Military Wiki
Egyptian Armed Forces
Coat of arms of Egypt (Official).svg
Coat of arms of Egypt
Founded 1922
Current form 1952
Service branches

Flag of the Army of Egypt.svg Egyptian Army
Naval Flag of Egypt.svg Egyptian Navy
Eafflag.svg Egyptian Air Force
Egypt Air Defense Flag.png Egyptian Air Defense Forces
Republican Guard Egypt.png Egyptian Republican Guard
File:Egyptian border guards.jpg Egyptian Border Guard File:Slogan of the Egyptian armed forces.jpg Egyptian Coast Guard

Egyptiannglogo.png Egyptian National Guard
Headquarters Cairo
Minister of Defense &Supreme Commander in Chief General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Sedki Sobhi
Military age 18-49 years old
Conscription 1-3 years depending on circumstances
Available for
military service
41,157,220, age 18–49 (2011[1])
Fit for
military service
35,305,381, age 18–49 (2011[1])
Reaching military
age annually
1,532,052 (2011[1])
Active personnel 468,500. Army Equipment= 4,220 m.b.t.'s, 9,754+ i.f.v.'s & a.p.c.'s, 13,513+ artillery (ranked 10th)
Reserve personnel 479,000
Budget USD 5.85 billion (2009) including USD 1.3 billion of U.S military aid annually [2]
Percent of GDP ~3.12% (2009)
Foreign suppliers  Russia
 United Kingdom
 Soviet Union
Related articles

Second World War
1948 Arab-Israeli War
Egyptian Revolution of 1952
Tripartite Aggression
North Yemeni Civil War
Six Day War
Nigerian Civil War
War of Attrition
October War
Shaba I
Libyan–Egyptian War
Gulf War
Egyptian Revolution of 2011
Sinai insurgency

2013 Egyptian coup d'état
Military ranks of Egypt
(until 1958)
Egyptian ranks
General of the army/
field marshal
Fariq awwal
فريق أول
Lieutenant general
Major general
أمير آلاي
قائم مقام
Lieutenant colonel
Mulazim awwal
ملازم أول
First lieutenant
Mulazim thani
ملازم ثاني
Second lieutenant
Non-commissioned officers

The Egyptian Armed Forces are the largest in Africa, and the Middle East, and is the 10th most powerful in the world,[3] consisting of the Egyptian Army, Egyptian Navy, Egyptian Air Force and Egyptian Air Defense Command.

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


The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the senior uniformed officer, is currently General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and the Chief of Staff is currently Lieutenant General Sedki Sobhi.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Politics and business

The Armed Forces enjoy considerable power, prestige and independence within the Egyptian state.[19] During almost the entire history of the Republic of Egypt, active or retired military officers have been head of the Egyptian state. The one democratically-elected civilian who served as president was removed by a military coup after only one year (July 2012-July 2013).

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

Even the new constitution drafted and passed under Morsi included protections for the military from legal and parliamentary oversight,[20] 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.[21]


The military which has its own Hospitals, Factories, Clubs and Gas Stations which serve it's Officers, Soldiers, and public as well also influential in business, engaging in road and housing construction, consumer goods, resort management,[19] and extensive tracts of real estate. Much military information is not made publicly available, including budget information, the names of the general officers and the military’s size (which is considered a state secret).[19] According to journalist Joshua Hammer, "as much as 40% of the Egyptian economy" is controlled by the Egyptian military.[22] 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.[23]


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 M1A2 Abrams tank which makes Egypt the owner of the second largest number of latest generation main battle tanks in the region after Israel, and the second after Syria in case of the older generations. Conscripts for the army and other service branches without a university degree serve three years as enlisted soldiers. Conscripts with a General Secondary School Degree serve two years as enlisted personnel. Conscripts with a university degree serve one year as enlisted personnel or three years as a reserve officer. Officers for the army are trained at the Egyptian Military Academy one of the oldest academies in the world.

Air Force

Egyptian Mi-8 Hip helicopters after unloading troops

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 216 F-16s (plus 20 on order) making it the 4th largest operator of the F-16 in the World. It has about 579 combat aircraft and 149 armed helicopters having 35 Apache's AH-64D as it also continues to fly extensively upgraded MiG-21s, F-7 Skybolts, F-4 Phantoms, Dassault Mirage Vs, and the C-130 Hercules among other planes. The Air Force is undergoing massive modernization. Mikoyan confirmed that talks with Egypt are underway[when?] for the sale of 40 Mig-29SMT jet-fighters with a possible additional batch of 60-80 planes.

An Egyptian F16C Pilot

Air Defense Command

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

Its commander is Lieutenant General Abdul Meniem Al-Toras.


Egyptian Mirage 5 at Cairo-West 1985

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.

Arab Organization for Industrialization

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

Government paramilitary agencies

Government paramilitary forces .Two agencies, the Central Security Forces and Border Guard Forces, are under the control of the Ministry of Interior. The Ministry of Defence controls the National Guard, which is mainly for ceremonials and parades, but also for the defence of the Presidential institution and the Capital.

Military schools

Egyptian Military Police

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

  • Commanders & Staff Commanders College
  • Reserve Officers College
  • 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

Foreign military assistance

Egyptian field hospital in Bagram, Afghanistan

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 2022).[24][25] Much of this is in equipment such as tanks and jet fighters that are surplus to Egyptian needs and kept in storage.[26]

See also


  1. "Military Strength of Egypt". Retrieved 2011-06-11. 
  2. "Defence budget (Egypt), Defence budget". 30 December 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-11. 
  3. Global Fire Power " GFP "
  4. IISS Military Balance 2007, p.223
  5. title=Egypt%11--%20Britannica%20Online%20Encyclopedia "Egypt". Britannica. title=Egypt%11--%20Britannica%20Online%20Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  6. "The Egyptian Threat and the Prospects for War in the Middle East". NATIV. November, 2006. Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  7. Global Diversity: Winning Customers and Engaging Employees Within World Markets. Intercultural Press. 2006.,M1. Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  8. "Egypt to launch first spy satellite". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  9. Bumiller, Elisabeth (28 January 2011). "Egyptian Military Chiefs Cut Pentagon Visit Short". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
  10. Bumiller, Elisabeth; Mark Landler contributed reporting, "Calling for Restraint, Pentagon Faces Test of Influence With Ally". The New York Times. 29 January 2011 (30 January 2011, p. A1, New York edition). Retrieved 30 January 2011.
  11. Murdock, Heather (February 11, 2011). "Crowds rejoice as Egypt’s Mubarak steps down, hands power to military". The Washington Times. Retrieved February 11, 2011. 
  13. Kirkpatrick, David; Mayy El Sheikh (20 August 2013). "An Egypt Arrest, and a Brotherhood on the Run". Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  14. "Mohamed Morsi ousted in Egypt's second revolution in two years". The Guardian. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  15. "Mohamed Morsi ousted in Egypt's second revolution in two years". The Atlantic. 30 June 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  16. "Anti-Mursi ‘Rebel’ campaign receives more than 22 million signatures". Al Arabiya. 29 June 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Millions flood Egypt's streets to demand Mursi quit". Reuters. 30 June 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  18. "Egypt protests: President Morsi removed by army, reportedly put under house arrest". The Associated Press and Reuters=3 July 2013. 3 July 2013. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Cambanis, Thanassis (11 September 2010). "Succession Gives Army a Stiff Test in Egypt". Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  20. KIRKPATRICK, DAVID D.; MAYY EL SHEIKH (December 23, 2012). "Egypt Opposition Gears Up After Constitution Passes". Retrieved 26 September 2013. "the constitution’s principal defects were not about religion. The biggest problem, he said, is that it protects the Egyptian military from legal and parliamentary oversight, engraving its autonomy in the constitution. Leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood had said privately for months that they were willing to provide the military such constitutional protections in order to ease the transition of power from the generals who assumed control from Mr. Mubarak." 
  21. "Egypt: New Constitution Mixed on Support of Rights". November 30, 2012. Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 26 September 2013. "But the latest draft, unlike the earlier version, defers to objections from the country’s military leadership and removes the clear prohibition on trials of civilians before military courts." 
  22. Egypt: Who Calls the Shots?(relevance?) Joshua Hammer|| 18 August 2011| (free online article not complete, does not include quoted portion).
  23. Army Economy between dramatize and the dismantling of the state 12 April 2012| (Arabic Article).
  24. "Scenesetter: President Mubarak's visit to Washington". US Department of State. 2009-05-19. 
  25. David Costello (February 1, 2011). "Nation locked in a deadly stalemate". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 2011-02-11. 
  26. "Egypt May Not Need Fighter Jets, But The U.S. Keeps Sending Them Anyway."

Further reading

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

External links

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