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Egyptian Air Force

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Title: Egyptian Air Force  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Egyptian Armed Forces, Reda Mahmoud Hafez Mohamed, Hosni Mubarak, McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, Ali Mustafa Baghdady
Collection: Egyptian Air Force, Military Units and Formations Established in 1937
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Egyptian Air Force

Egyptian Air Force
القوات الجوية المصرية
Egyptian Air Force emblem

1923 (as part of the army)

1937 (as an independent service)
Country  Egypt
Branch Air Force
Type Military Aviation
Role Aerial Warfare
Size 1,100 aircraft (As of 2014)
245 Helicopter (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
Insignia Egyptian Air Force ranks
Aircraft flown
Attack F-16, Dassault Rafale , Alpha Jet MS.2, L-59
E-2HE2K, Beechcraft 1900, C-130, Commando Mk.2E, Mi-8
Fighter F-16, Mirage-2000, Mirage V , Dassault Rafale
Attack helicopter AH-64, Mi-8, SA-342
Interceptor F-16 Fighting Falcon, Mirage 2000, Dassault Rafale , 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. From 1977 to 2011 it saw virtually no combat, but has participated in numerous exercises, including Operation Bright Star since 1985. In recent years the Air Force has acted in the Sinai Insurgency, the Libyan Civil War and the Intervention in the Yemen.

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]


  • History 1
    • Establishment 1.1
    • Second World War 1.2
    • 1948 Arab-Israeli War 1.3
    • The Suez Crisis 1.4
    • The Yemen War 1.5
    • The Six-Day War 1.6
    • The War of Attrition 1.7
    • October War 1973 1.8
      • El-Mansourah air battle 1.8.1
    • Shaba I 1.9
    • Libyan-Egyptian War 1.10
    • Sinai Insurgency 1.11
    • 2014 Libyan Civil Conflict 1.12
    • 2015 airstrikes in Libya 1.13
    • 2015 military intervention in Yemen 1.14
    • Operation Bright Star 1.15
    • Upgrade and development 1.16
    • Modernization 1.17
    • Future 1.18
  • Aircraft 2
  • Aircraft inventory 3
    • Presidential and governmental (VIP) fleet 3.1
    • Future aircraft 3.2
  • Logo throughout history 4
  • Egyptian Air Force ranks 5
    • Historical Types 5.1
  • Operational Structure 6
    • Abu Suwair Air Base 6.1
    • Al Mansourah Air Base 6.2
    • Alexandria Air Base 6.3
    • Aswan Air Base 6.4
    • Az Zaqaziq/Abu Hamad 6.5
    • Beni Suef Air Base 6.6
    • Bilbeis Air Base 6.7
    • Tanta Air Base 6.8
    • Almaza Air Force Base 6.9
    • Cairo Air Base 6.10
    • Cairo West Air Base 6.11
    • El Minya Air Base 6.12
    • Fayed Air Base 6.13
    • Gebel el Basur Air Base 6.14
    • Hurghada Air Base 6.15
    • Inshas Air Base 6.16
    • Gianaclis New Air Base 6.17
    • Kom Oshim Air Base 6.18
    • Marsa Matrouh Air Base 6.19
    • Wadi al Jandali Air Base 6.20
  • Commanders 7
    • Royal Egyptian Air Force commanders 7.1
    • Egyptian Air Force Chiefs of Staff 7.2
    • Egyptian Air Force and Defense commanders 7.3
    • Egyptian Air Force commanders 7.4
  • Munitions 8
    • Air to air missiles 8.1
    • Air to ground/surface missiles 8.2
    • Air-to-ground bombs 8.3
    • Advanced targeting pods 8.4
    • Advanced reconnaissance pods 8.5
    • Advanced jamming pods 8.6
    • Radars 8.7
    • Unguided-rockets 8.8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11



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, former Senior Air Advisor on the British Military Mission in Egypt. 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

Israeli Avia S-199 chasing one of two Egyptian aircraft which had been bombing Tel Aviv on June 3rd 1948
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 afterwards, the British were ready 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 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 continuous 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.

MiG-17 underside

The Suez Crisis

Helwan HA-300

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 flights, 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

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 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 the 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 Air base, demonstrating to Egypt the seriousness of his commitment to defending U.S. interests in Saudi Arabia.

The Six-Day War

In the 1967 Six-Day War the EAF's combat capacity was severely damaged after the Israeli Air Force destroyed its air bases 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

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

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

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

During the 1977 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.

Sinai Insurgency

The Egyptian Air Force operated on a large scale during the Sinai insurgency which commenced in 2011. AH-64 Apache helicopters and F-16 jet fighters bombed numerous militant targets on almost a daily basis.

2014 Libyan Civil 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, the Egyptian Air Force participated in airstrikes against Houthis in Yemen.

Operation Bright Star

Egyptian McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II air refueling
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
Egyptian F-16 and three U.S. Marine Corps FA-18A
EAF F-16C block 40 flies over Egypt with a USN F/A-18 and a USAF F-15 on September 28th, 2005.

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

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] 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.[21][22]

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[23] which was a milestone toward establishing the Egyptian Space Agency.[24]

On 16 February 2015, Egypt became the Rafale's first international customer when it officially ordered 24 Rafales, with an option to buy additional 12 more aircraft,[25] as part of a larger deal (including a FREMM multipurpose frigate and a supply of missiles) worth US$5.9 billion (€5.2 billion).[26][27][28] On 20 July 2015, the official ceremony, marking the acceptance by Egypt of its first 3 Two-seater version Rafales, was held at the Dassault Aviation flight test center in Istres, in presence of Mr. Ehab Badawy, Egyptian Ambassador to France, and Éric Trappier, Dassault Aviation Chairman & CEO.[29]


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

Egypt is interested in 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.[30]

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.[31]

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. [32]


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 Origin Role Version Quantity[33][34] Note
Combat aircraft (436) Currently in service
F-16 Fighting Falcon USA MRCA Total
Total 240 delivered. Egypt currently operates 220 F-16s, of which 200 are Block 40/42.[36][37] The last order includes 20 Block 52 (16 C and 4 D) which were all delivered by the end of October 2015.[38][39]
Dassault Rafale France MRCA
0 [40]
24 ordered, of which 3 Rafale DM were delivered.[29][41] The deal includes options for 12 additional aircraft.[25]
Dassault Mirage 2000 France MRCA
Out of 20 delivered, Another Mirage 2000-9 Fighter Jets maybe bought from UAE.[32]
Dassault Mirage V France




\Big\} 76

Out of a total of 82 have been delivered, the first entry Mirage fighter was in Egypt through Libya in 1973, fighter underwent a comprehensive development of French under the name Horus is a standard making capabilities convergence capabilities of the Mirage 2000 Egyptian.
MiG-21 Fishbed USSR

Out of over 490 delivered. Upgraded with British avionics and armed with mixed Russian and Western weapons. There are currently some negotiations with Russia for the Mikoyan MiG-35 to replace it.
Chengdu J-7 China
Interceptor B/M 57 Out of 150 it has been delivered. Chengdu J-7 is the Chinese version of the Soviet MiG -21 fighter. Although it is one of the third-generation fighter jets, but they are still serving in Egypt for some light training tasks.
Close air support (26)
Alpha Jet France
COIN MS2 14 License built by AOI. Also Listed as trainer.
Air Tractor AT-802 USA Armed Reconnaissance/Patrol AT-802U 12 The EAF AT-802Us Sent as a gift from UAE to EAF for COIN / Border Armed Patrol
Transports (68) Currently in service
C-130 Hercules USA
Tactical transport
Tactical transport
30 aircraft were delivered. 4 were lost, including one during the Cyprus operation.
Beechcraft 1900 USA
Maritime patrol
Super King Air USA 200 1
C-295 Spain
Tactical transport
M 24 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. Egypt is the largest operator of C-295 fleet worldwide with total of 24.[43][44][45][46]
An-74 Coaler Ukraine Tactical transport T-200A

\Big\} 13[47][48][49]
DHC-5 Buffalo Canada
Tactical transport
Navigational training
To be phased out.
Helicopter (260) Currently in service
AH-64 Apache USA Attack helicopter D 46 Modernization of current fleet is underway and an additional 10 AH-64D Longbow Block II Entered service in November 2014.[50]
Ka-52 Russia Attack helicopter 0 Russia and Egypt signed a contract for delivery of 50 Ka-52 helicopters.[51] Mass production will begin for the delivery to Egypt from 2016 to 2019. [52][53]
Mi-17 Hip Russia Assault Support H 24 Ordered in 2009 & were delivered by end 2010.
Mi-8 Hip USSR
Artillery observer
Out of over 140 delivered, some replaced by Mi-17 Hip.
Sea King UK ASW Mk.47 5 Egyptian variant of the British HAS.2 model, out of 6 delivered.
Commando UK
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 USA
Assault support
Assault support
SA-342 Gazelle France

Maritime patrol
Battlefield Scout
Attack helicopter
Out of 108 license-built by the Arab British Helicopter Company.
CH-47 Chinook Italy

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 USA ASW G/E 13 Electronic/Navigation Suite upgraded to Egyptian Navy requirements.
AgustaWestland AW109 Italy AM 3 Aeromedical evacuation.[54]
AgustaWestland AW139 Italy
SAR 2 Search and rescue.[55][56]
Trainer aircraft (478)
Alpha Jet France

MS2 54 License built by AOI. May be replaced with Hongdu L-15.
K-8 Karakorum Egypt Advanced trainer E 120 110 were license built by AOI.
L-59 Super Albatros Czechoslovakia Advanced trainer E 47 Out of 48 delivered.
L-39 Albatros Czechoslovakia Advanced trainer ZO 10 Ex-Libyan. To be phased out.
PAC MFI-17 Mushshak Pakistan Basic Trainer B 54
EMB 312 Tucano Egypt Basic Trainer A 54 Built under license by AOI, out of 134 built; 80 delivered to Iraq.
G-115 Tutor Germany Primary trainer E 74
Z-142C Czechoslovakia Primary Trainer C 48
UH-12 USA Rotary Trainer E 17 Out of 18 delivered.
CAIG Wing Loong China MALE UCAV 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. [57]
Patroller France
MALE UAV N/A AOI-Aircraft Factory have signed a collaboration agreement concerning the Patroller UAV. AOI-Aircraft Factory could handle final assembly of the drones and will develop a dedicated training center in Egypt to train staff for the operation and maintenance of the drone systems. [58]
Model-324 Scarab USA Jet Reconnaissance UAV 52 Out of 56 delivered.
R4E-50 Sky Eye UK Reconnaissance UAV 48
Camcopter Austria Helicopter Reconnaissance UAV 4[59]
ASN-209 China
Reconnaissance UAV 21 Produced locally under license with 99.5% locally produced
ASN-15 China
Reconnaissance UAV N/A Produced locally under license
Aeryon Scout Canada Reconnaissance UAV N/A .
Kader Egypt Reconnaissance/Target UAV N/A [60]
SAHM-1 Egypt Target drone N/A Built by AOI.
Meggitt Banshee UK Target drone N/A
MQM-107 Streaker USA Target drone N/A License built by AOI.
Lipán M3 Argentina
Reconnaissance UAV N/A Bought In 2007 & Produced locally under license
Yarará Argentina
Reconnaissance UAV N/A Bought In 2007 & Produced locally under license
Nostromo Caburé Argentina
Reconnaissance UAV N/A Bought In 2007 & Produced locally under license
Airborne Early Warning and Control
E-2 Hawkeye USA AEW C HE2K 9 Egypt upgraded its E-2C aircraft to the Hawkeye 2000 (HE2K) configuration. The US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) intended to award Northrop Grumman a contract to provide the supplies and services necessary to deliver an ex-US Navy E-2C (aircraft A-97) to the Egyptian Air Force and get it operational within three months. The work would also include an upgrade to aircraft A-119, which was delivered to the EAF in December 2010. [61]

Presidential and governmental (VIP) fleet

In addition to Air Force aircraft, a number of aircraft are directly under government control (Presidential Fleet), including:
Airplane Origin Number Comment
Airbus A340 EU 1 Dedicated to the transfer of the President of Egypt.
Beechcraft Super King Air USA 4 Dedicated to the transfer of members of the government.
Boeing 707 USA 1 Was dedicated to the transfer of the president of Egypt, now relegated to secondary duties or retired.
Boeing 737 USA 4 Dedicated to the transfer of the Prime Minister of Egypt and members of the government.
Dassault Falcon 20 France 3 Dedicated to the transfer of the President of Egypt and the Prime Minister.
Gulfstream III USA 2 Dedicated to the transfer of the President of Egypt, the Prime Minister and members of the government.
Gulfstream IV USA 4 Dedicated to the transfer of the President of Egypt, the Prime Minister and members of the government.
VC-130H Hercules USA 1 Dedicated to the transfer of presidential logistics (Materials and equipments).
Sikorsky H-3 Sea King USA 2 Dedicated to the transfer of the President of Egypt, the Prime Minister and members of the government.
Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk USA 2 Dedicated to the transfer of the President of Egypt, the Prime Minister and members of the government.
Westland Commando MK-2B UK 2 Dedicated to the transfer of the President of Egypt, the Prime Minister and members of the government.

Future aircraft

Aircraft Origin Role Version Quantity Note
Combat aircraft
Mikoyan MiG-35 Russia MRCA MiG-35D
46 Russia has agreed on a contract with Egypt to deliver 46 MiG-35 air superiority fighters and is expected to be worth as much as $2 billion. [62][63][64][65]
Strategic / Tactical airlifter
Ilyushin Il-76 Russia Strategic airlifter Il-76MD-90A Egypt and other countries are in an advanced stage of negotiations for the purchase of the Russian strategic airlifter Il-76MD-90A. The first export contracts of the aircraft will be signed within 4-6 months after the MAKS-2015 Airshow. [66]
Airbus A400M Atlas Spain as assembler Tactical airlifter Airbus Defence and Space received from Egypt its first order of A400M. Egypt asked the company to have the A400M as soon as possible.[67]
Ka-52K Russia Attack helicopter 30 Rosoboronexport and the Russian Helicopters holding are engaged in consultations with their Egyptian partners concerning a possible acquisition of Kamov Ka-52K ship-based helicopters for the 2 Mistral-class helicopter carriers that Egypt has agreed to buy from France. [68] An Egyptian Air Force delegation had access to the helicopter before the official opening of the MAKS- 2015. [69]
NH90 France ASW
The Egyptian Navy is under negotiations for the purchase of a significant number of NH90 helicopters. Egypt may choose between the tactical transport (TTH) and naval (NFH) versions, or a mix of the two. The NFH can operate from Gowind-class corvettes or FREMM frigates, and both variants can be based on Mistral-class helicopter carriers.[70]

Logo throughout history

Logo The sign on the fuselage Flag on the wing Period used
1932 — 1945
1945 — 1958
1958 — 1972
1972 — 1984

Egyptian Air Force ranks

Aircraftman Corporal Sergeant Master Sergeant Pilot Officer Flying Officer Flight Lieutenant Squadron Leader Wing Commander Group Captain Air Commodore Air Vice-Marshal Air Marshal Air Chief Marshal

Historical Types

Operational Structure

EAF Pilot

Abu Suwair Air Base

  • 262 Tact Fighter Wing
    • 60th Training fighters squadron

Al Mansourah 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

Bilbeis 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
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

Fayed 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
  • 203 Tactical Fighter Wing
    • 34th squadron "Wolves" on Rafale

Hurghada Air Base

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

Inshas Air Base

  • 232 Tact Fighter Wing
    • 72nd TFS squadron

Gianaclis New Air Base

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

Kom Oshim Air Base

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

Marsa Matrouh 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:[71]

Squadron Leader 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[72][73]
  • list incomplete
  • 6 July 1939 to 20 August 1939 Ali Islam[74]
  • 20 August 1939 to 21 October 1940 Hassan Mohammed Abdel Wahab[75]
  • 21 October 1940 to 4 October 1942 Ali Muwafi[76]
  • 4 October 1942 to 4 November 1944 Hassan Hosni Taher[77]
  • 8 November 1944 to 11 March 1947 Mohammed Metwaly[78]
  • 11 March 1947 to 23 July 1952 Mohammed Mustafa Sha'arawy[79]

Egyptian Air Force Chiefs of Staff

  • 30 July 1952 to 22 June 1953 Hassan Mahmoud[80]
  • 23 June 1953 to 19 September 1959 Mohamed Sedky Mahmoud[81]

Egyptian Air Force and Defense commanders

Egyptian Air Force commanders


Air to air missiles

An air-launched MICA on a Dassault Rafale

Air to ground/surface missiles

AGM-114 Hellfire

Air-to-ground bombs

Matra Durandal

Advanced targeting pods

A Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod hangs from the underbelly of a B-1B Lancer

Advanced reconnaissance pods

  • DB110 Aerial Reconnaissance Pod (4) ( Used on board Block 52+jets )
  • Theater Airborne Reconnaissance System pods (6) ( Used on board F-16 block 40 jets )
  • AN/AAQ-20 Navigation Pod (downgraded AN/AAQ-13) "Pathfinder"

Advanced jamming pods

Thales Spectra
  • AN/ALQ-131: Jamming ECM pod ( Used onboard C-130 and F-16 Block 40/42 )
  • AN/ALQ-184: Jamming ECM pod ( Used onboard F-16 Block 40/42 )
  • AN/ALQ-187 (V2): Jamming ECM pod ( NOTE: It is a part of the ACES EW system for the new Block 52+ jets )
  • AN/ALE-47
  • Thales Spectra With Dassault Rafale Deal
  • AN/ALR-56 aircraft radio frequency warning receiver


Hydra 70


See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Kenneth M. Pollack, Mark Grimsley, Peter Maslowski, Arabs at War: Military Effectiveness, 1948–1991,University of Nebraska Press, 2004 p.170
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  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. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ Obama halts delivery of four F-16 jets to Egypt amid unrest -, 24 July 2013
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ a b
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ a b
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ a b
  33. ^
  34. ^ "World Military Aircraft Inventory", Aerospace Source Book 2007, Aviation Week & Space Technology, January 15, 2007.
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
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  40. ^
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  42. ^
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  51. ^
  52. ^
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  55. ^
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  57. ^
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  60. ^
  61. ^
  62. ^
  63. ^
  64. ^
  65. ^
  66. ^
  67. ^
  68. ^
  69. ^
  70. ^
  71. ^ Commanders
  72. ^ Air Force
  73. ^
  74. ^ Air Force
  75. ^ Air Force
  76. ^ Air Force
  77. ^ Air Force
  78. ^
  79. ^
  80. ^
  81. ^ a b Air Force
  82. ^ [1]
  83. ^ The Air Force
  84. ^ The Air Force
  85. ^ Air Force
  86. ^ Air Force
  87. ^ Air Force
  88. ^ Air Force
  89. ^ Air Force
  90. ^ Air Force
  91. ^
  92. ^ Air Vice Marshal
  93. ^

External links

  • Egyptian Air Force Overview from Scramble
  • Pictures of the Egyptian Air Force
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