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Egyptian Air Force

Egyptian Air Force
القوات الجوية المصرية
Egyptian Air Force emblem

1930 (as part of the army)

1937 (as an independent service)
Country 23x15px Egypt
Branch Air Force
Type Military Aviation
Role Aerial Warfare
Size 1,100 aircraft (As of 2014)
30,000 Personnel (As of 2005)[1][2]
Part of Egyptian Armed Forces
Garrison/HQ Oruba street, Nasr City, Cairo
Motto 'Higher and higher for the sake of glory' (Arabic: إلى العلا في سبيل المجد‎, I‘la’ al-a‘là fī sabīl al-magd)
Anniversaries 14th of October (Mansura Air Battle)[3]
Engagements see History
Commander – Egyptian Air Force Air Marshal Younes Hamed
Chief of Air Staff Fouaad Fouaad Abu el-Nasr[4]
Hosni Mubarak
Ahmed Shafik/Reda Hafez
Roundel 90px
Flag 80px
Insignia Egyptian Air Force ranks
Aircraft flown
Attack F-16, F-4D/E, Alpha Jet MS.2, L-59
E-2HE2K, Beechcraft 1900, C-130, Commando Mk.2E, Mi-8
Fighter F-16, Mirage-2000, Mirage V
Attack helicopter AH-64, Mi-8, SA-342
Interceptor F-16 Fighting Falcon, Mirage 2000, J-7
Patrol Beechcraft 1900, SA-342
Reconnaissance M-324, Mi-8, Mirage V
Trainer K-8, EMB 312, G-115, L-39, UH-12
Transport C-130, C-295, An-74

The Egyptian Air Force (EAF) (Arabic: القوات الجوية المصرية‎, Al-Qūwāt al-Gawwīyä al-Miṣrīyä), is the aviation branch of the Egyptian Armed Forces. The EAF is headed by an Air Marshal (Lieutenant General equivalent). Currently, the commander of the Egyptian Air Force is Air Marshal Younes Hamed. The force's motto is 'Higher and higher for the sake of glory' (Arabic: إلى العلا في سبيل المجد‎, I‘la’ al-a‘là fī sabīl al-magd).

The Egyptian Army Air Service was formed in 1930, and became an independent air force in 1937. It had little involvement in the Second World War. From 1948 to 1973 it took part, with generally mediocre results, in four separate wars with Israel, as well as the quasi-War of Attrition. It also supported the Egyptian Army during the North Yemen Civil War and the Libyan-Egyptian War of 1977. Since 1977 it has seen virtually no combat, but has participated in numerous exercises, including Operation Bright Star from 1985.

The Air Force's backbone are 220 F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters. The Egyptian Air Force is the 4th largest operator of F-16s in the world, after the United States, Israel, and Turkey.[5]



Egyptian Air Force Insignia (1937–1958)
Royal Egyptian Air Force ensign
File:First 3 egyptian pilots.jpg
First three Egyptian pilots

In late 1928, the Parliament of Egypt proposed the creation of an Egyptian Air Force. The Egyptian ministry of war announced that it needed volunteers for the new arm to become the first four Egyptian military pilots. Over 200 Egyptian officers volunteered, but in the end only three succeeded in passing strict medical tests and technical examinations.

These three went to RAF Station Abu Sueir Royal Air Force No 4 Flying Training School (No 4 FTS) located near the Suez Canal, where they were trained on a variety of aircraft. After graduation they travelled to the United Kingdom for specialised training.

On 2 November 1930, the King of Egypt and Sudan, Fuad I announced the creation of the Egyptian Army Air Force (EAAF) and in September 1931, the British de Havilland aircraft company won a contract to supply Egypt with 10 de Havilland Gipsy Moth trainers.

The first commander of the EAAF was Squadron Leader Victor Hubert Tait RAF a Canadian. Tait selected staff, weapons and built a number of airfields. In 1934 the British government provided ten Avro 626 aircraft, which were the first real Egyptian military planes. A further 17 626s together with Hawker Audaxes for army cooperation and close support and Avro Ansons for VIP work followed shortly afterward.

In 1937 the Egyptian Army Air Force was separated from the Army Command and became an independent branch named the Royal Egyptian Air Force (REAF). New stations were built in the Suez Canal Zone, and the Western Desert.

During 1938 the REAF received 2 squadrons of Gloster Gladiator biplane fighters and a squadron of then-modern Westland Lysander reconnaissance aircraft, Egypt was the last state to use the Lysander in action, during the Palestine War of 1948.

Second World War

As the Egyptian border was threatened by an Italian and German invasion during the Second World War, the Royal Air Force established more airfield in Egypt. The Royal Egyptian Air Force was sometimes treated as a part of the Royal Air Force, at other times a strict policy of neutrality was followed as Egypt maintained its official neutrality until very late in the war. As a result, few additional aircraft were supplied by Britain, however the arm did receive its first modern fighters, Hawker Hurricanes and a small number of Curtiss P-40 Tomahawks. In the immediate post-war period, cheap war surplus aircraft, including a large number of Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXs were acquired.

A roughly 1946 order of battle for the Air Force can be found in Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II.

1948 Arab-Israeli War

Main article: 1948 Arab-Israeli War
Israeli Avia S-199 chasing one of two Egyptian aircraft which had been bombing Tel Aviv on June 3rd 1948
Egypt's bombardment of Tel Aviv during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
Nitzanim after the Egyptian bombardment during the Battle of Nitzanim

Following the British withdrawal from the British Protectorate of Palestine and the establishment of the State of Israel on 14 May 1948, Egyptian forces crossed into Palestine as part of a wider Arab League military coalition in support of the Palestinians against the Israelis. The Egyptian Air Force contribution included the Short Stirling bomber,[6] C-47 Dakotas performing as light bombers and Spitfires.

Two Israeli aircraft were shot down and on 22 May 1948, Egyptian Spitfires attacked the RAF airfield at Ramat David, believing the airfield had already been taken over by Israeli forces. The first raid surprised the British, and resulted in the destruction of several RAF aircraft on the ground, and the deaths of four airmen. The British were uncertain whether the attacking Spitfires had come from Arab or Israeli forces. When second and third raids followed shortly afterward, they met a well prepared response, and the entire Egyptian force was shot down – the last aircraft being baited for some time as the RAF pilots attempted to get a close look at its markings.

Relations with Britain were soon restored and the continuing official state of war with Israel ensured that arms purchases continued. New Spitfire Mk. 22s were purchased to replace the earlier models. In late 1949, Egypt received its first jet fighter, the British Gloster Meteor F4, and shortly after De Havilland Vampire FB5s.

The Egyptians made continuouse attempts to purchase heavy arms from Czechoslovakia years before the 1955 deal.[7] The Egyptian Government was determined to move away from reliance on British armaments.

In 1955, under President Gamal Abdel Nasser, Egypt began acquiring weaponry, including aircraft, from the Soviet Union. Initial Soviet deliveries included MiG-15 fighters, Ilyushin Il-28 bombers, Il-14 transports, and Yak-11 trainers. Instructors from Czechoslovakia accompanied these aircraft. This period in the Egyptian Air Force's history also yielded the first indigenous aircraft production as the country began manufacturing its own Czechoslovak-designed Gomhouria Bü 181 Bestmann primary trainers.

File:MiG-17 underside.jpg
MiG-17 underside

The Suez Crisis

Helwan HA-300
Main article: Suez Crisis

After the Egyptian Government's nationalisation of the Suez Canal in 1956, Egypt was attacked by Israel, France, and the United Kingdom in what came to be known as the Suez Crisis. Heavy losses were sustained by the Egyptian side. The conflict, though devastating militarily, turned out to be a political victory for Egypt, and resulted in the total withdrawal of the tri-nation aggressor forces from the country. It also forced the EAF to begin rebuilding with non-British help.

In 1958, Egypt merged with Syria to form the United Arab Republic, and the previously separate Egyptian, and Syrian forces were combined as the United Arab Republic Air Force. Though Syria left the union in 1961, Egypt continued to use the union's official name until 1971, including for its air force.

By the mid-1960s, British aircraft had been replaced completely by Soviet hardware. The Soviet Union became the principal supplier of the EAF, and many other Arab states. This allowed the EAF to greatly modernise and boost its combat effectiveness. The MiG-21 Fishbed arrived in the early 1960s, bringing with it a Mach 2 capability. The MiG-21 would remain Egypt's primary fighter for the next two decades. In 1967, Egypt had 200 MiG-21s. The EAF also began flying the Sukhoi Su-7 fighter/bomber in the mid-1960s.

Egypt also began the Helwan HA-300 as its first supersonic aircraft. It never went beyond its 3 prototypes and initial test fights then was abandoned due to high military cost inflicted upon the Egyptian military involvement in the Yemen War and the defeat in the 1967 war with Israel.

The Yemen War

Main article: North Yemen Civil War
File:Marib bomb damage.jpg
Destruction resulted by the Egyptian bombardment on the city of Ma'rib

The Yemeni Royalist side received support from Saudi Arabia, and Jordan, while the Yemeni Republicans were supported by Egypt. The fighting was fierce, featuring heavy urban combat as well as battles in the countryside. Both foreign irregular and conventional forces were also involved.

Strategically, the Yemen War was an opportunity for Israel. It stagnated Egyptian military plans for the reinforcement of the Sinai by shifting the Egyptian military focus to another theater of operation. Egyptian historian Mohammed Heikal writes that Israel provided arms shipments and also cultivated relationships with hundreds of European mercenaries fighting for the Royalists in Yemen. Israel established a covert air-supply bridge from Djibouti to North Yemen. The war also gave Israelis the opportunity to assess Egyptian combat tactics and adaptability.

Egyptian air and naval forces began bombing and shelling raids in the Saudi southwestern city of Najran and the coastal town of Jizan, which were staging points for royalist forces. In response, the Saudis purchased a British Thunderbird air defense system and developed their airfield in Khamis Mushayt. Riyadh also attempted to convince the United States to respond on its behalf. President Kennedy sent only a wing of jet fighters and bombers to Dhahran Airbase, demonstrating to Egypt the seriousness of his commitment to defending U.S. interests in Saudi Arabia.

The Six-Day War

Main article: Six-Day War

In the 1967 Six-Day War the EAF's combat capacity was severely damaged after the Israeli Air Force destroyed its airbases in a preemptive strike codenamed Operation Focus. During the last four days the EAF conducted only 150 sorties against Israeli units throughout the Sinai.[8] After the war, the Soviet Union replenished EAF stocks, sending large numbers of aircraft and advisors to Egypt to revitalise the EAF.

The War of Attrition

Main article: War of Attrition
File:EAF IL-28 Attrition.jpg
EAF bomber of the model Ilyushin Il-28 bombing Israeli targets east the suez canal during the attrition war

The years between 1967 and 1970 involved a prolonged campaign of attrition against Israel. The EAF went through a massive construction program to build new air bases in order to increase its survivability. During this period Egypt also received replacements for losses it suffered during the Six Day War. The EAF was the first branch of the Egyptian armed forces to achieve full combat readiness.

On 15 July 1967, six Israeli Mirage III fighters violated Egyptian airspace and orders were given for two formations each consisted of two MiG-21 fighters to intercept, another formation of 2 MiGs piloted by Major Fawzy Salama & Lieutenant Medhat Zaki was ready in West Cairo airbase. Indeed the formation took off, but for protecting the airbase rather than supporting the interception. However Maj. Fawzy insisted on supporting the Egyptians already engaging Israeli fighters and ordered his wingman to follow him. Once the reinforcement arrived Israeli Mirages immediately broke out of the fight.

October War 1973

Main article: Yom Kippur War
File:Egyptian MIG 21s during Yom Kippur War.jpg
Egyptian fighter jets of the model Sukhoi Su-7 conducting air strikes over Bar Lev Line during Yom Kippur War, 6th October, 1973
Israeli Mirage III shot down by Egyptian MiG-21 during October war

The EAF was involved in the raid with over 220 aircraft taking part in the initial phase. Unlike their Syrian counterparts, EAF aircraft evaded Israeli radars by flying below detection height. EAF aircraft were held in reserve after that point, mainly concentrating on airfield defence in conjunction with the SA-3 'Goa', while the more mobile SA-6 'Gainful' protected Egyptian forces at low and medium level, aided by the ZSU-23-4SP and shoulder-held SA-7 SAMs.

Despite these limitations, the EAF conducted offensive sorties from time to time. The Su-7BM was used for quick strafe attacks on Israeli columns and the Mirage IIIE (sometimes confused with the Mirage 5), donated by Libya, carried out long-range attacks deep inside Sinai at Bir Gifgafa.

However, when Israeli armoured forces used a gap between the two Egyptian armies to cross the Suez Canal (Operation Stouthearted Men), they destroyed several Egyptian SAM sites, forcing the EAF into battle against the IAF. The EAF claimed victories and continued to contest IAF operations, while also launching attacks on Israeli ground forces on the East Bank of the Suez Canal. In most of these engagements, Egyptian MiG-21s (of all types) challenged Israeli Mirage IIICJs or Neshers.[9]

The IAF did not operate freely and did not have complete air supremacy it enjoyed during the previous conflict, the 1967 war. Egyptian MiGs were used with better efficiency than before which included the tactics and lessons learned from the 1967 war.[10]

It was during this war that the EAF applied the lessons it earlier learnt from the Israelis. A 32-year-old deputy MiG-21 regiment commander who has been flying since he was 15 recalls: "During the war of attrition, the Israeli air force had a favorite ambush tactic", he told Aviation Week and Space Technology. "They would penetrate with two aircraft at medium altitude where they would be quickly picked up by radar, We would scramble four or eight to attack them. But they had another dozen fighters trailing at extremely low altitude below radar coverage. As we climbed to the attack they would zoom up behind and surprise us. My regiment lost MiGs to this ambush tactic three times. But we learned the lesson and practiced the same tactics. In the final fights over Deversoir, we ambushed some Mirages the same way, and my own 'finger four' formation shot down four Mirages with the loss of one MiG."[11]

El-Mansourah air battle

On 14 October 1973, Israel launched a large scale raid with over 250 aircraft – F-4 Phantoms and A-4 Skyhawks – attempting to hit the large air base at el-Mansourah. It culminated in an almost continuous dogfight lasting no less than 53 minutes. According to Egyptian estimates over 180 aircraft were involved at one time, the majority belonging to the Israelis. At 10 pm local time, Cairo Radio broadcast "Communiqué Number 39", announcing that there had been several air battles that day over a number of Egyptian airfields, that most intensive being over the northern Delta area. It also claimed that 15 enemy aircraft had been downed by Egyptian fighters for the loss of three Egyptian aircraft, while an even greater number of Israelis had been shot down by the Army and the Air Defense Forces over Sinai and the Suez Canal. For its part, Israel Radio claimed, early the following morning, that the IAF had shot down 15 Egyptian aircraft, a figure subsequently reduced to seven.[12]

Later on, the Egyptian Government changed the country’s "Air Force Day" from 2 November to 14 October, to commemorate the Mansourah air battle.[12]

Shaba I

Main article: Shaba I

During the Shaba I crisis in Zair on 1977, Egyptian Air Force provided 50 pilots and technicians, which operated Mirage jets from the Zairian Air Force.

Libyan-Egyptian War

Main article: Libyan-Egyptian War

During the Libyan-Egyptian War, there were some skirmishes between Libyan and Egyptian fighters.[13] In one instance, two Libyan Air Force MiG-23MS engaged two EAF MiG-21MFs that had been upgraded to carry Western weaponry. The Libyan pilots made the mistake of trying to manoeuvre with the more nimble Egyptian fighters, and one MiG-23MS was shot down by EAF Maj. Sal Mohammad, while the other Libyan aircraft used its speed advantage to escape.

2014 Libyan Civil Conflict

Main article: 2014 Libyan conflict

During the 2014 Libyan Civil Conflict there were conflicting reports that Egyptian warplanes bombed Islmaist militias in support of the government based in Tobruk. The foreign ministry denied any involvement in the conflict although unnamed Egyptian military officials claimed otherwise.[14]

2015 airstrikes in Libya

On the dawn of 16 February 2015, Egyptian war planes launched an intensive air strike on multiple Islamic State positions that included weapons caches and training camps. The air strikes came in response for the execution of 21 Egyptian workers by masked militants affiliated to the Islamic State. The Egyptian airstrikes killed 64 Islamic State fighters, including three of the leadership, in the coastal cities of Derna and Sirte, the Libyan army said.[15]

2015 military intervention in Yemen

As a part of a Saudi-led joint regional military operation, Egyptian airforce participated in airstrikes against Houthis in Yemen.

Operation Bright Star

A right side view of aircraft in flight over the desert during exercise Bright Star '82. The aircraft are from front to back: a MiG-21PFM, F-16 Fighting Falcon, MiG-15UTI and an A-10 Thunderbolt II
File:Egyptain F-16 and three U.S. Marine Corps FA-18A.JPEG
Egyptian F-16 and three U.S. Marine Corps FA-18A
File:EAF F-16, USAF F-18 and F-15 at Bright Star Operation 2005.jpg
EAF F-16C block 40 flies over Egypt with a USN F/A-18 and a USAF F-15 on September 28th, 2005.
Main article: Operation Bright Star

Since 1977 the Air Force has seen little active service. Perhaps its most intense training opportunity has become Operation Bright Star, a U.S. Central Command exercise. From 1985 onwards the air forces of both the U.S. and Egypt started participating in what was previously an Army only bilaterial exercise. Starting in 1987 the Navies and Special Operations Forces from both countries have also taken part in the exercise. At least nine other states now take part.

Upgrade and development

File:Egyptian air force F-16 refueling.jpg
Egyptian F-16 Air Refueling

The Camp David Accords caused a change in the overall composition of the EAF. They began to rely more and more on American, French and in some cases on Chinese aircraft. The addition of these aircraft from multiple sources along with the ones already in the EAF inventory caused increasing servicability problems. In 1982, the EAF began receiving F-16 fighters under the Peace Vector Program. The EAF received a total of 220 F-16s so far. 18 aircraft were lost in accidents and 7 F-16A/Bs were grounded. These grounded F-16A/Bs were later overhauled, upgraded and returned to active service, additional F-16s were acquired to replace the lost ones. In 1986, the EAF received Mirage 2000 fighters, one lost in a training accident. Egypt also license built Alphajets, Tucano airplanes and Westland Gazelle helicopters. In 1987 the E-2C Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning (AEW) entered service and was upgraded with advanced AN/APS-145 radars. The EAF also upgraded its F-16 fighters to C/D standard that enabled them to fire the AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile.

The EAF currently operates 36 AH-64 Apache attack helicopter which were initially delivered as AH-64A variant but were later upgraded to AH-64D standard.[16] On 22 May 2009, Egypt requested the purchase of 36 Apache Arrowhead sensor systems as part of an order for 12 Block II AH-64D Apache helicopters then Egypt reduced the number to 10 Helicopters.

The Egyptian Navy recently received the SH-2G Seasprite to supplement their Sea King and Gazelle helicopters.[17] 74 Grob G-115's and 120 K-8 Karakorum trainers were also ordered.[17]


During the late 1990s, then Air Marshal Ahmed Shafik (the former Civil Aviation minister until 2011) outlined an ambitious modernization program for the Egyptian Air Force in the 21st century. The EAF planned to obtain the modern technology it needed to deter any foreign aggression, help its allies and protect national security interests. This modernization included the integration of space and air reconnaissance systems, acquisition of airborne command and control capability, aerial refueling capability, advanced next generation fighters and heavy transport aircraft.

Egypt had also made several deals with Ukrainian companies for the modernization of its old MiG-21 fleet but that too has failed and no future plans to implement any modernization of Mig-21.

The Air Force ordered 20 Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Block 52 aircraft on 3 March 2010.[18] The contract is set to complete in 2013 and includes 16 single-seat F-16C and four twin-seat F-16D aircraft.Finally, as of March 2010, Egypt was discussing co-production of the CAC/PAC JF-17 Thunder with Pakistan.[19]

On 14 August 2012, U.S pushed F-16 project for to ensure full cooperation with the new military leadership. The Defense Department has awarded a major contract to facilitate the procurement of F-16s by the Egyptian Air Force. The Pentagon selected American International Contractors for a $66.6 million contract to upgrade infrastructure for Egypt’s order of 20 F-16 Block 52 aircraft, estimated at $2.2 billion.[20] However, the Egyptian air force has one of the worst crash rates of any F-16 fleet in the world.[21] On 24 July 2013, the U.S. announced it would halt deliveries of the F-16s in response to the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état.[22][23]

Now the EAF Operates the Egyptian Satellite EgyptSat 2 which is built by the Russian RSC Energia and the Egyptian NARSS while the incorporated cameras and payload was developed by OAO Peleng and NIRUP Geoinformatsionnye Sistemy in Belarus. EgyptSat 2 was launched on board a Soyuz-U rocket on 16 April 2014 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome[24] which was a milestone toward establishing the Egyptian Space Agency.[25]

On 16 February 2015, Egypt signed a deal with France to buy 24 Dassault Rafale as part of a deal reportedly valued at 5.2 billion euros.[26]


The Egyptian Air Force is seeking new fighter aircraft and has showed interest in the MiG-35.

Egypt is interested with the Russian MiG-35 4++ Fighter, and after the Egyptian president Abdelfattah El-Sisi went to Russia on October 2014 reports said that Egypt wants to purchase 24 Mig-35 fighters as part of a US$3 billion arms deal to its Air Force fleet, If the Egyptian Air Force signed a deal with Russia it will be the first country to acquire the Fighter.[27]

On September 29 the Director-General of Russia’s Aircraft Corporation MiG Sergei Korotkov said that Russia was planning to hold talks in Egypt on the country’s purchase of MiG-35 fighter jets. In the beginning of the year the Egyptian defence minister confirmed reports about a deal between Egypt and Russia, the deal consisted of Russian Fighters MiG-29M and Russia would supply it to Egypt soon.[28]

There were negotiations between the UAE and Egypt for the Emirati Mirage 2000-9 fighters to replace the Mirage 5 fighter and to increase the number of Mirage 2000s in service. The UAEAF Mirage 2000s would provide the Egyptian Air Force with a more modernized version of Mirage 2000 than it already has. [29]


The Roundel of the EAF consists of three circles, with the outside one being red, the middle one white, and the inner one being black. These are the colors of the Egyptian flag.

The former roundels of the EAF included a similar variant with two green stars used from 1961 to 1973, and one with the old Egyptian crescent and three stars on a green background.

Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Photo Origin Role Version Number[30][31] Comment
Combat Aircraft
F-16 Fighting Falcon 170px 23x15px United States MRCA Total
Total 228 delivered (46 built by Turkish Aerospace Industries[33]) delivered, of which 224 either block 40 or upgraded to block 40, the last order of 20 yet to be delivered (16 C and 4 D) are block 52, of which, 4 C are delivered. ( See F-16 Fighting Falcon page)
Dassault Rafale 170px 23x15px France MRCA
24 to be delivered.[35]
Dassault Mirage 2000 170px 23x15px France MRCA
Out of 20 delivered, Another Mirage 2000-9 Fighter Jets maybe bought from UAE.[29] Another deal with the UAE is underway to sell 36 Mirage 2000-9 from the UAE Air Force to complement the existing 18 Mirage 2000EM/BM which Egypt operates.
Dassault Mirage V 170px 23x15px France




<math>\Big\}</math> 76

Maybe less number in service.
McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II 170px 23x15px United States
34 [36] Three attrition replacements had been received by the end of the 1990s.[37]
MiG-21 Fishbed 170px 23x15px Soviet Union
23x15px Ukraine

Out of over 490 delivered. Upgraded with British avionics and armed with mixed Russian and Western weapons. Negotiations with Russia for the MiG-29M2 which would replace it.
Chengdu J-7 170px 23x15px China
23x15px Egypt
Interceptor B/M 57 Some claims as much as 60, out of total of 150 delivered. To be phased out.
Close air support
Alpha Jet 170px 23x15px France
23x15px Egypt
COIN MS2 14 License built by AOI. Also Listed as trainer.
Air Tractor AT-802 170px 23x15px United States Armed Reconnaissance/Patrol AT-802U 12 The EAF AT-802Us Sent as a gift from UAE to EAF for COIN / Border Armed Patrol
C-130 Hercules 170px 23x15px United States
Tactical transport
Tactical transport
30 aircraft were delivered. 4 were lost, including one during the Cyprus operation.
Beechcraft 1900 170px 23x15px United States
Maritime patrol
Super King Air 170px 23x15px United States 200 1
C-295 170px 23x15px Spain
Tactical transport
Out of an initial total order of 6 (3 + 3), all delivered in 2013. 6 more are ordered in 2013(of which were delivered by 2014) and another 8 in a new order on 15/4/2014 for delivery by 2016, making Egypt eventually the largest operator of C-295 fleet worldwide with total of 20.[38][39][40]
An-74 Coaler 170px 23x15px Ukraine Tactical transport T-200A

<math>\Big\}</math> 13[41][42][43]
DHC-5 Buffalo 170px 23x15px Canada
Tactical transport
Navigational training
To be phased out.
AH-64 Apache 170px 23x15px United States Attack helicopter D 46 Modernization of current fleet is underway and an additional 10 AH-64D Longbow Block II Entered service in November 2014.[44]
Mi-17 Hip 170px 23x15px Russia Assault Support H 24 Ordered in 2009 & were delivered by end 2010.
Mi-8 Hip 170px 23x15px Soviet Union
Artillery observer
Out of over 140 delivered, some replaced by Mi-17 Hip.
Sea King 170px 23x15px United Kingdom ASW Mk.47 5 Egyptian variant of the British HAS.2 model, out of 6 delivered.
Commando 170px 23x15px United Kingdom
Assault Support
Assault Support
A total of 28 were delivered, 2 Mk.2B version were relegated as VIP transport of the Presidential fleet.
Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk 170px 23x15px United States
Assault Support
Assault Support
SA-342 Gazelle 170px 23x15px France
23x15px Egypt

Maritime Patrol
Battlefield Scout
Attack helicopter
Out of 108 license-built by the Arab British Helicopter Company.
CH-47 Chinook 170px 23x15px Italy
23x15px United States

Navigational training
Assault Support
All 4 Navigational training CH-47C were upgraded to D standard by 2010. New order for additional 6 rebuilt CH-47D is in progress.
SH-2G Super Seasprite 170px 23x15px United States ASW G/E 13 Electronic/Navigation Suite upgraded to Egyptian Navy requirements.
AgustaWestland AW109 170px 23x15px Italy AM 3 Aeromedical evacuation.[45]
AgustaWestland AW139 170px 23x15px Italy
23x15px United States
SAR 2 Search and Rescue.[46][47]
Trainer Aircraft
Alpha Jet 170px 23x15px France
23x15px Egypt

License built by AOI. May be replaced with Hongdu L-15.
K-8 Karakorum 170px 23x15px Egypt Advanced trainer E 120 110 were license built by AOI.
L-59 Super Albatros 170px 23x15px Czechoslovakia Advanced trainer E 47 Out of 48 delivered.
L-39 Albatros 170px 23x15px Czechoslovakia Advanced trainer ZO 10 Ex-Libyan. To be phased out.
PAC MFI-17 Mushshak 170px 23x15px Pakistan Basic Trainer B 54
EMB 312 Tucano 170px 23x15px Egypt Basic Trainer A 54 Built under license by AOI, out of 134 built; 80 delivered to Iraq.
G-115 Tutor 170px 23x15px Germany Primary trainer E 74
Z-142C 170px 23x15px Czechoslovakia Primary Trainer C 48
UH-12 170px 23x15px United States Rotary Trainer E 17 Out of 18 delivered.
Anka-A 170px 23x15px Turkey MALE 0+10 Ordered in 2011, may be cancelled after 2013 Egyptian coup d'état.[48]
Model-324 Scarab 23x15px United States Jet Reconnaissance UAV 52 Out of 56 delivered.
R4E-50 Sky Eye 23x15px United Kingdom Reconnaissance UAV 48
Camcopter 170px 23x15px Austria Helicopter Reconnaissance UAV 4[49]
ASN-209 23x15px China
23x15px Egypt
Reconnaissance UAV 21 Produced locally under license with 99.5% locally produced
ASN-15 23x15px China
23x15px Egypt
Reconnaissance UAV N/A Produced locally under license
Aeryon Scout 170px 23x15px United States Reconnaissance UAV N/A .
CAIG Wing Loong 170px 23x15px China Reconnaissance UAV N/A Purchased In Late 2014 For Armed Reconnaissance capable of being fitted with air-to-surface weapons for use in an unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) role
Kader 23x15px Egypt Reconnaissance/Target UAV N/A
Meggitt Banshee 170px 23x15px United Kingdom Target Drone N/A
MQM-107 Streaker 170px 23x15px United States Target Drone N/A
Lipán M3 170px 23x15px Argentina
23x15px Egypt
Reconnaissance UAV N/A Bought In 2007 & Produced locally under license
Yarará 23x15px Argentina
23x15px Egypt
Reconnaissance UAV N/A Bought In 2007 & Produced locally under license
Nostromo Caburé 23x15px Argentina
23x15px Egypt
Reconnaissance UAV N/A Bought In 2007 & Produced locally under license
Airborne Early Warning and Control
E-2 Hawkeye 170px 23x15px United States AEW C HE2K 8 Egypt upgraded its E-2C aircraft to the Hawkeye 2000 (HE2K) configuration.

Presidential and Governmental (VIP) Fleet

In addition to Air Force aircraft, a number of aircraft are directly under government control (Presidential Fleet), including:

Airplane Photo Origin Number Comment
Airbus A340 169x169px 23x15px European Union 1 Dedicated to the transfer of the President of Egypt.
Beechcraft Super King Air 170px 23x15px United States 4 Dedicated to the transfer of members of the government.
Boeing 707 170px 23x15px United States 1 Was dedicated to the transfer of the president of Egypt, now relegated to secondary duties or retired.
Boeing 737 170px 23x15px United States 4 Dedicated to the transfer of the Prime Minister of Egypt and members of the government.
Dassault Falcon 20 170px 23x15px France 3 Dedicated to the transfer of the President of Egypt and the Prime Minister.
Gulfstream III 170px 23x15px United States 2 Dedicated to the transfer of the President of Egypt, the Prime Minister and members of the government.
Gulfstream IV 170px 23x15px United States 4 Dedicated to the transfer of the President of Egypt, the Prime Minister and members of the government.
VC-130H Hercules 170px 23x15px United States 1 Dedicated to the transfer of presidential logistics (Materials and equipments).
Sikorsky H-3 Sea King 170px 23x15px United States 2 Dedicated to the transfer of the President of Egypt, the Prime Minister and members of the government.
Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk 170px 23x15px United States 2 Dedicated to the transfer of the President of Egypt, the Prime Minister and members of the government.
Westland Commando MK-2B 170px 23x15px United Kingdom 2 Dedicated to the transfer of the President of Egypt, the Prime Minister and members of the government.

Historical Types

Operational Structure

Abu Suwayr Air Base

  • 262 Tact Fighter Wing
    • 60th Training fighters squadron

Al Mansurah Air Base

  • 104 Fighter Brigade
    • 22nd squadron
    • 45th squadron
    • 49th squadron

Alexandria Air Base

  • 545th Tactical Helicopter Wing
    • 7th squadron
    • 11th squadron
    • 37th squadron

Aswan Air Base

Az Zaqaziq/Abu Hamad

  • 550 Attack Heli Brigade
    • 52nd squadron

Beni Suef Air Base

  • 242 Tact Fighter Wing
    • 68th Training fighters squadron
    • 70th Training fighters squadron

Bilbays Air Base

  • 117 Primary Training Brigade
  • 117 Basic Training Brigade
    • 83rd squadron
    • 84th squadron
    • 85th squadron
  • Air Navigation School

Tanta Air Base

  • 236 FGA Brigade
    • 69th squadron
    • 73rd squadron

Almaza Air Force Base

  • 516 Transport Brigade
    • 2nd squadron
    • 40th squadron
    • ... squadron
    • ... squadron
  • .... Transport Brigade

Cairo Air Base

  • .. Transport Brigade
    • 4th squadron
    • 16th squadron

Cairo West Air Base

  • 601 AEW Brigade
    • 87th squadron
  • 222 Tact Fighter Brigade
    • 76th squadron
    • 78th squadron
File:West Cairo Airbase.JPEG
Aerial view of Cairo West Airport the staging site for aircraft participating in BRIGHT STAR '83, the joint U.S. and Egyptian military training exercise. Three U.S. Air Force B-52 bombers are on the parking ramp

El Minya Air Base

  • Weapon Training Brigade
    • ..squadron
  • Flying Training Brigade
    • 201 squadron
  • .. Helicopter Training Brigade
    • .. squadron

Fayid Air Base

  • 282 Tactical Fighter Wing
    • 86th TFS squadron
    • 88th FTS squadron

Gebel el Basur Air Base

  • 252 Tactical Fighter Wing
    • 71st squadron
    • 82nd squadron

Hurghada Air Base

  • 53rd Helicopter Brigade
    • .. squadron
  • .. Fighter Brigade
    • ... squadron

Inshas Air Base

  • 232 Tact Fighter Wing
    • 72nd TFS squadron

Jiyanklis New Air Base

  • 272 Tact Fighter Wing
    • 75th TFS squadron
    • 77th TFS squadron
    • 79th TFS squadron
  • 546 ECM Brigade
    • 81st squadron

Kom Awshim Air Base

  • .. ECM Brigade
    • ... squadron
    • ... squadron
  • 53. Helicopter Brigade
    • 7th squadron
    • 18th squadron

Marsa Matruh Air Base

  • 102 Tactical Fighter Brigade
    • 26th squadron
    • 82nd squadron

Wadi al Jandali Air Base

  • Flying Training Air Squadron
    • ... FTS squadron
  • 550 Attack Heli Brigade
    • 51st squadron


The following individuals have had command of the Egyptian Air Force:[50]

Commander swarms Victor Hubert Tait, first commander of the Egyptian Air Force when it was created

Royal Egyptian Air Force commanders

  • 1932 to 1936 Squadron Leader Victor Hubert Tait[51][52]
  • list incomplete
  • 6 July 1939 to 20 August 1939 Ali Islam[53]
  • 20 August 1939 to 21 October 1940 Hassan Mohammed Abdel Wahab[54]
  • 21 October 1940 to 4 October 1942 Ali Muwafi[55]
  • 4 October 1942 to 4 November 1944 Hassan Hosni Taher[56]
  • 8 November 1944 to 11 March 1947 Mohammed Metwaly[57]
  • 11 March 1947 to 23 July 1952 Mohammed Mustafa Sha'arawy[58]

Egyptian Air Force Chiefs of Staff

Egyptian Air Force and Defense commanders

Egyptian Air Force commanders


Air to air missiles

File:MICA P6230072.JPG
An air-launched MICA on a Dassault Rafale

Air to ground/surface missiles

Air-to-ground bombs

Advanced targeting pods

File:Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod.jpg
A Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod hangs from the underbelly of a B-1B Lancer

Advanced reconnaissance pods

Advanced jamming pods

Thales Spectra



See also


  1. ^ "Ministry of Defense-Egypt". Retrieved 5 January 2009. 
  2. ^ "Egypt - Worldmark Encyclopedia of Nations". Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  3. ^ Nicolle, David; Sherif Sharmy (24 September 2003). "Battle of el-Mansourah". Middle East Database. Air Combat Information Group. Retrieved 5 January 2009. 
  4. ^ "Chief of Air Staff". Egyptian Ministry of Defense (in Arabic). Retrieved 20 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Egypt - Al Quwwat al Jawwiya Ilmisriya - Egyptian Air Force - EAF". Retrieved 20 July 2014. 
  6. ^ Crawford, Alex. "Stirlings in Egypt". Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  7. ^ Guy Laron (February 2007). "Cutting the Gordian Knot: The Post-WWII Egyptian Quest for Arms and the 1955 Czechoslovak Arms Deal". p. 16. Egyptian representatives were able to sign a new commercial agreement with Czechoslovakia on 24 October 1951, which included a secret clause stating that "the government of Czechoslovakia will provide the Egyptian government with arms and ammunition - to be selected by Egyptian experts - worth about 600 million Egyptian pounds, to be paid in Egyptian cotton." The Egyptian experts requested 200 tanks, 200 armored vehicles, 60 to 100 MIG-15 planes, 2,000 trucks, 1,000 jeeps, and other items…. Czechoslovakia would not be able to supply weapons to Egypt in 1952. And each year, from then until 1955, Prague kept finding new reasons to delay the shipments  
  8. ^ Kenneth M. Pollack, Mark Grimsley, Peter Maslowski, Arabs at War: Military Effectiveness, 1948–1991,University of Nebraska Press, 2004 p.170
  9. ^ "Dassault Mirage IIICJ (Shahak) - Jewish Virtual Library". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "Mig-21". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "Egypt Daily News". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Dr. David Nicolle and Sherif Sharmy (24 September 2003). "Battle of el-Mansourah". Retrieved 7 March 2011. 
  13. ^ "Libya & Egypt, 1971-1979". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "Egypt Warplanes Bombing Islamist Militias In Libya: Officials". The Huffington Post. 15 October 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  15. ^ "Egyptian air strikes in Libya kill dozens of Isis militants". The Guardian. 16 February 2015. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  16. ^ Boeing: Boeing, U.S. Army Sign Contract for 35 Egyptian AH-64D Apaches
  17. ^ a b Scramble on the Web – Egyptian Air Force
  18. ^ Egyptian Military Purchase.
  19. ^ "Egypt mulls JF-17 co-production and signs for more F-16s". Jane's Defence. 4 March 2010. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  20. ^ "U.S. pushes F-16 project for Egypt despite Muslim Brotherhood purge of military". 15 August 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  21. ^ Eric Schmitt (20 August 2013). "Cairo Military Firmly Hooked to U.S. Lifeline". New York Times. 
  22. ^ Obama halts delivery of four F-16 jets to Egypt amid unrest -, 24 July 2013
  23. ^ "White House resumes delivery of 12 F-16 fighter aircraft to Egypt". 1 April 2015. 
  24. ^ "Egyptian reconnaissance satellite launched by Soyuz". spaceflightnow. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  25. ^ "Egyptsat-2 a Step Towards Egyptian Space Agency". allafrica. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  26. ^ "The Real Reason Egypt Is Buying Fighter Jets From France". TIME. 16 February 2015. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  27. ^ "Russia said set to sell its top fighter jets to Egypt". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  28. ^ "TASS: Economy - Russia’s MiG to hold talks with Egypt in October on MiG-35 supplies". TASS. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  29. ^ a b "Tactical Report". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  30. ^ "OrBat Egypt - MilAvia Military Aviation Publications". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  31. ^ "World Military Aircraft Inventory", Aerospace Source Book 2007, Aviation Week & Space Technology, January 15, 2007.
  32. ^ a b
  33. ^ Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. "EGYPT F-16 Program". Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  34. ^ Bruneau, Caroline (17 February 2015). "French Rafale Wins First Export Sale". aviation week. Penton. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  35. ^
  36. ^ Fricker 2000, p. 59.
  37. ^ Lake 1992, p. 209.
  38. ^ "Egypt signs for eight more C295 transports - News - Shephard". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  39. ^ Air Forces Monthly. Stamford, Lincolnshire: Key Publishing Ltd. 2013. p. 31. 
  40. ^ "Egypt Orders Eight More Airbus C295 Tactical Transports". defense-aerospace. Retrieved 20 July 2014. 
  41. ^ "AN-74T-200A -". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  42. ^ Roy Cochrun. "Ukraine Transfers New An-74 Airplane to Egypt". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  43. ^ Roy Cochrun. "Ukraine Preparing to Sign Contracts for Delivery of Nine Airplanes to Laos, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates - Minister of Economics". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  44. ^ "Egyptian Air Force finally received ten AH-64 Apache attack helicopters". November 28, 2014. 
  45. ^ "YouTube". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  46. ^
  47. ^ "Arabian Aerospace - AgustaWestland delivers AW139 to Egyptian Air Force". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  48. ^ "ANKA'nın ilk yolculuğu Mısır'a". Sabah. 20 November 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  49. ^
  50. ^ Commanders
  51. ^ Air Force
  52. ^ "V H Tait". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  53. ^ Air Force
  54. ^ Air Force
  55. ^ Air Force
  56. ^ Air Force
  57. ^
  58. ^
  59. ^
  60. ^ a b Air Force
  61. ^ [1]
  62. ^ The Air Force
  63. ^ The Air Force
  64. ^ Air Force
  65. ^ Air Force
  66. ^ Air Force
  67. ^ Air Force
  68. ^ Air Force
  69. ^ Air Force
  70. ^
  71. ^ Air Vice Marshal

External links

hu:Egyiptom hadereje#Légierő