|Egyptian Armed Forces|
Coat of arms of Egypt
|Supreme Commander||Abdel Fattah el-Sisi|
|Minister of Defence & Commander-in-Chief||Mohamed Ahmed Zaki|
|Chief of Staff||Mohammed Farid Hegazy|
|Conscription||1–3 years depending on circumstances|
|Active personnel||438,500, incl. 290,000–320,000 conscripts|
|Budget||US$ 7.4 to 11.1 billion (2019), incl. US$1.3 billion of U.S military aid annually|
|Percent of GDP||2-3% (2019)|
|Domestic suppliers||Arab Organization for Industrialization|
|History|| Second World War |
1948 Arab–Israeli War
|Ranks|| Army ranks |
Air Force ranks
|Military ranks of Egypt|
ranks (until 1958)
| Mushir |
| General of the army/|
| Sirdar |
| Fariq awwal |
| Fariq |
| Liwa |
| Amiralay |
| Qaimaqam |
| Bimbashi |
| Muqaddam |
| Sagh |
| Askari |
The Egyptian Armed Forces are the state military organisation responsible for the defense of Egypt. They consist of the Egyptian Army, Egyptian Navy, Egyptian Air Force and Egyptian Air Defense Forces.
Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, and across the Mediterranean lie Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt.
The Egyptian Army or Egyptian Ground Forces is the largest service branch within the Egyptian Armed Forces. The modern army was established during the reign of Muhammad Ali Pasha (1805–1849), widely considered to be the "founder of modern Egypt". Its most significant engagements in the 20th century were in Egypt's five wars with the State of Israel, one of which, the Suez Crisis of 1956, also saw it do combat with the armies of Britain, and France. The Egyptian army was also engaged heavily in the protracted North Yemen Civil War, and the brief Libyan-Egyptian War in July 1977. Its last major engagement was Operation Desert Storm, the liberation of Kuwait from Iraqi occupation in 1991, in which the Egyptian army constituted the second-largest contingent of the allied forces.
The Egyptian Navy, also known as the Egyptian Naval Force, is the maritime branch of the Egyptian Armed Forces. It is the largest navy in the Middle East and Africa, and is the sixth largest in the world measured by the number of vessels. 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 modern 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.
In addition, Egypt maintains 397,000 paramilitary troops.The Central Security Forces comes under the control of the Ministry of Interior. The Border Guard Forces falls under the control of the Ministry of Defense.
A paramilitary is a semi-militarized force whose organizational structure, tactics, training, subculture, and (often) function are similar to those of a professional military, but which is formally not part of a country's armed forces.
The 450,000 strong General Security and Central Security Forces CSF organisation is an Egyptian paramilitary force which is responsible for assisting the Egyptian National Police (ENP) for the security of governmental fixed sites, foreign embassies & missions, riots & crowds control, publicly crowded events, high risk arrests, disaster response and SWAT operations. They are a vital arm of Egypt's National Security apparatus.
The Ministry of Interior of Egypt is a part of the Cabinet of Egypt. It is responsible for law enforcement in Egypt. On March 5, 2015 Magdy Abdel Ghaffar was appointed Minister of Interior.
The modern Egyptian armed forces have been involved in numerous crises and wars since independence, from the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Egyptian Revolution of 1952, Suez Crisis, North Yemen Civil War, Six-Day War, Nigerian Civil War, War of Attrition, Yom Kippur War, Egyptian bread riots, 1986 Egyptian conscripts riot, Libyan–Egyptian War, Gulf War, War on Terror, Egyptian Crisis, Second Libyan Civil War, War on ISIL and the Sinai insurgency.
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, or the First Arab–Israeli War, was fought between the newly declared State of Israel and a military coalition of Arab states over the control of former British Palestine, forming the second and final stage of the 1947–49 Palestine war.
The Suez Crisis, or the Second Arab–Israeli War, also named the Tripartite Aggression in the Arab world and Operation Kadesh or Sinai War in Israel, was an invasion of Egypt in late 1956 by Israel, followed by the United Kingdom and France. The aims were to regain Western control of the Suez Canal and to remove Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, who had just nationalized the canal. After the fighting had started, political pressure from the United States, the Soviet Union and the United Nations led to a withdrawal by the three invaders. The episode humiliated the United Kingdom and France and strengthened Nasser.
The North Yemen Civil War was fought in North Yemen from 1962 to 1970 between royalist partisans of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom and supporters of the Yemen Arab Republic. The war began with a coup d'état carried out in 1962 by revolutionary republicans led by the army under the command of Abdullah as-Sallal, who dethroned the newly crowned Imam Muhammad al-Badr and declared Yemen a republic under his presidency. The Imam escaped to the Saudi Arabian border where he rallied popular support from northern Shia tribes to retake power, escalating shortly to a full-scale civil war.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the senior uniformed officer, is Colonel General. Mohamed Zaki (since June 2018),and the Chief of Staff is Lieutenant General. Mohammed Farid Hegazy (since October 2017).
The Egyptian Army ranks are the military insignia used by the Egyptian Army.
Mohamed Ahmed Zaki Mohamed is an Egyptian Colonel General who has been Minister of Defense of Egypt since 14 June 2018. Zaki has previously held the command for the Egyptian Paratroopers from December 2008 to August 2012, he then became the commander of the Republican Guard Forces until June 2018.
He was sworn in on 14 June 2018, succeeding Sedki Sobhy as the minister of defense.
The Armed Forces' inventory includes equipment from different countries around the world. 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 M1 Abrams tank. Egypt is a participant in NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue forum. 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 EgyptSat 1 in 2007.
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.
The M1 Abrams is a third-generation American main battle tank named after General Creighton Abrams and designed by Chrysler Defense. Designed as a highly mobile main-battle tank for modern armored ground warfare, the M1 is well armed and heavily armored. The Abrams introduced several notable and innovative features such as a powerful 1500 hp AGT1500 multifuel turbine engine, sophisticated Chobham composite armor, a computer fire control system and separate ammunition storage in a blow-out compartment along with NBC protection for crew safety. While the initial models of the M1 were armed with a licensed-produced 105 mm Royal Ordnance L7 gun, later variants feature a licensed Rheinmetall 120 mm L/44 for increased firepower. Weighing nearly 68 short tons, it is one of the heaviest main battle tanks in service.
A tank is an armoured fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat. Tanks have heavy firepower, strong armour, and good battlefield manoeuvrability provided by tracks and a powerful engine; usually their main armament is mounted in a turret. They are a mainstay of modern 20th and 21st century ground forces and a key part of combined arms combat.
The Armed Forces enjoy considerable power and independence within the Egyptian state.They are also influential in business, engaging in road and housing construction, consumer goods, resort management, and vast 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 armed forces, and other authoritative works such as Springborg reinforce this trend.
Senior members of the military can convene for 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 February 11, 2011.
In the early 1950s, 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. He would prove himself grossly incompetent as a general during the Suez Crisis. 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. Tsouras writes that the Israelis "seized and held the ..initiative throughout the campaign and quickly destroyed the Egyptian defenses." In a few instances, such as at the Mitla Pass and Abu Aghelia, Egyptian defenses were well-organised and stubbornly held, but this did not make enough difference overall. Nasser ordered a retreat from the Sinai which allowed the Israelis to wreak havoc and drive on the Canal; on 5 November British and French parachute landings began in the Canal Zone; but by 7 November U.S. pressure had forced an end to the fighting.
Before the June 1967 War, the army divided its personnel into four regional commands (Suez, Sinai, Nile Delta, and Nile Valley up to the Sudan).The remainder of Egypt's territory, over 75%, was the sole responsibility of the Frontier Corps.
In May 1967, Nasser closed the Straits of Tiran to passage of Israeli ships.Israel considered the closure of the straits deadly serious, and prepared their armed forces to attack. On June 3, three battalions of Egyptian commandos were flown to Amman to take part in operations from Jordan. But U.S. historian Trevor N. Dupuy, writing in 1978, argues from King Hussein of Jordan's memoirs that Nasser did not intend to start an immediate war, but instead was happy with his rhetorical and political accomplishments of the past weeks. Nevertheless, Israel felt they needed to take action.
The Egyptian army now comprised two armoured and five infantry divisions, all deployed in the Sinai.In the weeks before Six-Day War began, Egypt made several significant changes to its military organisation. Field Marshal Amer created a new command interposed between the general staff and the Eastern Military District commander, Lieutenant General Salah ad-Din Muhsin. This new Sinai Front Command was placed under General Abdel Mohsin Murtagi, who had returned from Yemen in May 1967. Six of the seven divisions in the Sinai (with the exception of the 20th Infantry 'Palestinian' Division) had their commanders and chiefs of staff replaced. What fragmentary information is available suggests to authors such as Pollack that Amer was trying to improve the competence of the force, replacing political appointees with veterans of the Yemen war.
After the war began on 5 June 1967, Israel attacked Egypt, destroyed its air force on the ground, and occupied the Sinai Peninsula. The forward deployed Egyptian forces were shattered in three places by the attacking Israelis. Field Marshal Amer, overwhelmed by events, and ignoring previous plans, ordered a retreat by the Egyptian Army to the Suez Canal.This developed into a rout as the Israelis harried the retreating troops from the ground and from the air.
Scholars such as Kenneth Pollack, deAtkine, and Robert Springborg have identified a number of reasons why Arab (and Egyptian) armies performed so poorly against Israel from 1948 to 1991 and afterwards. In battle against Israel from 1948–91, junior officers consistently demonstrated an unwillingness to manoeuvre, ‘innovate, improvise, take initiative, or act independently’.Ground forces units suffered from constant manipulation of information and an inattention to intelligence gathering and objective analysis. Units from the two divisions dispatched to Saudi Arabia in 1990–91, accompanied by U.S. personnel during the 1991 Gulf War, consistently reported fierce battles even though they actually encountered little or no resistance. This occurred whether or not they were accompanied by U.S. military personnel or journalists. Later researchers such as Springborg have confirmed that the tendencies identified in the 1980s and 1990s persist in the Armed Forces in the twenty-first century.
The inventory of the Egyptian armed forces includes equipment from the United States, France, Brazil, 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 M1A1 Abrams tank.
Conscripts for the Egyptian 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.
The Egyptian Air Force (EAF) is the aviation branch of the Egyptian Armed Forces. Currently, the backbone of the EAF is the F-16. The Mirage 2000 is the other modern interceptor used by the EAF. The Egyptian Air Force has 216 F-16s (plus 20 on order).It has about 579 combat aircraft and 149 armed helicopters as it continues to fly extensively upgraded MiG-21s, F-7 Skybolts, F-4 Phantoms, Dassault Mirage Vs, and the C-130 Hercules among other planes. Egypt currently operates 11 Dassault Rafale a French twin-engine fighter aircraft as of July 2017 with another 24 on order.
The Egyptian Air Defense Forces or ADF (Quwwat El Diffaa El Gawwi in Arabic) is Egypt's military command responsible for air defense. Egypt patterned its Air Defense Force (ADF) after the Soviet Air Defence Force, which integrated all its air defense capabilities – antiaircraft guns, rocket and missile units, interceptor planes, and radar and warning installations. It appears to comprise five subordinate divisions, 110 surface-to-air missile battalions, and 12 anti-aircraft artillery brigades.Personnel quality may be 'several notches below' that of the Air Force personnel.
Its commander is Lieutenant General Abd El Aziz Seif-Eldeen.
The Egyptian Navy was established after the Second World War. 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 Ahmed Khaled Hassan Saeed, who relieved Vice Admiral Mohab Mamish.[ citation needed ] The Chief of Staff of the Navy is Rear Admiral Mohamed Abdel Aziz El Sayed.[ citation needed ]
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.
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 now is entirely owned by the government of Egypt. AOI has about 19,000 employees out of which are 1250 engineers. AOI fully owns 10 factories and shares in 2 joint ventures, plus the Arab Institute for Advanced Technology
There is an undergraduate military school for each branch of the Egyptian Military establishment, and they include:
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 ($1.52 billion in 2019). This level is second only to Israel.
The Six-Day War, also known as the June War, 1967 Arab–Israeli War, or Third Arab–Israeli War, was fought between 5 and 10 June 1967 by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.
The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War, or October War, also known as the 1973 Arab–Israeli War, was a war fought from October 6 to 25, 1973, by a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria against Israel. The war took place mostly in Sinai and the Golan—occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War—with some fighting in African Egypt and northern Israel. Egypt's initial war objective was to use its military to seize a foothold on the east bank of the Suez Canal and use this to negotiate the return of the rest of Sinai.
The War of Attrition involved fighting between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, PLO and their allies from 1967 to 1970.
The history of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) intertwines in its early stages with history of the Haganah.
According to most scholars the history of modern Egypt dates from the emergence of Muhammad Ali's rule in the early 19th century and his launching of Egypt's modernization project that involved building a new army and suggesting a new map for Egypt.
Abdul Munim Riad was a general and chief of staff of the Egyptian Armed Forces. Riad commanded the Jordanian forces in the 1967 Six-Day War and later commanded Egyptian forces in the War of Attrition, during which he was killed along with several of his aides in 1969.
Saad Mohamed el-Husseiny El Shazly was an Egyptian military commander. He was Egypt's chief of staff during the October War. Following his public criticism of the Camp David Accords, he was dismissed from his post as Ambassador to Britain and Portugal, then he went to Algeria as a political refugee.
Mohammed Aly Fahmy was an Egyptian field marshal, known as the "Father of the Egyptian Air Defense".
Mohamed Abdel Ghani el-Gamasy was an Egyptian Field Marshal (Mushir) and The Commander in Chief of The Armed Forces.
Operation Boxer was an aerial offensive undertaken by the Israeli Air Force along the Suez Canal in July 1969. The first major IAF operation since the 1967 Six-Day War, the operation signaled a new phase in the War of Attrition.
The Battle of the Sinai was one of the most consequential battles of the Yom Kippur war. An Egyptian attacking force that advanced beyond their line of defense at the Bar-Lev Line was repulsed with heavy losses by Israeli forces. This prompted the Israelis to launch Operation Abiray-Lev the next day, penetrating the Egyptian line of defense and crossing the Suez Canal.
The air battle of Mansoura was the Egyptian name for an air battle that took place during the Yom Kippur War between the Egyptian Air Force (EAF) and the Israeli Air Force (IAF) near the town of El Mansoura, in the Nile Delta.
Abdel Latif Boghdadi or Abd el-Latif el-Baghdadi was an Egyptian politician, senior air force officer, and judge. An original member of the Free Officers Movement which overthrew the monarchy in Egypt in the 1952 Revolution, Boghdadi later served as Gamal Abdel Nasser's vice president. The French author Jean Lacouture called Boghdadi "a robust manager" who only lacked "stature comparable to Nasser's." The two leaders had a fallout over Nasser's increasingly socialist and pro-USSR policies and Boghdadi subsequently withdrew from political life in 1964, although he mended ties with Nasser before the latter's death in 1970.
Reprisal operations were raids carried out by the Israel Defense Forces in the 1950s and 1960s in response to frequent fedayeen attacks during which armed Arab militants infiltrated Israel from Syria, Egypt and Jordan to carry out attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers. Most of the reprisal operations followed raids that resulted in Israeli fatalities. The goal of these operations was to create deterrence and prevent future attacks. Two other factors behind the raids were restoring public morale and training newly formed army units.
The origins of the Six-Day War, which was fought between June 5 and June 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, include both longstanding and immediate issues. At the time of the Six-Day War, the earlier foundation of Israel, the resulting Palestinian refugee issue, and Israel's participation in the invasion of Egypt during the Suez crisis of 1956 continued to be significant grievances for the Arab world. Arab nationalists, led by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, continued to be hostile to Israel's existence and made grave threats against its Jewish population. By the mid-1960s, relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors had deteriorated to the extent that a number of border clashes had taken place.
The Rotem Crisis was a confrontation between Israel and the United Arab Republic (UAR) in February–March 1960. Prompted by tensions along the Israeli–Syrian border, Egypt deployed its armed forces on Israel's largely undefended southern front, catching Israel off guard. Although hostilities did not break out, the crisis influenced events leading up to the 1967 Six-Day War.
Ibrahim Abdel Ghafour El Orabi was an Egyptian Army Lieutenant General and the 13th and former Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Armed Forces. He was a member of the Free Officers Movement as defined by the Egyptian revolution of 1952, which led to King Farouk abdicated to his son King Ahmed Fouad II, until announced the establishment of the Republic in 1953. He began his military career at the end of the forties and witnessed all Arab-Israeli wars and all the political volatility that passed by Egypt since the 1948 Arab–Israeli War to the Yom Kippur War where he was one of its heroes. He previously served as the 7th Chief of Operations of the Armed Forces. Prior to that, he served as Commander of the Second Field Army, as Commander of the 21st Armored Division, as Commander of the Arab Forces in Iraq, and as Commander of the Armored Corps in Yemen war. As the Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Orabi was formerly the second highest-ranking military officer in all of the Egyptian Armed Forces. Orabi assumed his former assignment on 16 July 1983. Best known for severe discipline and rigor.
This article deals with the history and development of tanks of the Israeli Army, from their first use after World War II in the establishment of the State of Israel after the end of the British Mandate, and into the Cold War and what today is considered the modern era.