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Egyptian Navy
Naval Ensign of Egypt.svg
Naval Ensign
Active 19th Century - Present
Country Egypt
Type Navy
Size 18,000 personnel
Part of Egyptian Armed Forces
Garrison/HQ Alexandria
Colours Blue and White
Anniversaries 21 October
Equipment 221 vessels
Commander in Chief of the Navy Vice Admiral Osama El-Gendi
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

Egyptian Predynastic boat as depicted on pottery vase

Khufu ship built circa 2500 B.C

An Ancient Egyptian ship being loaded in the Expedition to Land of Punt during Hatshepsut rule 1508–1458 BC

Ancient Egyptian Navy battle with Sea people

Ramsis III Delta Battle with Sea People circa 1198 - 1166 B.C.

The battle between the Sea Peoples and the Ancient Egyptians (Medinet Habu)

A modern model of an Ancient Egyptian Navy warship from 1200 BC

Ancient Egyptian Navy on Gebel Silsileh Pétroglyphe

File:Mouhamed ali army&navy.jpg

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

The Abbas Pasha Paddle steamer in 1906

The Egyptian Navy is the maritime branch of the Egyptian Armed Forces. It is the largest navy in Africa and Middle East and the Arab World, and is the seventh largest in the world measured by the number of vessels.[1] 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.[2]


Egypt has had a Navy since Ancient Egyptian times. The Ancient Egyptian Navy have fought many battles as the Delta battle against the sea people. Several Ancient Egyptian solar ships are still present today.

King Farouk I on Board HMS Hunter January 1945 with Egyptian and British Navy commanders. Rear Admiral Sir Creaghton Pasha, Lt. Gen. Fatay Pasha, Vice Admiral Tennant R.N., King Farouk I, Vice Admiral Hamza Pasha, Rear Admiral Oliver R. N., H.M.S. Hunter's Captain Torlesse R.N. Standing (Left to Right): Flag Lieut. To V.Admiral Tennant, Liut Commander Atef, HMS Hunter's Commander Flying Lieutenant, Lieut. Commander Allingham R.N., Lieutenant Commander Ezzat, Rear Admiral Elgadan Pasha, H.M.S. Hunter's Wing Leader Lieut. Commander Baldwin R.N., H.M.S. Hunter's Executive Officer commander Shwann R.N.V.R In Alexandria, January of 1945.

Fleet operations and missions

The navy's main operational subdivisions are the Frigate, Corvette, Submarine, Mine Warfare, Missile Boat, and Coastal Patrol Boat commands. Commanding the naval forces is Vice Admiral Moheb Memish as of 1 November 2014 (2014-11-01).

Naval air coverage

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.[3]

Modernization projects

The Egyptian destroyer El-Zafer

The Egyptian Navy flag ship, the Emir Farouk, in 1948

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.

Historical naval operations and engagements

Egyptian torpedo boat of the Soviet Project 206 class ('Shershen' class), with torpedo launchers removed.

Small Missile Ship

The Egyptian navy was only peripherally involved in the series of conflicts with Israel. During the Suez Crisis War, Egyptian destroyers and torpedo boats engaged larger British vessels in a move aimed at undermining the amphibious operations of the British and French. However, the Ibrahim el Awal sent to shell Haifa was captured by the Israeli Navy with the assistance from Israeli Air Force. The Egyptian blockade of ships in the Strait of Tiran that were headed toward Israel helped precipitate the Six-Day War. The navy's most significant action occurred in October 1967, a few months after the cease-fire, when an Egyptian missile boat sank one of Israel's two destroyers off Port Said.

On 15–16 November 1969, the Egyptian Navy frogmen attacked the port of Eilat and caused severe damages to the transport armed ship "Bat Yam".[4]

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt (Oct. 11, 2009) Sailors from Egyptian navy frogman units conduct pre-dive checks during a training exercise with U.S. Navy explosive ordnance disposal personnel. The multinational exercise is designed to improve readiness, interoperability, and strengthen military and professional relationships among U.S., Egyptian and other coalition forces.

Egyptian Sailors from Egyptian navy frogman units conduct pre-dive checks during a training exercise with U.S. Navy explosive ordnance disposal personnel

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".[4]

Egyptian destroyer Dimyāṭ

On 8 March 1970 the Frogmen attacked the Israeli oil drill "Keting" at the port of Abidjan in Ivory Coast providing that. Israel had bought this oil drill from Holland for the purposes of oil exploration in the Suez Gulf.[4]

In the Yom Kippur War, Egypt blocked commercial traffic to Elat in the Gulf of Aqaba by laying mines; it also attempted to blockade Israeli ports on the Mediterranean.[5] Using the coastal artillery to the east of Port Fouad to support the Land Forces in order to prepare for the assault of the Suez Canal. * Launching missile attacks against coastal targets. Carrying out tactical ambushes through the use of navy commandos behind the enemy defensive lines to the east of Port Said and along the Gulf of Suez.[4]

USS Kirk, a Knox class frigate, the same type used by Egypt.

US Navy Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate, the same type used by Egypt.

The current fleet

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

Egypt frigate 911 former USS Copeland (FFG-25)

The Egyptian Navy (EN) and coast guard currently consists of 321 ships and craft: [6]

Submarine force

Silhouette of Romeo-class submarine (Project 633)

  • 4 Improved Romeo class diesel submarines, armed with encapsulated Harpoon (Sub-Harpoon capable); modernized with new sonar, air conditioning and radar systems.
  • A contract has been signed to build two Type 209 submarine for the Egyptian navy.[7][8][9][10]

Surface combatant force

Guided missile frigates

General purpose & ASW frigates

Missile corvettes

Littoral warfare force

Large fast attack crafts missile

ASW coastal patrol boats

Coastal patrol boats

Amphibious forces

Mine countermeasures vessels

  • 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) [15]
  • 3 Pluto Plus Underwater Unmanned Vehicles (UUVs) ordered at a 2009 cost of $10.6 million for Egyptian Mine Hunters. (Manufacturer: The Columbia Group)[16]
  • 4 swiftships inshore run missile (MSIs)

Auxiliary ships

  • 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

Rescue ships

Ceremonial and historical ships

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

  • 1 El Horeya Yacht
  • 1 El Quosseir Yacht

The Egyptian Coast Guard

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

  • 21 Timsah class
  • 9 Swiftships class

Patrol crafts

  • 9 Type 83 class
  • 6 Crestitalia class
  • 12 Spectre class
  • 12 Petersen class
  • 5 Nisr class
  • 29 DC class
  • 3 of 6 MRTP-20[18][19]


Ship to ship/surface missiles

  • 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)

  • 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 navy's main base is at Alexandria on the Mediterranean Sea. Egypt's other Mediterranean naval bases are Port Said and Mersa Matruh. Additionally, Egypt has naval bases on the Red Sea at Hurghada, Safaga, Berenice and Suez.


Two Egyptian navy amphibious landing craft make their way to shore as part of an amphibious assault demonstration during Bright Star 2009.

  • 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 Sami El Rashidi
  • Vice Admiral Ahmed Saber Seleem
  • Vice Admiral Tamer Abdel Alim (October 2005 - October 2007)
  • Vice Admiral Mohab Mamish (October 2007 - 11 August 2012)
  • Rear Admiral Osama Ahmed ElGendy (14 August 2012 - Now )

Ranks and insignia

The Flag of the Navy

Records and milestones

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.

In October 1967 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.[20] This was a milestone of modern naval warfare, and for the first time anti-ship missiles showed their potential, sinking the destroyer at 17 km from Port Said.

Navy exercises

In October 2008, the Egyptian Navy launched the largest exercise in its history celebrating the Egyptian Armed Forces Day. The exercise is called victory 41. About 44 vessels including frigates, submarines, fast attack missile boats and landing ships conducted the exercise.

In Media

  • "Youm el-Karama" an Egyptian film produced in 2004 telling the story of sinking the destroyer Eilat.

See also


  1. Global Firepower. "Navy Ship Strength by Country". 
  2. Military-navy. (2000–2010). Retrieved from
  3. Egyptian military aviation OrBat
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3
  7. [1]
  20. Saad El Shazly The Crossing of the Suez p.23


  • External links

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