Egyptian Armed Forces
|Egyptian Armed Forces
القوات المسلحة المصرية
Egyptian soldiers carrying flags of the main branches of the armed forces
|Motto||Victory or Martyrdom|
|Founded||3200 BC was established in the era of King Menes
Founded in 1820 in the era of Muhammad Ali Pasha
|Current form||Founded in 1967 the current model in the era of Gamal Abdel Nasser|
|Headquarters||Koubri el-Quba, Cairo, Egypt|
|Supreme Commander||President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi|
|Commander-in-Chief and Minister of Defence||Col. Gen. Sedki Sobhi|
|Chief of Staff||Lt. Gen. Mahmoud Hegazy|
|Military age||18-49 years old|
|41,157,220, age 18-49|
|35,305,381, age 18-49|
|Active personnel||~500,000 (ranked 10-11th)|
|Budget||E£56.1 billion (~US$7.85 billion)|
The Egyptian Armed Forces (Arabic: القوات المسلحة المصرية; Arabic pronunciation: [el qouwat el mosalaha el masriya]) are the military forces of Egypt and are the largest in Africa and the Middle East, and also one of the largest in the world. They consist of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Air Defense Command.
The Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces is the President of the Rebublic as provided for in the Egyptian constitution. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces consists of 20 to 25 members, headed by the Commander-in-Chief and Defence Minister and his deputy, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces. Members of the council are formed of the leaders of the main military branches (Air - Navy - Air Defense - Border Guard) and the leaders of the two armies (Second Army And Third Army) in addition to the leaders of the military regions (Western Military Zone - Northern Military Zone - Southern Military Zone - Central Military Zone) along with the heads of the upper bodies (Chief of Operations - Reinforcement - Logistics - Engineering - Training - Finance - Military Justice - Management and Administration), administrative managers (Military Intelligence and Director of Morale Affairs) and the Assistant Defense Secretary for Constitutional and Legal Affairs and Secretary General of the Department of Defense (Secretary of the Council).
The Egyptian army is one of the oldest armies in history, the first of its wars began to unite Egypt at the hands of King Menes in 3200 BC, and have fought major wars and battles over the centuries, from the Pharaonic era and through Ptolemaic and Romania, Islamic and even modern era. The Egyptian army have fought battles and wars in many parts of the world, mostly defensive, with the most notable being: the Hyksos War, Battle of Ain Jalut, Battle of Al Mansurah, Battle of Nezib, Battle of Megiddo, Battle of Carchemish, Battle of Hattin, Egyptian–Saudi War, Anglo-Egyptian War, Battle of Tel el-Kebir, Greek War of Independence, Egyptian–Ottoman War (1831–33), World War I, 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, and the Sinai insurgency.
Military equipment varies in the Egyptian army between eastern and western armament, coming from several countries through mutual military cooperation, including the United States, Russia, France, Italy, Ukraine, China, as well as locally from the AOI and MMP.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Politics
- 3 Business
- 4 Structure
- 5 Egyptian Army
- 6 Egyptian Air Force
- 7 Egyptian Air Defense
- 8 Egyptian Navy
- 9 Egyptian Rapid deployment forces
- 10 Special Forces
- 11 Equipment
- 12 Military Exercises
- 13 Military academies
- 14 Decorations and medals
- 15 Military ranks
- 16 Military flags
- 17 Military uniforms
- 18 Non-Military affairs
- 19 See also
- 20 References
- 21 Further reading
- 22 External links
The Headquarters of the Egyptian Armed Forces are in Koubri el-Quba, Cairo. 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 Ministry of Defense is responsible for managing the affairs of the Egyptian Armed Forces and maintaining its facilities.
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 US, French, and British equipment, a significant portion of which is built under license in Egypt, such as the M1 Abrams tank. 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, and gives Egypt regional military supremacy rivaled only by Israel, besides being one of the strongest in Africa. 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. and other in 2014.
However the Egyptian armed forces were not in such a good state in the mid 1950s. Just before the Suez Crisis, politics rather than military competence was the main criterion for promotion. The Egyptian commander, Field Marshal Abdel Hakim Amer, was a purely political appointee who owed his position to his close friendship with Nasser. A heavy drinker, he would prove himself grossly incompetent as a general during the Crisis. In 1956, the armed forces was well equipped with weapons from the Soviet Union such as T-34 and IS-3 tanks, MiG-15 fighters, Ilyushin Il-28 bombers, SU-100 self-propelled guns and assault rifles. Rigid lines between officers and men in the Egyptian Army led to a mutual "mistrust and contempt" between officers and the men who served under them. Egyptian troops were excellent in defensive operations, but had little capacity for offensive operations, owing to the lack of "rapport and effective small-unit leadership".
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. Before their Friday night departure, Vershbow urged the two dozen Egyptian military representatives "to exercise 'restraint'".
On Sunday 12 August 2012, newly elected President Mohamed Morsi announced a series of military appointments. Hussein Tantawi, the Minister of Defence and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces was retired. 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 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 2013 in response to millions of Egyptians demands demonstrating in streets all over Egypt since 30 June 2013, the head of the Egyptian Armed Forces, then-Colonel General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, announced the removal of President Mohamed Morsi from power, the suspension of the constitution, and new presidential and House of Representatives elections. The severe crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and pro-Morsi supporters commenced. Notable incidents such as the 2013 Republican Guard headquarters clashes and the August 2013 Rabaa massacre claimed the lives of hundreds to thousands of demonstrators by military and police forces.
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 2015). Much of this is in equipment such as tanks and jet fighters that are surplus to Egyptian needs and kept in storage.
According to Article 200 of the Egyptian Constitution, the Armed Forces belong to the People, and their duty is to protect the country, and preserve its security and the integrity of its territories.
The Armed Forces enjoy considerable power, prestige and independence within the Egyptian state.
During almost the entire history of the Republic of Egypt, active or retired military officers have been head of the Egyptian state. The first democratically-elected president who served for one year was removed by a military coup after the June 2013 Egyptian protests throughout Egypt. Even the constitution drafted and passed under Morsi included protections for the military from legal and parliamentary oversight, 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.
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 President Mubarak was forced to step down by the military in response to the revolution, and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces ruled until it held a presidential election which resulted in Mohamed Morsi taking office. On 3 July 2013, responding to millions in the streets, the head of the Armed Forces then-General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi announced the removal of Morsi and installation of the interim civilian president the Chief Justice of Supreme Constitutional Court Adly Mansour. On 4 July 2013, 68-year old Mansour was sworn in as acting president. On 26 March 2014 el-Sisi resigned from the military, announcing he would stand as a candidate in the 2014 presidential election. He won the 26–28 May 2014 election in a landslide. Sisi was sworn into office as President of Egypt on 8 June 2014.
The military has its own hospitals, factories, clubs, and gas stations staffed by its officers, soldiers, and civilians. The organization is influential in business circles, engaging in road and housing construction, consumer goods, resort management, and owning 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). According to journalist Joshua Hammer, "as much as 40% of the Egyptian economy" is controlled by the Egyptian military. 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.
The Egyptian Army is administratively divided into 4 tactical commands (Northern, Western, Central, Southern command), each command is under control of a Major General in addition to two armies (2nd, 3rd army) and different corps and divisions (Armor, Mechanized, Artillery, Airmobile, Airborne, Infantry, frontier, military police, intelligence, Republican guards, Special Forces). The Egyptian Air Force (EAF) are the second biggest branch under control of the armed forces. The EAF has over 1,309 combat aircraft, 321 armed helicopters and controls about 17 air base. The Egyptian Navy is the largest branch under the armed forces' control, it is the largest navy in the Middle East and Africa, and is the seventh largest in the world measured by the number of vessels. The Egyptian Air Defense Forces is the latest established branch in the Armed Forces consists of 30,000 officers & soldiers plus 40,000 conscripts.
Departments of the Egyptian Armed Forces include the Departments of Armament Affairs, Officers' Affairs, Management and Administration and the Department of Morale Affairs (DMA) which 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. Moreover, The Medical management of the armed forces is responsible for managing the medical affairs of the armed forces as well as controlling the hospitals run by the Armed Forces which serves both civilians and military personnel estimated at 19 hospitals in Cairo, 8 in Alexandria, 3 in Matrouh, 2 in each of Ismailia and Gharbia, one in each of Port Said, Al Sharqia, Dakahlia, Beni Suef, Minya, Sohag, Qena, Aswan, Kafr el-Sheikh, and North Sinai.
Authorities of the armed forces include the Engineering Authority (EAAF), it's the sector beneath the Armed Forces responsible for the Engineering work, its 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. In addition to The Financial Authority (FA) responsible for the financial matters in the armed forces and the Research Authority.
The Armed Forces also hold control of Military Judiciary and Military Intelligence Directorate.
Structure of the field armies
In 2011, The Egyptian Armed forces is reported to have more than 468,500 active personnel, in addition to 800,000 personnel available in reserve and over 400,000 paramilitary personnel making it one of the largest armies in the world. The recruitment in Egypt is mandatory for all men who reached the military service age. Only the medical committee formed by the Armed forces can exempt those who they decide as unsuitable for the military service. Men who have no brothers are also exempted.
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 or secondary school 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.
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 228 F-16s (plus 12 awaiting delivery) making it the 4th largest operator of the F-16 in the World. It has about 1,100 combat aircraft and 245 armed helicopters. having at least 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 in late 2014 confirmed that Egypt signed a deal to acquire 24 MiG-29M fighter jets, and is in negotiations to acquire 24 MiG-35 fighter jets and it was reported that Egypt is in negotiations with French Dassault for an initial order of 24 Rafale fighter jets
Egyptian Air Defense
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..
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.
Egyptian Rapid deployment forces
Egyptian Rapid deployment forces (RDF) is one of the branches of the Egyptian Armed Forces. It was formed in March 2014 by the former defense minister field marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. It is mainly airborne troops with a special formation, and it is characterized by the ability to perform operations inside and outside the Egyptian mainland. It comprises the most efficient elements of the mechanized Infantry, armored corps, air defense, artillery and anti-tank teams.
Special forces in the Egyptian Armed forces are units under control of different branches. Most of the officers take the special Sa'ka Course. In addition to Sa'ka, Special forces take specialized training in the fields of Direct action, Hostage rescue, Counter-terrorism, Unconventional warfare, Special reconnaissance, Asymmetric warfare. However, most information about Egyptian Army's units are classified.
Notable Special Forces in the Egyptian Armed Forces:
- Sa'ka Forces (Egyptian Thunderbolt Forces)
- Unit 777, counter-terrorism and Special operations unit.
- Unit 999, Special operations and reconnaissance unit.
- Navy Sa'ka (Navy Thunderbolt)
Special forces from officers and noncommissioned officers from Infantry, Sa'ka, Paratroopers and Navy can take the Seal course which is considered the most advanced course in the Egyptian Armed Forces.
In addition to importing weapons, Egypt maintains a large industrial fortress as its military industry is considered the most important in the Arab World. State-owned enterprises which are under control of the Armament Authority headed by a major general, are the main domestic producers of Egypt's defense systems.
Arab Organization for Industrialization, which has about 19,000 employees out of which are 1250 engineers, more than nine military factories producing both civilian and military products, is considered Egypt military's most important domestic weapons supplier.
Egypt's Main battle tank the M1 Abrams is made locally under license in addition to Egyptian-Upgraded Ramses II, T-62 and T-45E. Egyptian Military industry includes Sakr Eye missiles, (Nile 23, Sinai 23) Self-propelled air defense, RPGs. K-8E Trainer aircraft, in addition to aircraft overhaul and maintenance.
Locally made military vehicles include various Fahd APCs and IFVs, EFIVs, SIFV, Walid MKII, Jeep Wrangler TJL, Jeep J8, Kader-320 armored vehicle, Mercedes G-320 armored vehicle, Iveco VM 90 and Hotspur HUSSARD.
Weapons of mass destruction
Egypt, with a history of using weapons of mass destruction, remains one of only four countries not to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention and hasn't ratified the Biological Weapons Convention. Egypt's chemical weapons program is the most developed of its pursuit of developing a Weapons of Mass Destruction program though it is thought this reached its peak in the 1960s. Egypt was one of the few countries to use chemical weapons after WWI during the North Yemen Civil War when phosgene and mustard gas was used against Royalist forces in Northern Yemen. Egypt has maintained a policy of not signing the Chemical Weapons Convention until questions regarding Israel's nuclear weapons program are answered. Egypt signed the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) on April 10, 1972 but has not ratified it.
Prior to signing the BWC President Anwar Sadat of Egypt made the following comment to a question about Israel and should they use Biological weapons.
"The only reply to biological warfare is that we too should use biological warfare. I believe that the density of the Israeli population confined in a small area would provide the opportunity to reply with the same weapon if they should begin using it. Briefly, we have the instruments of biological warfare in the refrigerators and we will not use them unless they begin to use them."
The Egyptian Armed forces' different branches are engaged in annually military exercises locally in addition to exercises with different armies including:
- Operation Bright Star, one of the largest joint training exercises in the world led by the American and the Egyptian Armed Force.
- Sea of Friendship Maneuvers, held in the Mediterranean Sea between the navy forces of the Egypt and Turkey.
- Tabuk Maneuvers, held in Saudi Arabia with the Saudi Armed Forces.
- Morgan Maneuvers, held in Saudi Arabia between the navy forces of Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
- Faisal Maneuvers, held in Saudi Arabia between the Air Forces of Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
- Zaid Maneuvers, held in United Arab Emirates with the Union Defence Force.
- Ein Jalut Maneuvers, held in Jordan, with the Jordanian Armed Forces.
- Ra'd Maneuvers, held in the western command between different army branches.
- Badr Maneuvers, held by the Third Army command between different army branches.
- Nasr Maneuvers, held by the Second Army command between different army branches.
- Sea's Victory Maneuvers, held by the navy command between different army branches.
- Nasser Academy for Military Science
- The Egyptian Military Academy
- The Egyptian Naval Academy
- The Egyptian Air Academy
- The Egyptian Air Defense Academy
- The Egyptian Military Technical College
- The Egyptian Military faculty of medicine
- Commanders & Staff Commanders College
- Reserve Officers College
- The military technical institute
- The Reserve officers' faculty
- The Technical institute for nursing for females
Decorations and medals
Egyptian Army ranks
||Lieutenant||First Lieutenant||Captain||Major||Lieutenant Colonel||Colonel||Brigadier General||Major General||Lieutenant General||Colonel General||Field Marshal|
Egyptian Air Force ranks
|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|
|Seaman||Leading Seaman||Petty Officer||Chief Petty Officer||Ensign||Sub-Lieutenant||Lieutenant||Lieutenant Commander||Commander||Captain||Commodore||Rear Admiral||Vice Admiral||Admiral|
The Egyptian Armed Forces established the "The National Service's projects' organization" which has more than 10 sub-companies and factories specialized in public service and civil production including chemicals, Cements, plastics, housing construction, consumer goods and military-owned resorts management.
The Armed forces of Egypt helped in building several national projects such as construction of Egypt's main roads, bridges, tunnels, ports, stadiums, clubs, hospitals, international medical centers, medical units, schools, scientific centers, educational centers, cities, factories, desert land reclamation, slums developments, water desalination plants and faculties.
Egyptian Armed forces also has 3 football clubs playing in the Egyptian Premier League. El-Entag El-Harby SC (Military Production), Tala'ea El-Gaish SC (Army's Vanguards) and Haras El-Hodood SC (Border Guards).
- Flags of the Egyptian Armed Forces
- Supreme Council of the Armed Forces
- National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences
- Military of the Arab League
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That turbulence was threatening not just the survival of Egypt, but, more to the point, it was menacing the vast state within a state that Egypt's military presides over.
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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.
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- Aircraft Strength by Country
- Helicopter Strength by Country
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- Egyptian Armed Forces
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