Egyptian Air Force

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Egyptian Air Force
القوات الجوية المصرية
Egyptian Air Force emblem.svg
Egyptian Air Force emblem
Founded Part of the Egyptian Army in 1932, an independent service arm in 1937 (84 years) – present
Country  Egypt
Allegiance Egypt
Branch Air Force
Type Military aviation
Role Aerial Warfare
Size 30,000 active (As of 2014)[1]
20,000 Reserve (As of 2014)[1]
50,000 Total (As of 2014)[1]
1,136 aircraft (As of 2016)[2]
Part of Coat of arms of Egypt (on flag).svg Egyptian Armed Forces
Garrison/HQ Oruba street, Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt
Motto(s) 'Higher and higher for the sake of glory' (Arabic: إلى العلا في سبيل المجد‎‎, I‘la’ al-a‘là fī sabīl al-magd)
Colors Cyan, Red, White and Black
                
March Oh Eagles fever oh invaders sky
Mascot(s) Golden eagle
Anniversaries 14th of October[3]
Equipment Egyptian military aircraft
Engagements

List of conflicts in Egypt

Website www.mod.gov.eg
Commanders
Commander-in-Chief Air Marshal Younes Hamed
Chief of Air Staff Fouaad Fouaad Abu el-Nasr[4]
Notable
commanders
Hosni Mubarak
Ahmed Shafik/Reda Hafez
Insignia
Air Force Ensign Eafflag.svg
Roundel/Finflash Egyptian Air Force Roundel.svg Flag of Egypt.svg
Aviator badge EAF Aviator badge.png
Insignia Egyptian Air Force ranks
Aircraft flown
Attack F-16, Dassault Rafale, Alpha Jet MS.2, L-59
Electronic
warfare
E-2HE2K, Beechcraft 1900, C-130, Commando Mk.2E, Mi-8
Fighter F-16, Mirage-2000, Mirage V, Dassault Rafale
Attack helicopter AH-64 Apache, Mil Mi-8, Aérospatiale Gazelle SA-342
Interceptor F-16 Fighting Falcon, Mirage 2000, Dassault Rafale, J-7
Patrol Beechcraft 1900, SA-342
Reconnaissance M-324, Mi-8, Mirage V
Trainer K-8, EMB 312, G-115, UH-12
Transport C-130, C-295, An-74

The Egyptian Air Force (EAF) (Arabic: القوات الجوية المصرية‎‎, Al-Qūwāt al-Gawwīyä al-Miṣrīyä), is the aviation branch of the Egyptian Armed Forces, is responsible for all airborne defence missions and operates all military aircraft, including those used in support of the Egyptian Army, Egyptian Navy and the Egyptian Air Defense Forces, created as a separate command in the 1970s, coordinates with the Air Force to integrate air and ground-based air defense operations. The EAF is headed by an Air Marshal (Lieutenant General equivalent). Currently, the commander of the Egyptian Air Force is Air Marshal Younes Hamed. The force's motto is 'Higher and higher for the sake of glory' (Arabic: إلى العلا في سبيل المجد‎‎, I‘la’ al-a‘là fī sabīl al-magd).

The Egyptian Army Air Service was formed in 1932, and became an independent air force in 1937. It had little involvement in the Second World War. From 1948 to 1973 it took part, with generally mediocre results, in four separate wars with Israel, as well as the quasi-War of Attrition. It also supported the Egyptian Army during the North Yemen Civil War and the Libyan-Egyptian War of 1977. From 1977 to 2011 it saw virtually no combat, but has participated in numerous exercises, including Operation Bright Star. Since 1992 the EAF has also provided aviation support for the police and other national security organizations engaged in the war against terrorism. In recent years the Air Force has acted in the Sinai Insurgency, the Second Libyan Civil War and the Intervention in the Yemen.

The EAF primary role is the air defence of the nation, with secondary tasks of strike and army support operations. The EAF provides official government transport and carries out international search-and- rescue operations in the desert, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Red Sea.

In 2014 the IISS estimated the total active manpower of the Egyptian Air Force at approximately 30,000 personnel, including 10,000 conscripts, with reserves of 20,000 personnel.[1] This contrasts with an estimate of some 35,000 personnel, with most aircrew being long-term professionals, in 2010.[5]

History[edit]

Establishment[edit]

Egyptian Air Force Insignia (1937–1958)
Royal Egyptian Air Force ensign

In late 1928, the Parliament of Egypt proposed the creation of an Egyptian Air Force. The Egyptian ministry of war announced that it needed volunteers for the new arm to become the first four Egyptian military pilots. Over 200 Egyptian officers volunteered, but in the end only three succeeded in passing strict medical tests and technical examinations.

These three went to No. 4 Flying Training School RAF at RAF Station Abu Sueir near the Suez Canal, where they were trained on a variety of aircraft. After graduation, they traveled to the United Kingdom for specialised training.

First three Egyptian pilots

On 2 November 1930, the King of Egypt and Sudan, Fuad I announced the creation of the Egyptian Army Air Force (EAAF). On 27 May 1931 the Egyptian Council of Ministers approved the purchase of five aircraft and the building of an airfield at Almaza with a budget of 50,000 pounds. The aircraft chosen was the British de Havilland Gipsy Moth trainer, the five modified aircraft were flown from England to Egypt and on arrival in May 1932 the air force was founded and the Almaza airfield was formally opened.

The first commander of the EAAF was Squadron Leader Victor Hubert Tait RAF, a Canadian, former Senior Air Advisor on the British Military Mission in Egypt. Tait selected staff, weapons and initiated building a number of airfields. In 1934 the British government provided ten Avro 626 aircraft, which were the first real Egyptian military planes. A further 17 626s together with Hawker Audaxes for army cooperation and close support and Avro Ansons for VIP work followed shortly afterward.

In 1937 the Egyptian Army Air Force was separated from the Army Command and became an independent branch named the Royal Egyptian Air Force (REAF). New stations were built in the Suez Canal Zone, and the Western Desert.

During 1938 the REAF received two squadrons of Gloster Gladiator biplane fighters and a squadron of then-modern Westland Lysander reconnaissance aircraft, Egypt was the last state to use the Lysander in action, during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

Second World War[edit]

Egyptian airplanes flying over Koubbeh Palace in celebration of King Farouk I and Queen Farida's wedding.

As the Egyptian border was threatened by an Italian and German invasion during the Second World War, the Royal Air Force established more airfield in Egypt. The Royal Egyptian Air Force was sometimes treated as a part of the Royal Air Force, at other times a strict policy of neutrality was followed as Egypt maintained its official neutrality until very late in the war. As a result, few additional aircraft were supplied by Britain, however the arm did receive its first modern fighters, Hawker Hurricanes and a small number of Curtiss P-40 Tomahawks. In the immediate post-war period, cheap war surplus aircraft, including a large number of Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXs were acquired.

A roughly 1946 order of battle for the Air Force can be found in Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II.

1948 Arab-Israeli War[edit]

Main article: 1948 Arab-Israeli War
Israeli Avia S-199 chasing one of two Egyptian aircraft which had been bombing Tel Aviv on June 3rd 1948

Following the British withdrawal from the British Protectorate of Palestine and the establishment of the State of Israel on 14 May 1948, Egyptian forces crossed into Palestine as part of a wider Arab League military coalition in support of the Palestinians against the Israelis. The Egyptian Air Force contribution included the Short Stirling bomber,[6] Douglas C-47 Dakotas performing as light bombers and Spitfires.

Two Israeli aircraft were shot down and on 22 May 1948, Egyptian Spitfires attacked the RAF Ramat David airfield, believing that it had already been taken over by Israeli forces. The first raid surprised the British, and resulted in the destruction of several RAF aircraft on the ground, and the deaths of four airmen. The British were uncertain whether the attacking Spitfires had come from Arab or Israeli forces. When second and third raids followed shortly afterwards, the British were ready and the entire Egyptian force was shot down – the last aircraft being baited for some time as the RAF pilots attempted to get a close look at its markings.

Relations with Britain were soon restored and the official state of war with Israel ensured that arms purchases continued. New Spitfire Mk. 22s were purchased to replace the earlier models. In late 1949, Egypt received its first jet fighter, the British Gloster Meteor F4 and shortly after de Havilland Vampire FB5s.

Egypt's bombardment of Tel Aviv during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
Nitzanim after the Egyptian bombardment during the Battle of Nitzanim

In 1955, Egypt made an agreement to buy heavy arms from Czechoslovakia, culminating four years of attempts.[7] The Egyptian Government was determined to move away from reliance on British armaments. 1951 discussions had included 60-100 Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 fighters. Initial Soviet bloc deliveries included the MiG-15s, Ilyushin Il-28 bombers, Ilyushin Il-14 transports, and Yak-11 trainers. Instructors from Czechoslovakia accompanied these aircraft. Egypt also began manufacturing its own Czechoslovak-designed Gomhouria Bü 181 Bestmann primary trainers at this time

The Suez Crisis[edit]

Main article: Suez Crisis
During the display in Almaza, probably in September 1956, all the new types of aircraft purchased from Czechoslovakia and the USSR were shown, including - clockwise: MiG-17F, MiG-15bis, Il-28, Yak-11, Zlin 226, and two Mi-1 helicopters.

After the Egyptian Government's nationalisation of the Suez Canal in 1956, Egypt was attacked by Israel, France, and the United Kingdom in what came to be known as the Suez Crisis ("Tripartite Aggression" in Egypt). Heavy losses were sustained by the Egyptian side. The conflict, though devastating militarily, turned out to be a political victory for Egypt, and resulted in the total withdrawal of the aggressor forces from the country. It also forced the EAF to begin rebuilding with non-British help.

In 1958, Egypt merged with Syria to form the United Arab Republic, and the previously separate Egyptian, and Syrian forces were combined as the United Arab Republic Air Force. Though Syria left the union in 1961, Egypt continued to use the union's official name until 1971, including for its air force.

A formation of five brand-new EAF Il-28 bombers, seen at low level over Cairo during a parade in September 1956.

By the mid-1960s, British aircraft had been replaced completely by Soviet hardware. The Soviet Union became the principal supplier of the EAF, and many other Arab states. This allowed the EAF to greatly modernise and boost its combat effectiveness. The MiG-21 Fishbed arrived in the early 1960s, bringing with it a Mach 2 capability. The MiG-21 would remain Egypt's primary fighter for the next two decades. In 1967, Egypt had 200 MiG-21s. The EAF also began flying the Sukhoi Su-7 fighter/bomber in the mid-1960s.

Egypt also began the Helwan HA-300 as its first supersonic aircraft. It never went beyond three prototypes and initial test flights, then was abandoned due to high military cost inflicted upon the Egyptian military involvement in the Yemen War and the defeat in the 1967 war with Israel.

The Yemen War[edit]

Main article: North Yemen Civil War
Destruction wrought by the Egyptian bombardment on the city of Ma'rib

The Yemeni Royalist side received support from Saudi Arabia and Jordan, while the Yemeni Republicans were supported by Egypt. The fighting was fierce, featuring heavy urban combat as well as battles in the countryside. Both foreign irregular and conventional forces were also involved.

Strategically, the Yemen War was an opportunity for Israel. It stagnated Egyptian military plans for the reinforcement of Sinai, by shifting the Egyptian military focus to another theater of operation. Egyptian historian Mohammed Heikal writes that Israel provided arms shipments and also cultivated relationships with hundreds of European mercenaries fighting for the Royalists in Yemen. Israel established a covert air-supply bridge from Djibouti to North Yemen. The war also gave the Israelis the opportunity to assess Egyptian combat tactics and adaptability.

Egyptian air and naval forces began bombing and shelling raids in the Saudi southwestern city of Najran and the coastal town of Jizan, which were staging points for royalist forces. In response, the Saudis purchased British Thunderbird (missile) surface-to-air missiles and developed their King Khalid airfield near Khamis Mushait. Riyadh also attempted to convince the United States to respond on its behalf. In Operation Hard Surface, President Kennedy sent jet fighters and bombers to Dhahran Air Base from May 1963,[8] demonstrating to Egypt the seriousness of his commitment to defending U.S. interests in Saudi Arabia.

The Six-Day War[edit]

Main article: Six-Day War
Israeli troops examine destroyed Egyptian aircraft.

In the 1967 Six-Day War the EAF's combat capacity was severely damaged after the Israeli Air Force destroyed its air bases in a preemptive strike codenamed Operation Focus. During the last four days the EAF conducted only 150 sorties against Israeli units throughout the Sinai.[9] After the war, the Soviet Union replenished EAF stocks, sending large numbers of aircraft and advisors to Egypt to revitalise the EAF.

The Biafran War[edit]

During the Nigerian Civil War, Nigeria received support from Egypt, as Abdel Nasser sent Egyptians pilots. Pilots were provided to fly the aircraft procured by the Soviet Union, air force Mikoyan MiG-17 fighters and Ilyushin Il-28 bombers. The Egyptian conscripts frequently attacked civilian rather than military targets, bombing numerous Red Cross shelters.[10]

The War of Attrition[edit]

EAF bomber of the model Ilyushin Il-28 bombing Israeli targets east the suez canal during the attrition war
Main article: War of Attrition

The years between 1967 and 1970 involved a prolonged campaign of attrition against Israel. The EAF went through a massive construction program to build new air bases in order to increase its survivability. During this period Egypt also received replacements for losses it suffered during the Six Day War. The EAF was the first branch of the Egyptian armed forces to achieve full combat readiness.

On 15 July 1967, six Israeli Mirage III fighters violated Egyptian airspace and orders were given for two formations each consisted of two MiG-21 fighters to intercept, another formation of 2 MiGs piloted by Major Fawzy Salama & Lieutenant Medhat Zaki was ready in West Cairo airbase. Indeed, the formation took off, but for protecting the airbase rather than supporting the interception.

October War 1973[edit]

Israeli Mirage III shot down by Egyptian MiG-21 during October war

During the initial surprise air attack of the Yom Kippur War, over 220 EAF aircraft took part. Unlike their Syrian counterparts, EAF aircraft evaded Israeli radars by flying below detection height. EAF aircraft were held in reserve after that point, mainly concentrating on airfield defence in conjunction with the SA-3 'Goa', while the more mobile SA-6 'Gainful' protected Egyptian forces at low and medium level, aided by the ZSU-23-4SP and shoulder-held SA-7 SAMs.

Despite these limitations, the EAF conducted offensive sorties from time to time. The Su-7BM was used for quick strafe attacks on Israeli columns and the Mirage IIIE (sometimes confused with the Mirage 5), donated by Libya, carried out long-range attacks deep inside Sinai at Bir Gifgafa.

However, when Israeli armoured forces used a gap between the two Egyptian armies to cross the Suez Canal (Operation Stouthearted Men), they destroyed several Egyptian SAM sites, forcing the EAF into battle against the IAF. The EAF claimed victories and continued to contest IAF operations, while also launching attacks on Israeli ground forces on the East Bank of the Suez Canal. In most of these engagements, Egyptian MiG-21s (of all types) challenged Israeli Mirage IIICJs or Neshers.[11]

The IAF did not operate freely and did not have complete air supremacy it enjoyed during the previous conflict, the 1967 war. Egyptian MiGs were used with better efficiency than before which included the tactics and lessons learned from the 1967 war.[12]

It was during this war that the EAF applied the lessons it earlier learnt from the Israelis. A 32-year-old deputy MiG-21 regiment commander who has been flying since he was 15 recalls: "During the war of attrition, the Israeli air force had a favorite ambush tactic", he told Aviation Week and Space Technology. "They would penetrate with two aircraft at medium altitude where they would be quickly picked up by radar, We would scramble four or eight to attack them. But they had another dozen fighters trailing at extremely low altitude below radar coverage. As we climbed to the attack they would zoom up behind and surprise us. My regiment lost MiGs to this ambush tactic three times. But we learned the lesson and practiced the same tactics. In the final fights over Deversoir, we ambushed some Mirages the same way, and my own 'finger four' formation shot down four Mirages with the loss of one MiG."[13]

Egyptian Sukhoi Su-7 fighter jets conducting air strikes over the Bar Lev Line on 6 October

The Egyptian Air Force commander during the war was then-Air Marshal Hosni Mubarak. On 14 October 1973 one of many Egyptian/Israeli air engagements took place. Initial Egyptian claims were that 15 Israeli aircraft had been destroyed.[14] Israel to this day lists no pilots killed on 14 October. Mubarak thereafter altered documents and even photographs from the engagement, creating the "Air battle of Mansoura".[15] Later on, the Egyptian Government changed the country’s "Air Force Day" from 2 November to 14 October, to commemorate the Mansourah air battle.[14] Mubarak was even promoted and feted as a national hero after the war, seemingly principally due to his pilots' ability to hit their target during the initial air attack.[16]

EAF MiG17

Shaba I[edit]

During the Shaba I crisis in Zaire on 1977, Egyptian Air Force provided 50 pilots and technicians, which operated Mirage jets from the Zairian Air Force.[17]

Libyan-Egyptian War[edit]

Main article: Libyan-Egyptian War

During the 1977 Libyan-Egyptian War, there were some skirmishes between Libyan and Egyptian fighters.[18] In one instance, two Libyan Air Force MiG-23MS engaged two EAF MiG-21MFs that had been upgraded to carry Western weaponry. The Libyan pilots made the mistake of trying to manoeuvre with the more nimble Egyptian fighters, and one MiG-23MS was shot down by EAF Maj. Sal Mohammad, while the other Libyan aircraft used its speed advantage to escape.

From 1985 the EAF was involved in the joint U.S.-Egyptian biannual Exercise Bright Star.

Sinai Insurgency[edit]

Main article: Sinai Insurgency

The Egyptian Air Force operated on a large scale during the Sinai insurgency which commenced in 2011. AH-64 Apache helicopters and F-16 jet fighters bombed numerous militant targets on almost a daily basis.[19]

Second Libyan Civil War[edit]

During the Second Libyan Civil War there were conflicting reports that Egyptian warplanes bombed Islmaist militias in support of the government based in Tobruk. The foreign ministry denied any involvement in the conflict although unnamed Egyptian military officials claimed otherwise.[20] Egypt tightens security on Libyan border following mysterious air strikes.[21] Egyptian forces near the Libyan border have been put on high alert following air strikes on 2016 Jan. 10 from unidentified fighter jets inside Libya. The fighter jets struck Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) targets inside Libya, according to news reports.[22] The Libyan coastal city of Sirte has served as ISIL’s capital in North Africa since the terror group seized the city last summer.[23]

After receiving three MiG-21MFs and three Mi-8s from Egypt just half a year ago, it appears the Libyan Air Force is now further strengthened by two MiG-21MFs from the same source. The former EAF mounts are a welcome addition to the under-equipped Libyan Air Force, which is currently waging a war against Libya Dawn, Ansar al-Sharia and even the Islamic State, the latter centered around the Libyan city of Derna.[24][25]

On March 6, 2016, Egypt and France began on Sunday a joint military exercise termed as the “Ramses-2016” in the coastal city of Alexandria along the Mediterranean.[26][27][28] The French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle is steaming through the Red Sea on its way to the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal for joint maneuvers with the Egyptian air force and navy in preparation for a reduced coalition offensive against Islamic State’s deepening grip on Libya.[29][30]

2015 airstrikes in Libya[edit]

The February 2015 Egyptian airstrikes in Libya against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) positions in Libya took place on February 16, 2015, and were triggered by a video released by ISIL in Libya a day earlier, depicting the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians from Egypt.

Within hours, the Egyptian Air Force responded with airstrikes against ISIL training camps and weapons stockpiles[31] in retaliation for the killings.[32] Warplanes acting under orders from the Libyan government also struck targets in Derna, reportedly in coordination with Egypt.[33]

The air strikes had allegedly killed up to 81 ISIL militants,[34][35] including three of the leadership, in the coastal cities of Derna and Sirte. Libyan media reported that at least 35 more Egyptians had been rounded up by ISIL in retaliation for the air raids.

2015 military intervention in Yemen[edit]

An airstrike in Sana'a on 11 May 2015

Egyptian Air Forces are participating in a Saudi-led joint regional military operation to halt the advance of Shia Houthi rebels in Yemen,[36] Egypt’s presidency announced on 2015 March 25 in a statement. the Egyptian Air Force participated in airstrikes against Houthis in Yemen.[37]

Egypt’s military participation “through elements of the Egyptian air and navy forces” aims to support the Saudi-led regional coalition to restore stability in Yemen “under legitimate leadership”, according to the Egyptian presidency’s statement.[38]

The Egyptian air force supported pro-government forces when they attacked Al Anad Air Base in the south of Yemen. "EAF and paratroopers aerial supported Yemeni ground forces who have now seized the military base killing scores of Houthi rebels".[39]

Structure[edit]

Air Bases[edit]

Source:[40]

Egyptian Air Force is located in Egypt
Abu Suwayr
Abu Suwayr
Al Mansurah
Al Mansurah
Alexandria/Intl
Alexandria/Intl
Aswan
Aswan
Az Zaqaziq
Az Zaqaziq
Beni Suef
Beni Suef
Bilbays
Bilbays
Birma/Tanta
Birma/Tanta
Cairo/Almaza
Cairo/Almaza
Cairo/Intl
Cairo/Intl
Cairo/West
Cairo/West
El Minya
El Minya
Fayid
Fayid
Gebel el Basur
Gebel el Basur
Hurghada
Hurghada
Inshas
Inshas
Gianaclis
Gianaclis
Kom Awshim
Kom Awshim
Mersha Matruh
Mersha Matruh
Jandali
Jandali
Air bases of the Egyptian Air Force
Egyptian Air Force Roundel.svg Egyptian Air Force bases

Order of battle[41][edit]

  • 102 Tact Fighter Brigade
    • 26sq - Mersha Matruh
    • 82sq - Mersha Matruh
  • 104 Fighter Brigade
    • 22sq - Al Mansurah
    • 45sq - Al Mansurah
    • 49sq - Al Mansurah
  • 282 Tactical Fighter Wing
    • 86th TFS - Fayid
    • 88th FTS - Fayid
  • Fighter Brigade
    • ..sq - Aswan
    • ..sq - Hurghada
  • 601 AEW Brigade
    • 87sq - Cairo/West
  • 222 Tact Fighter Brigade
    • 76sq - Cairo/West
    • 78sq - Cairo/West
  • .. ECM Brigade
    • ..sq - Kom Awshim
    • ..sq - Kom Awshim
  • 53. Helicopter Brigade
    • 7sq - Kom Awshim
    • 18sq - Kom Awshim
    • ..sq - Hurghada
  • 272 Tact Fighter Wing
    • 75th TFS - Jiyanklis New
    • 77th TFS - Jiyanklis New
    • 79th TFS - Jiyanklis New
  • 232 Tact Fighter Wing
    • 72nd TFS - Inshas
    • 74th TFS
  • 546 ECM Brigade
    • 81sq - Jiyanklis New
  • 236 FGA Brigade
    • 69sq - Birma/Tanta
    • 73sq - Birma/Tanta
  • 252 Tactical Fighter Wing
    • 71sq - Gebel el Basur
    • 82sq - Gebel el Basur
  • 242 Tact Fighter Wing
    • 68th TFS - Beni Suef
    • 70th TFS - Beni Suef
  • 262 Tact Fighter Wing
    • 60th TFS - Abu Suwayr
  • 516 Transport Brigade
    • 2sq - Cairo/Almaza
    • 40sq - Cairo/Almaza
    • ..sq - Cairo/Almaza
    • ..sq - Cairo/Almaza
  • 533 Helicopter Brigade
    • ..sq - Cairo/Almaza
  • Government
    • Government Flight - Cairo/Almaza
  • Flying Training Air Squadron
    • ..FTS - Wadi al Jandali
  • 550 Attack Heli Brigade
    • 51sq - Wadi al Jandali
    • 52sq - Az Zaqaziq
  • .. Transport Brigade
    • 4sq - Cairo/Intl
    • 16sq - Cairo/Intl
    • ..sq - Cairo/Almaza
  • 117 Primary Training Brigade
    • ..sq - Bilbays
  • 117 Basic Training Brigade
    • 83sq - Bilbays
    • 84sq - Bilbays
    • 85sq - Bilbays
  • Air Navigation School
    • ..sq - Bilbays
  • Weapon Training Brigade
    • ..sq - El Minya
  • Flying Training Brigade
    • ..sq - El Minya
    • 201sq - El Minya
  • .. Helicopter Training Brigade
    • ..sq - El Minya
  • 545th Tactical Helicopter Wing
    • 7sq - Alexandria/Intl
    • 11sq - Alexandria/Intl
    • 37sq - Alexandria/Intl

Silver Stars aerobatic team[edit]

Egyptian K-8 Used by Silver Stars

Silver Stars is the Egyptian Air Force aerobatic display team flying 10 K-8E Karakorum jet trainer aircraft painted in white, red and black colors. All planes are equipped with white, red and blue smoke generators. During the shows, the Silver Stars performs eight different formations along with several single aircraft passes. Aircraft #6325 (Star 1) carries the name "Mostafa" after the team leader. Another team's planes also carried the pilots names painted at the K-8 nose. All pilots are flying instructors at the Egyptian Air Academy based in Belbeis Airport.

The Egyptian Air Force demonstration team "The Silver Stars" was formed in the mid of 1974 to participate at "October War" anniversary. Pilots of the team were flying instructors at the Air force College and flew four L-29 planes painted in dark green and brown and yellow - standard color scheme. In 1984, the Sliver Stars aerobatic team switched to six Alpha Jet training airplanes. In the following year, team's planes became nine. In 2003, the team made the switch to the K-8E Karakorum trainer and from 2005 was led by Group Captain Mostafa Fathi. Since 2010, the team is now flying ten aircraft - nine plus one solo.

Aircraft[edit]

Egyptian F-16 Air Refueling

The Camp David Accords caused a gradual change in the overall composition of the EAF. The EAF began to rely more on US, French and in some cases on Chinese aircraft.

The addition of these aircraft from multiple sources along with the ones already in the EAF inventory caused increasing serviceability problems. In 1982, the EAF began receiving General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters under the Peace Vector Program. As of 2015, the EAF received a total of 220 F-16s. 18 aircraft were lost in accidents and 7 F-16A/Bs were grounded.

These grounded F-16A/Bs were later overhauled, upgraded and returned to active service, additional F-16s were acquired to replace those lost. In 1986, the EAF received the French Mirage 2000 fighters, one was lost in a training accident. Egypt also license-built Alphajets, Tucano airplanes and Westland Gazelle helicopters.

In 1987 the E-2C Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning (AEW) entered service and was upgraded with advanced AN/APS-145 radars. The EAF also upgraded its F-16 fighters to C/D standard that enabled them to fire the AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile.

The EAF currently operates 46 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters 36 of which were initially delivered as the AH-64A variant but were later upgraded to AH-64D standard.[42] On 22 May 2009, Egypt requested the purchase of 36 Apache Arrowhead sensor systems as part of an order for 12 Block II AH-64D Apache helicopters. The number was later reduced to 10 Helicopters. 74 Grob G-115's and 120 K-8 Karakorum trainers were also ordered.[43]

Modernization[edit]

The Egyptian Air Force operated 220 F-16s at that point

During the late 1990s, then Air Marshal Ahmed Shafik (the former Civil Aviation minister until 2011) outlined an ambitious modernization program for the Egyptian Air Force in the 21st century.[citation needed]

Egypt made several deals with Ukrainian companies for the modernization of its old MiG-21 fleet but these deals were not implemented and no future plans to modernize the fleet of Mig-21s were put in place.

On 3 March 2010, the EAF ordered 20 Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Block 52 aircraft.[44] The contract was set to complete in 2013 and included 16 single-seat F-16C and four twin-seat F-16D aircraft.

Egypt became the Rafale's first international customer when it officially ordered 24 Rafales

On 14 August 2012, the US Defense Department awarded a major contract to facilitate the procurement of F-16s by the EAF. The Pentagon selected American International Contractors for a $66.6 million contract to upgrade infrastructure for Egypt’s order of 20 F-16 Block 52 aircraft, estimated at $2.2 billion.[45] On 24 July 2013, the U.S. announced it would halt deliveries of the F-16s in response to the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état.[46] In March, 2015 the US announced the resumption of the deliveries of the F-16s, the last of which was delivered in October, 2015.[47][48]

On 16 February 2015, Egypt became the Rafale's first international customer when it officially ordered 24 Rafales,[49] as part of a larger deal (including a FREMM multipurpose frigate and a supply of missiles) worth US$5.9 billion (€5.2 billion).[50][51][52] In July 2015, the official ceremony, marking the acceptance by Egypt of its first 3 Rafales, was held at the Dassault Aviation flight test center in Istres.[53] In January 2016, Egypt received three more Rafale fighters, raising the number of Rafales in service to six. [54] All six aircraft are two-seat models and were diverted from delivery to the French Air Force; Egypt's total 24-plane order is for 8 single-seat models and 16 two-seaters.[55]

46 Ka-52 Alligators and an unknown number of Ka-52Ks are on order

In April 2014, it was reported that Egypt plans to order 24 MiG-35 fighters as part of an arms deal.[56][57] MiG head Sergei Korotkov said at the 2015 Aero India exposition they will provide the fighters if Egypt orders them and are ready to negotiate.[58] Russia agreed on a contract with Egypt for 50 MiG-35 fighters and is expected to be worth up to $2 billion.[59][60][61] Russia plans to supply the Egyptian MiG-35s with 40 high precision targeting pods. Deliveries would begin in 2016.[62]

Russia and Egypt signed a contract for delivery of 50 Ka-52 helicopters.[63] The Ka-52 will be equipped with the new OES-52 targeting system allowing it to launch Vikhr and Ataka anti-tank missiles using laser target direction systems. The execution of the contract will start in 2016 until 2018.[64][65]

SAGEM and AOI-Aircraft Factory have signed a collaboration agreement concerning the Patroller UAV. AOI-Aircraft Factory could handle final assembly of the drones and will develop a dedicated training center in Egypt to train staff for the operation and maintenance of the drone systems.[66]

On 18 April 2016, Egypt signed a contract with France for the sale of a military telecommunications satellite after discussions between the Egyptian and French presidents and between the Ministers of Defence, which took place during a visit by French President Francois Hollande to Cairo. The satellite will be supplied by Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space. The price of the contract wasn't announced but is estimated at around 600 million euros. [67]

Egyptian Mi-8/17 helicopters undergoing overhaul & repair work at Helwan Factory

In December 2015, Russian Helicopters agreed to provide after-sales service and maintenance for the Egyptian Air Force's fleet of 41 Mi-8Ts and 3 Mi-17-1V helicopters in Russia. Under the agreement, the Egyptian repair plant at Helwan Factory (HFDI), an enterprise owned by the Arab Organization for Industrialization, will be authorized as an aircraft repair plant able to carry out comprehensive repairs to Mi-8T, Mi-17-1V and Mi-17V-5 helicopters operated in Egypt. In order to support repair work to the frames, components, gears and rotor systems in the helicopters, the company will deliver equipment for the production line, provide design and technical support and transfer all the necessary documentation to the Egyptian side for a two year period. Egyptian specialists will be trained to carry out such repairs at the company’s Novosibirsk Aircraft Repair Plant. [68]

In September 2016, Russian Helicopters delivered the first 3 refurbished Mi-8T helicopters to the Egyptian Air Force after a major overhaul. The company also announced that the necessary equipment for the retooling and upgrading of the Helwan Factory aircraft repair plant had been prepared for shipment and that the Egyptian service technicians had completed training. [69]

Historical aircraft[edit]

Current inventory[edit]

Type Origin Class Role Introduced In service Total Notes
L-59 Super Albatros Czechoslovakia Jet Trainer 47 48 [70]
Alpha Jet Egypt/France Jet Fighter/Trainer 45 45 [70]
Antonov An-74 Ukraine Jet Transport 3 3 [71]
AgustaWestland AW109 Italy Rotorcraft Utility 3 [70]
AgustaWestland AW139 Italy Rotorcraft Utility 2 [72]
Beechcraft 1900 USA Propeller Transport/patrol 10 [70]
Beechcraft Super King Air USA Propeller Transport 1 1 [70]
Boeing AH-64D Apache USA Rotorcraft Attack 43 46 [73]
Boeing CH-47D Chinook USA Rotorcraft Transport 19 19 [70]
EADS CASA C-295 Spain Propeller Transport 2011 24 24 [74]
Chengdu J-7 China Jet Fighter 60 150 [70]
DHC-5 Buffalo Canada Propeller Transport 8 [70]
Dassault Mirage 5 France Jet Fighter 1973 82 82 [70]
Dassault Mirage 2000 France Jet Fighter 1986 18 20 [70]
Dassault Rafale DM/EM France Jet Fighter 2015 6 24 [75]
EMB 312 Tucano Egypt Propeller Trainer/patrol 54 134 [70]
Grob G-115 Tutor Germany Propeller Trainer 74 [70]
K-8E Karakorum Egypt Jet Trainer 120 120 [70]
F-16 Fighting Falcon USA Jet Fighter 1982 220 240 [76]
C-130H/H30 Hercules USA Propeller Transport 26 30 [70]
EC-130H Compass Call USA Propeller Electronic warfare 2 2 [77]
E-2C Hawkeye USA Propeller AEW&C 9 [78]
Mikoyan MiG-21 USSR Jet Fighter 33 490+ [70]
Mil Mi-8T / Mi-17-1V / Mi-17V-5 USSR/Russia Rotorcraft Transport 60 [70]
SA-342 Gazelle Egypt Rotorcraft Attack 90 108 [70]
SH-2G(E) Super Seasprite USA Rotorcraft Anti-submarine 1998 16 17 [79]
Westland Sea King UK Rotorcraft Transport/patrol 23 [70]

UAVs and target drones[edit]

CAIG Wing Loong
Schiebel Camcopter S-100
Meggitt BTT-3 Banshee
Type Origin Class Role Notes
Unmanned aerial vehicle
CH-4B China UAV Multirole [80][81]
CAIG Wing Loong China UAV MALE UCAV [82]
Patroller France UAV Remote controlled UAV [83]
Model-324 Scarab United States UAV Reconnaissance UAV
R4E-50 Sky Eye United States UAV Reconnaissance UAV
ASN-209 China UAV Reconnaissance UAV
ASN-15 China UAV Reconnaissance UAV
Camcopter Austria UAV Reconnaissance UAV [84]
Aeryon Scout Canada UAV Miniature UAV
Lipán M3 Argentina UAV Unmanned aerial vehicle
Yarará Córdoba, Argentina UAV tactical UAV
Nostromo Caburé Córdoba, Argentina UAV tactical UAV
Target drone
Kader Egypt UAV Target Drone [85]
SAHM-1 Egypt UAV Target Drone
Meggitt Banshee United Kingdom UAV Target Drone
MQM-107 Streaker United States UAV Unmanned target drone

Future[edit]

An Egyptian order for Airbus A400M military transport aircraft is looking increasingly plausible.

Egypt is in an advanced stage of negotiations for the purchase of the Russian strategic airlifter Il-76MD-90A. The first export contracts of the aircraft were to be signed within 4–6 months after the MAKS-2015 Airshow.[86]

Airbus Defence and Space received from Egypt its first order of A400M. Egypt asked the company to have the A400M as soon as possible.[87][88]

Rosoboronexport and the Russian Helicopters holding are engaged in consultations with their Egyptian partners concerning a possible acquisition of Kamov Ka-52K ship-based helicopters for the 2 Mistral-class helicopter carriers that Egypt has agreed to buy from France.[89] An Egyptian Air Force delegation had access to the helicopter before the official opening of the MAKS- 2015.[90]

Future aircraft[edit]

Type Origin Class Role Introduced In service Total Notes
Mikoyan MiG-35 Russia Jet Multirole 2016 0 50 [91][92]
Kamov Ka-52 Russia Rotorcraft Attack 2017 0 46 [93]
C-130J Super Hercules USA Propeller Transport 2019 0 2 [94]

Munitions[edit]

Presidential and governmental (VIP) fleet[edit]

In addition to Air Force aircraft, a number of aircraft are directly under government control to transfer the President of Egypt, presidential logistics, the Prime Minister and members of the government, including:

Airplane Origin Number
Airplane
Airbus A340 France 1
Beechcraft Super King Air USA 4
Boeing 707 USA 1
Boeing 737 USA 4
Dassault Falcon 20 France 3
Gulfstream III USA 2
Gulfstream IV USA 4
VC-130H Hercules USA 1
Helicopter
Sikorsky H-3 Sea King USA 2
Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk USA 2
Westland Commando MK-2B UK 2

Aircraft insignia[edit]

The Roundel of the EAF consists of three circles, with the outside one being red, the middle one white, and the inner one being black, matching the Egyptian flag. Former roundels of the EAF included a similar variant with two green stars used from 1961 to 1973, and one with the old Egyptian crescent and three stars on a green background. Changes in markings reflect political changes.

Roundels[edit]

Royal Egyptian Air Force roundel (1932).svg Roundel of Egypt 02.gif Royal Egyptian Air Force roundel (1939-1945).svg Egyptian Air Force roundel (1945-1958).svg Roundel of the Syrian Air Force.svg Egyptian Air Force Roundel.svg
1932 — 1932 1932 — 1932 1932 — 1945 1945 — 1958 1958 — 1972 1984–present

Tail marking[edit]

Fin flash of Egypt.gif Fin flash of Egypt.gif Egypt fin flash.svg Flag of Syria.svg Flag of Egypt (1972-1984).svg Flag of Egypt.svg
1932 — 1932 1932 — 1945 1945 — 1958 1958 — 1972 1972 — 1984 1984–present

Egyptian Air Force ranks[edit]

Egyptian Air Force ranks
Commissioned Officers & Enlisted personnel
Shoulder straps —- Pilot Officer - Egyptian Air Force rank.png Flying Officer - Egyptian Air Force rank.png Flight Lieutenant - Egyptian Air Force rank.png Squadron Leader - Egyptian Air Force rank.png Wing Commander - Egyptian Air Force rank.png Group Captain - Egyptian Air Force rank.png Air Commodore - Egyptian Air Force rank.png Air Vice-Marshal - Egyptian Air Force rank.png Air Marshal - Egyptian Air Force rank.png Air Chief Marshal - Egyptian Air Force rank.png
Patches Aircraftman Corporal Sergeant Master Sergeant Pilot Officer Flying Officer Flight Lieutenant Squadron Leader Wing Commander Group Captain Air Commodore Air Vice-Marshal Air Marshal Air Chief Marshal
Code NATO OF-1 OF-2 OF-3 OF-4 OF-5 OF-6 OF-7 OF-8 OF-9 OF-10 OF-11 OF-12 OF-13 OF-14

Commanders[edit]

The following individuals have had command of the Egyptian Air Force:[95]

Squadron Leader Victor Hubert Tait, first commander of the Egyptian Air Force when it was created

Royal Egyptian Air Force commanders[edit]

  • 1932 to 1936 Squadron Leader Victor Hubert Tait[96][97]
  • list incomplete
  • 6 July 1939 to 20 August 1939 Ali Islam[98]
  • 20 August 1939 to 21 October 1940 Hassan Mohammed Abdel Wahab[99]
  • 21 October 1940 to 4 October 1942 Ali Muwafi[100]
  • 4 October 1942 to 4 November 1944 Hassan Hosni Taher[101]
  • 8 November 1944 to 11 March 1947 Mohammed Metwaly[102]
  • 11 March 1947 to 23 July 1952 Mohammed Mustafa Sha'arawy[103]

Egyptian Air Force Chiefs of Staff[edit]

Egyptian Air Force and Defense commanders[edit]

Egyptian Air Force commanders[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  95. ^ Commanders
  96. ^ Air Force
  97. ^ "V H Tait". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  98. ^ Air Force
  99. ^ Air Force
  100. ^ Air Force
  101. ^ Air Force
  102. ^ http://www.mmc.gov.eg/branches/AIRFORCE/force9.htm
  103. ^ http://www.mmc.gov.eg/branches/AIRFORCE/force10.htm
  104. ^ http://www.mmc.gov.eg/branches/AIRFORCE/force11.htm
  105. ^ a b Air Force
  106. ^ [1]
  107. ^ The Air Force
  108. ^ The Air Force
  109. ^ Air Force
  110. ^ Air Force
  111. ^ Air Force
  112. ^ Air Force
  113. ^ Air Force
  114. ^ Air Force
  115. ^ http://www.mmc.gov.eg/branches/AIRFORCE/cv1.htm
  116. ^ Air Vice Marshal

External links[edit]