the Egyptian Economy and the needs of the Armed Forces to maintains its strength.[26]


Egyptian Armed Forces structure contains several main branches and departments. Egyptian Armed Forces main branches are the Army, the Air Force, the Air Defense, and the Navy.


Main article: Egyptian Army

The inventory of the Egyptian armed forces includes equipment from the United States, France, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and the People's Republic of China. Equipment from the Soviet Union is being progressively replaced by more modern U.S., French, and British equipment, a significant portion of which is built under license in Egypt, such as the M1A2 Abrams tank which makes Egypt the owner of the second largest number of latest generation main battle tanks in the region and the first in the case of the older generations. Conscripts for the army and other service branches without a university degree serve three years as enlisted soldiers. Conscripts with a General Secondary School Degree serve two years as enlisted personnel. Conscripts with a university degree serve one year as enlisted personnel or three years as a reserve officer. Officers for the army are trained at the Egyptian Military Academy one of the oldest academies in the world.

Air Force[edit]

Main article: Egyptian Air Force

The Egyptian Air Force or EAF is the aviation branch of the Egyptian Armed Forces. Currently, the backbone of the EAF is the F-16. The EAF (planes and pilot training) is considered to be the strongest in Africa and one of the strongest in the Middle East. The Mirage 2000 is the other modern interceptor used by the EAF. The Egyptian Air Force has 220 F-16s (plus 20 on order) making it the 4th largest operator of the F-16 in the World. It has about 1,100 combat aircraft[27] and 245 armed helicopters.[28] having 35 Apache's AH-64D as it also continues to fly extensively upgraded MiG-21s, F-7 Skybolts, F-4 Phantoms, Dassault Mirage Vs, and the C-130 Hercules among other planes. The Air Force is undergoing massive modernization. Mikoyan confirmed that talks with Egypt are underway[when?] for the sale of 40 Mig-29SMT jet-fighters with a possible additional batch of 60-80 planes.

An Egyptian F16C Pilot

Air Defense Command[edit]

The Egyptian Air Defense Command or ADF (Quwwat El Diffaa El Gawwi in Arabic) is Egypt's military command responsible for air defense. One of the most powerful air defenses in the world. Egypt patterned its Air Defense Force (ADF) after the Soviet Anti-Air Defenses, which integrated all its air defense capabilities – antiaircraft guns, rocket and missile units, interceptor planes, and radar and warning installations.

Its commander is Lieutenant General Abdul Meniem Al-Toras.


Main article: Egyptian Navy
US Navy Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate, the same type used by Egypt.

Although the Egyptian Navy is the smallest branch of the military, it is large by Middle Eastern standards. The Egyptian Navy is known to be the strongest in the African continent, and the largest in the Middle East in spite of the rapid growth of other countries' navies within the region.

Some fleet units are stationed in the Red Sea, but the bulk of the force remains in the Mediterranean. Navy headquarters and the main operational and training base are located at Ras el Tin near Alexandria. The current commander is Vice Admiral Osama El-Gendi.

The Navy also controls the Egyptian Coast Guard. The Coast Guard is responsible for the onshore protection of public installations near the coast and the patrol of coastal waters to prevent smuggling. it has an inventory consisting of about thirty five large patrol craft (each between twenty and thirty meters in length) and twenty smaller Bertram-class coastal patrol craft built in the United States.

See list of naval ships of Egypt for a list of vessels in service.

Departments and Authorities[edit]

The Engineering Authority[edit]

The Eningeering Authority of the Egyptian Armed Forces (EAAF) is the sector beneath the Armed Forces responsible for the Engineering work, it's missions variety between War and peace time, In War time the authority is responsible for the engineering aid to the Forces, one of the Authority major operations was Operation Badr (1973). In Peace time the authority is responsible in helping build Egypt's infrastructure and the national projects including Cities, stadiums, clubs.

Department of Morale Affairs[edit]

The Department of Morale Affairs (DMA) is responsible for managing the Egyptian Armed Forces' public image, boosting goodwill towards troops, writing the speeches of the Armed forces' public statements, contacting the media and organizing the Egyptian Armed Forces' conferences and symposiums.[29]

Military Judiciary[edit]

The Military Judiciary Authority is responsible for the Judicial Affairs assigned by the Egyptian Constitution. The Military Judiciary is responsible for the Disposition of cases related to the Armed Forces' institutions and personnel. both civilians and military personnel appear before the court.

The Financial Authority[edit]

The Research Authority[edit]

Military intelligence Management[edit]

Management and Administration[edit]

Department of Armament Affairs[edit]

Department of Officers' Affairs[edit]

Arab Organization for Industrialization[edit]

The Arab Organization for Industrialization supervises nine military factories which produce civilian goods as well as military products. Initially the owners of AOI were the governments of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, before the latter governments gave their shares back to Egypt in 1993, valued at $1.8 billion. AOI is now entirely in Egyptian hands.

Military schools[edit]

Egyptian Military Police

There is an undergraduate military school for each branch of the Egyptian Military establishment, and they include:

Foreign military assistance[edit]

Egyptian field hospital in Bagram, Afghanistan

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Military Strength of Egypt". Retrieved 2011-06-11. 
  2. ^ "". 
  3. ^ Global Fire Power " GFP "
  4. ^ IISS Military Balance 2007, p.223
  5. ^ title=Egypt%11--%20Britannica%20Online%20Encyclopedia "Egypt". Britannica. Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  6. ^ "The Egyptian Threat and the Prospects for War in the Middle East". NATIV. November 2006. Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  7. ^ Global Diversity: Winning Customers and Engaging Employees Within World Markets. Intercultural Press. 2006. Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  8. ^ "Egypt to launch first spy satellite". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  9. ^ Bumiller, Elisabeth (28 January 2011). "Egyptian Military Chiefs Cut Pentagon Visit Short". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
  10. ^ Bumiller, Elisabeth; Mark Landler contributed reporting, "Calling for Restraint, Pentagon Faces Test of Influence With Ally". The New York Times. 29 January 2011 (30 January 2011, p. A1, New York edition). Retrieved 30 January 2011.
  11. ^ Murdock, Heather (February 11, 2011). "Crowds rejoice as Egypt’s Mubarak steps down, hands power to military". The Washington Times. Retrieved February 11, 2011. 
  12. ^;-amends--Con.aspx
  13. ^ Kirkpatrick, David; Mayy El Sheikh (20 August 2013). "An Egypt Arrest, and a Brotherhood on the Run". New York Times. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  14. ^ "Mohamed Morsi ousted in Egypt's second revolution in two years". The Guardian. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  15. ^ "Mohamed Morsi ousted in Egypt's second revolution in two years". The Atlantic. 30 June 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  16. ^ "Anti-Mursi ‘Rebel’ campaign receives more than 22 million signatures". Al Arabiya. 29 June 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  17. ^ a b "Millions flood Egypt's streets to demand Mursi quit". Reuters. 30 June 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  18. ^ "Egypt protests: President Morsi removed by army, reportedly put under house arrest". The Associated Press and Reuters=3 July 2013. 3 July 2013. 
  19. ^ "Scenesetter: President Mubarak's visit to Washington". US Department of State. 2009-05-19. 
  20. ^ David Costello (February 1, 2011). "Nation locked in a deadly stalemate". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 2011-02-11. 
  21. ^ "Egypt May Not Need Fighter Jets, But The U.S. Keeps Sending Them Anyway."
  22. ^ a b c Cambanis, Thanassis (11 September 2010). "Succession Gives Army a Stiff Test in Egypt". New York Times. Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  23. ^ KIRKPATRICK, DAVID D.; MAYY EL SHEIKH (December 23, 2012). "Egypt Opposition Gears Up After Constitution Passes". New York Times. Retrieved 26 September 2013. "the constitution’s principal defects were not about religion. The biggest problem, he said, is that it protects the Egyptian military from legal and parliamentary oversight, engraving its autonomy in the constitution. Leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood had said privately for months that they were willing to provide the military such constitutional protections in order to ease the transition of power from the generals who assumed control from Mr. Mubarak." 
  24. ^ "Egypt: New Constitution Mixed on Support of Rights". November 30, 2012. Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 26 September 2013. "But the latest draft, unlike the earlier version, defers to objections from the country’s military leadership and removes the clear prohibition on trials of civilians before military courts." 
  25. ^ Egypt: Who Calls the Shots?(relevance?) Joshua Hammer|| 18 August 2011| (free online article not complete, does not include quoted portion).
  26. ^ Army Economy between dramatize and the dismantling of the state 12 April 2012| (Arabic Article).
  27. ^ Aircraft Strength by Country
  28. ^ Helicopter Strength by Country
  29. ^ "Abdul Fattah al-Sisi: New face of Egypt's old guard". 

Further reading[edit]

  • Kenneth M. Pollack, Arabs at War: Military Effectiveness 1948-91, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln and London, 2002, and Pollack's book reviewed in International Security, Vol. 28, No.2.

External links[edit]