Egyptian Navy

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Egyptian Navy
Naval Ensign of Egypt.svg
Naval Ensign
Active 1845 - Present
Country Egypt
Type Navy
Size Personnel: 32,000
Active: 18,000
Reserve: 14,000
Part of Egyptian Armed Forces
Naval Headqarters (NvHQ) Alexandria
Colours Blue and White
Anniversaries 21 October
Equipment 245 vessels [1]
Commander in Chief of the Navy Rear Admiral Ossama Mounir Rabie
Chief of Staff of the Navy Rear Admiral Ahmed Khaled Hassan Saeed
Ceremonial Flag
Naval Flag of Egypt.svg
Insignia Egyptian Navy ranks
Aircraft flown
Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye
Helicopter Aérospatiale Gazelle, Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprite, Westland Sea King

The Egyptian Navy is the maritime branch of the Egyptian Armed Forces. 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.[2] The navy's missions include protection of more than 2,000 kilometers of coastline of the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, defense of approaches to the Suez Canal, and support for army operations. The majority of the Egyptian Navy was created with the help of the Soviet Union in the 1960s. The navy received ships in the 1980s from China and other, western, sources. In 1989, the Egyptian Navy had 18,000 personnel as well as 2,000 personnel in the Coast Guard.[3]


Muhammad Ali pasha of Egypt displaying his army and navy 1830-1848

Egypt has had a Navy since Ancient Egyptian times. The Ancient Egyptian Navy was a vital part of the Military of ancient Egypt, helping to transport troops along the Nile River and fighting many battles such as the Battle of the Delta against the Sea Peoples. The Ancient Egyptian Navy imported many of their ships fro countries such as the Kingdom of Cyprus.[4] Several Ancient Egyptian solar ships are still present today.

The Egyptian navy was only peripherally involved in the series of conflicts with Israel. During the Suez Crisis, Egypt dispatched the Ibrahim el Awal, an ex-British Hunt class destroyer, to Haifa with the aim of shelling that city's coastal oil installations. On 31 October the Ibrahim el Awal reached Haifa and began bombarding the city but was driven off by a French warship and then pursued by the Israeli destroyers INS Eilat and INS Yaffo which, with the help of the Israeli Air Force, captured the ship.[5] Egyptian destroyers and torpedo boats engaged larger British vessels in a move aimed at undermining the amphibious operations of the British and French. On the night of 31 October in the northern Red Sea, the British light cruiser HMS Newfoundland challenged and engaged the Egyptian frigate Domiat, reducing it to a burning hulk in a brief gun battle. The Egyptian warship was then sunk by escorting destroyer HMS Diana, with 69 surviving Egyptian sailors rescued.[6]

The Egyptian Navies blockade of Israeli ships in the Strait of Tiran that were headed toward the Israeli port of Eilat was on of the main causes of the Six-Day War. During the war, the Israeli Navy landed six combat divers from the Shayetet 13 naval commando unit to infiltrate Alexandria harbor. The divers sank an Egyptian minesweeper before being taken prisoner. Both Egyptian and Israeli warships made movements at sea to intimidate the other side throughout the war, but did not engage each other. However, Israeli warships and aircraft did hunt for Egyptian submarines throughout the war.

In October 1967, a few months after the cease-fire, the Egyptian Navy was the first navy in history to sink a ship using anti-ship missiles, when an Egyptian Komar class fast-attack craft sank the Israeli destroyer INS Eilat with two direct hits.[7] This was a milestone of modern naval warfare, and for the first time anti-ship missiles showed their potential, sinking the destroyer 17 km off Port Said.

On the night of 15–16 November 1969, Egyptian Navy frogmen attacked the port of Eilat and caused severe damages to the armed transport ship "Bat Yam".[8] On 5–6 February 1970, the Frogmen attacked the Israeli landing ships at the same port and same piers causing severe damages to the landing ships "Bait Shivaa" and transport armed ships "Hydroma".[8] On 8 March 1970, the Frogmen attacked the Israeli oil drill "Keting" at the port of Abidjan in Ivory Coast believing that Israel had bought this oil drill from the Netherlands for the purposes of oil exploration in the Suez Gulf.[8]

In the Yom Kippur War, Egypt blocked commercial traffic to Eilat in the Gulf of Aqaba by laying mines; it also attempted to blockade Israeli ports on the Mediterranean.[3] The navy also used the coastal artillery to the east of Port Fouad to support the Egyptian Army in order to prepare for the assault on the Suez Canal. [8] In the Battle of Baltim, three Egyptian Osa-class missile boats were sunk.

Chain of command[edit]

Main article: Egyptian Navy ranks

Commissioned Officers[edit]

Commissioned Officer rank insignia of the Egyptian Navy
Admiral Vice Admiral Rear Admiral Commodore Captain Commander Lieutenant Commander Lieutenant Sub-Lieutenant Ensign
(Arabic: فريق أول‎) (Arabic: فريق‎) (Arabic: لواء‎) (Arabic: عميد‎) (Arabic: عقيد‎) (Arabic: مقدم‎) (Arabic: رائد‎) (Arabic: نقيب‎) (Arabic: ملازم أول‎) (Arabic: ملازم‎)

Enlisted personnel[edit]

Non-commissioned Officer rank insignia Enlisted rank insignia
Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer Leading Seaman Seaman
(Arabic: رقيب أول‎) (Arabic: رقيب‎) (Arabic: عريف‎) (Arabic: جندي‎)



The Egyptian navy's headquarters and main base is at Alexandria on the Mediterranean Sea with other Mediterranean naval bases at Port Said and Mersa Matruh.

Red Sea[edit]

Egypt naval bases on the Red Sea are Hurghada, Safaga, Berenice and Suez.

Present fleet[edit]

See: List of ships of the Egyptian Navy for detailed information about modifications, and major specifications

A Knox class frigate, with the flag of Egyptian Navy.

The Egyptian Navy will be restructured into two different fleets, one for the Mediterranean sea and the other for the Red Sea. This in a context where the safety of shipping in the Red Sea is becoming increasingly important.[9]

Submarine force[edit]

  • 4 Improved Romeo class diesel submarines.
  • 2 Type 209 submarine as a contract had been signed with Germany in 2011 to build two submarines for the Egyptian navy in a deal worth €920 million that will be armed with Boeing UGM-84 Harpoon Block II missiles[10] and will be delivered in 2016.[11][12][13] Egypt had also signed another contract with Germany in 2014 for two additional Type 209 submarines bringing the total to four.[11]

Surface combatant force[edit]


Missile corvettes[edit]

Littoral warfare force[edit]

Large fast attack crafts missile[edit]

A Ambassador MK III missile boat, the newest class of fast attack craft in service with the Egyptian Navy.

ASW coastal patrol boats[edit]

Coastal patrol boats[edit]

Amphibious forces[edit]

Mine countermeasures vessels[edit]

  • 6 T43 Fleet Minesweepers (MSFs)
  • 4 Yurka Fleet Minesweepers (MSFs)
  • 2 Osprey Coastal Mine Hunters (MHCs)
  • 3 Swiftships Coastal Mine Hunters (MHCs)
  • 2 Swiftships Inshore Route Survey Vessels (MSIs)
  • 4 Tuima class, converted to Minelayer boats (MLC) [21]
  • 3 Pluto Plus Underwater Unmanned Vehicles (UUVs) ordered at a 2009 cost of $10.6 million for Egyptian Mine Hunters. (Manufacturer: The Columbia Group)[22]
  • 4 swiftships inshore run missile (MSIs)

Auxiliary ships[edit]

An Egyptian amphibious vehicle leaves an Egyptian landing craft during an amphibious assault demonstration in Alexandria, Egypt, Oct. 12, 2009, during exercise Bright Star 2009.
  • 6 Okhtenskiy Ocean Tug
  • 8 Toplivo II Coastal Tankers
  • 1 Replenishment oiler A230 Shalatein (formerly A 1414 Glücksburg, a Type 701 Lüneburg class replenishment ship of the German navy)

Training ships[edit]

Rescue ships[edit]

  • 2 Damen CSD500 [23]

Ceremonial and historical ships[edit]


The navy lacks its own air arm and depends on the Egyptian Air Force for maritime reconnaissance and protection against submarines. The Egyptian Air Force equipment that supports the navy includes the following:

In mid-1988 the air force also took delivery of the first of 6 Grumman E-2C Hawkeye aircraft, now 8 units are operational and are used to secure the maritime borders among other missions; it also operates 6 Beechcraft 1900C aircraft for maritime surveillance purposes with search and side-looking radar. The Egyptian Navy also uses Mil Mi-8 and Sea King helicopters to transport troops.[24]


Ship to ship/surface missiles[edit]

  • HY-1 with 85 km range and 513 kg payload (launched from Hegu class Coastal FAC/M).
  • Harpoon with more than 124 km range and 220 kg payload (launched from Ambassador class FPB/M, Knox class frigates, Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates & Discubierta class light frigates).
  • Exocet (MM-38) with 65 km range and 165 kg payload (launched from Tiger class FPB/M).
  • Otomat Mk1 with 80 km range and 210 kg payload (launched from Ramadan class FPB/M).
  • SS-N-2a Styx with 43 km range and 513 kg payload (launched from OSA I & October class FAC/M).

Surface to ship/surface missile (coastal defence)[edit]

  • FL-1 with 150 km range and 513 kg payload.
  • KSR-2 (AS-5 "Kelt") with 200 km range and 1000 kg payload. (Modified from air-launched version)
  • Otomat MkII with 180 km+ range and 210 kg payload.
  • Exocet (MM-40 MK III) with 180 km range and 165 kg payload.

The Egyptian Coast Guard[edit]

The Egyptian Coast Guard is responsible for the onshore protection of public installations near the coast and the patrol of coastal waters to prevent smuggling. Currently consists of one hundred five ships and craft.

Patrol boats[edit]

  • 21 Timsah class
  • 9 Swiftships class

Patrol crafts[edit]

  • 9 Type 83 class
  • 6 Crestitalia class
  • 12 Spectre class
  • 12 Petersen class
  • 5 Nisr class
  • 29 DC class
  • 3 of 6 MRTP-20[25][26]


Fremm Tahya Misr leaving DCNS shipyard for her first sea trials with the Egyptian Navy crew onboard.

The Egyptian Navy has adopted the 60m diesel-powered Ambassador MK III fast missile patrol craft. The construction of the boats began in spring 2001. Egypt already had an older version of the Ambassador patrol craft in service, but the new boats would contain an update in design meant to make the vessels more resistant to radar detection. Design was conducted with the assistance of Lockheed Martin. Throughout recent years, Egypt has been constructing various Ramos-grade shipyards, which are capable of making more recent vessels like larger fast attack crafts, low-grade aircraft carriers (such as Oryx-class or Nimitz-class) and nuclear submarines, though none of the aforementioned vessles have been constructed there.

The navy is currently undergoing a modernization of its surface fleet. On 16 February 2015, the Egyptian Navy ordered one FREMM multipurpose frigate from the French shipbuilder DCNS to enter service before the opening of the New Suez Canal, as part of a larger deal (including 24 Rafales and a supply of missiles) worth €5.2bn.[27][28] Egypt has also signed a €1bn contract with DCNS to buy four Gowind 2,500 ton corvettes with an option for two more. [29] The ageing submarine fleet is to be replaced starting in 2016 when the first of four Type 209 submarine's worth €920 million start arriving from Germany.[30]


Fouad Mohamed Abou Zikry, Commander in Chief of the Egyptian Navy between 1967–1969 and 1972–1976.
  • Admiral Mahmoud Hamza Pasha (6 June 1946 – 1 October 1948)
  • Admiral Ahmed Bek Badr (2 October 1948 – 30 September 1951)
  • Admiral Mahmoud Bek Badr (1 October 1951 – 27 July 1952)
  • Vice Admiral Mohamed Nashid (28 July 1952 – 14 September 1952)
  • Admiral Suleiman Ezzat (15 September 1952 – 10 June 1967)
  • Vice Admiral Fouad Abu Zikry (11 June 1967 – 11 September 1969)
  • Rear Admiral Mahmoud Abdel Rahman Fahmy (12 September 1969 – 24 October 1972)
  • Vice Admiral Fouad Abu Zikry
  • Vice Admiral Ashraf Refaat
  • Vice Admiral Mohamed Ali Mohamed
  • Vice Admiral Ali Tawfik Gad (April 1983 - Oct 1987)
  • Vice Admiral Sherif AlSadek (Oct 1987 - Oct 1990)
  • Vice Admiral Ahmed Fadel
  • Vice Admiral Ahmed Saber Seleem
  • Vice Admiral Tamer Abdel Alim (October 2005 - October 2007)
  • Vice Admiral Mohab Mamish (October 2007 - 11 August 2012)
  • Vice Admiral Osama Ahmed ElGendy (14 August 2012 - 12 April 2015 )
  • Rear Admiral Osama Mounir Rabie (13 April 2015 - Now)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Total Navy Ship Strength by Country". 
  2. ^ Global Firepower. "Navy Ship Strength by Country". 
  3. ^ a b "Egyptian Navy". 
  4. ^ Kostas (2001)
  5. ^ Max Wurmbrand, The Valiant of Israel, p. 80, Massada Press Ltd (1967)
  6. ^ Pimlott – editor British Military Operations, 1945–1984 London: Guild Publishing 1984 p. 78
  7. ^ Saad El Shazly The Crossing of the Suez p.23
  8. ^ a b c d
  9. ^ "Egypte : après la FREMM...". (in French). 26 June 2015. 
  10. ^ Binnie, Jeremy (3 February 2014). "Egypt reportedly to exercise option for two more subs". IHS Jane's 360. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "The Local Germany's News in English". Germany to 'sell Egypt two more subs'. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  12. ^ "Germany to deliver two Type-209 submarines to Egypt". Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  13. ^ Levy, Elior. "Egypt purchases new submarines from Germany". Israel news. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  14. ^ "Egypt receives its first FREMM frigate". IHS Jane. IHS Jane's 360. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  15. ^ Binnie, Jeremy (3 June 2014). "Egypt orders Gowind corvettes". IHS Jane's 360. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  16. ^ "L'Egypte sur le point de s'offrir quatre Gowind de DCNS pour 1 milliard d'euros" (in French). 
  17. ^ "DCNS Started the Construction of the First GOWIND 2500 Corvette for the Egyptian Navy". 20 April 2015. 
  18. ^ "Defence & Security Intelligence & Analysis - IHS Jane's 360". Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  19. ^ "Keel laid for Egyptian navy ship". 
  20. ^ "United States Provides Fast Missile Craft to Egyptian Navy". (in Eng). 22 June 2015. 
  21. ^ "Tuima-luokan ohjusveneet myytiin Egyptin armeijalle" (in Turkish). 
  22. ^ "LCS: The USA’s Littoral Combat Ships". 
  23. ^ "Damen Cutter Suction Dredger built in Egypt - Damen Shipyards Group". Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  24. ^ "Egyptian military aviation OrBat". 
  25. ^ "قائد القوات البحرية: أحدث لنشات الصواريخ تنضم للخدمة 2013.. وبناء غواصتين من الجيل المتقدم بألمانيا - بوابة الأهرام". Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  26. ^ "First Turkish Interceptor Delivered To Egyptian Navy |". Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  27. ^ Lert, Frédéric (16 February 2015). "Egypt officially signs for 24 Rafales, FREMM frigate, and missiles". IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
  28. ^ "Official French Navy Statement on the Sale of a FREMM Multi-Mission Frigate to Egypt". 13 February 2015. 
  29. ^ "Egyptian Navy would be about to order 4 to 6 Gowind Combat Corvettes from DCNS". 5 March 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  30. ^ Binnie, Jeremy (3 February 2014). "Egypt reportedly to exercise option for two more subs". IHS Jane's 360. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 

External links[edit]