One of top 10 strongest armies: What we know about capabilities of Egypt’s Military

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Fri, 17 Jul 2020 - 04:36 GMT

Photo compilation of some of the Egyptian Army’s capabilities – Courtesy of the Military Spokesman

Photo compilation of some of the Egyptian Army’s capabilities – Courtesy of the Military Spokesman

CAIRO – 17 July 2020: Speaking about possible and apparently imminent military intervention in Libya at the Libyan people’s request, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on Thursday told Libyan tribal leaders that the Egyptian Army is the strongest in Africa and the region, but is a wise army that does not assail or invade territories.

 

The Egyptian army’s planned intervention in Libya has been justified by the presence of militias in the war-torn country, which allegedly threatens the national security of both Libya and its eastern neighbor, Egypt.

 

السيسي: مصر لن تسمح بتجربة الرهان على الميليشيات المسلحة في ليبيا

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As hundreds of people have been killed in continuous battles between the conflicting factions in Libya; the Libyan National Army led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and the Parliament in the east and the Government of National Accord led by Fayez Al-Sarraj and its forces in the west, Sisi in June announced an initiative calling for ceasefire.

 

However, on Thursday, Sisi said one of the parties to the Libyan conflict (definitely referring to the Government of National Accord) fell under control of a foreign power and lacked the political will to apply ceasefire. This foreign power (definitely referring to Turkey) used this faction for certain purposes in the region, regardless of the Libyan national interest, he added.

 

Egypt Today displays the Egyptian Army’s capabilities in the face of a probable confrontation with mercenaries and militias in Libya.

 

Capabilities

Concerning manpower, Egypt has more than 36 million fit-for-service personnel. Active personnel in the army amount to 440,000, while reserve personnel amount to 480,000, according to Global Fire Power’s 2020 military strength ranking.

 

In terms of airpower, Egypt has 215 fighters, 294 helicopters and 81 attack helicopters.

 

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The Egyptian army also has 4295 tanks, 11799 armored vehicles, 1139 self-propelled artillery, 2189 towed artillery and 1084 rocket projectors.

 

Concerning naval forces, Egypt has 45 patrols, 31 mine warfare, 8 submarines, 7 corvettes, 7 frigates, and 2 aircraft carriers.

 

The Egyptian army has advanced three places and ranked ninth out of 138 in the annual index of Global Firepower, exceeding many advanced armies including that of Turkey, Iran and Israel.

 

According to the Power Index of the specialized military ranking website, Egypt holds a rating of 0.1872, Global Firepower reported, as 0.0000 is considered “perfect”. Egypt followed US, Russia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, France and UK in terms of the army’s strength.

 

Global Firepower considers 50 individual factors to assess the strength of each country’s army, which are all placed under the sectors of manpower, airpower, land forces, naval forces, natural resources, natural resources, logistics, financials and geography.

 

Egypt is ranked 10 out of 138 in the total strength of airpower, and took the 4th place in terms of tanks, and 6th in terms of armored vehicles and rocket projectors, according to the global index. The total assets of the army’s naval forces bring Egypt to the 7th place.

 

Bases

In January, President Sisi inaugurated the Bernice Military Base in south of the Red Sea. It consists of a land base, a naval base and an air base.

 

It is the latest base in a series of Egyptian military bases, which goes the line with a plan to develop and modernize the Egyptian army.

 

Bernice base is the largest in Africa, with a port that can accommodate huge vessels and aircraft carriers, airports for military and passenger planes and a port for commercial vessels

 

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In July, 2017, Sisi, inaugurated Mohammed Naguib Base in “El-Hamam” city with the presence of Arab and international high-level figures.

 

The military base replaces the 1993 military city in the easternmost city in the Matrouh Governorate, El-Hamam.

 

It secures the “Dabaa” nuclear station, the oil fields and the state’s western borders.

 

It includes 1,155 vital facilities, 72 training areas, a major conference hall, a large number of shooting ranges, and residences for the officers.

 

It contains 50 solar modules, a mosque and 2 farms.

 

The base includes a tank-transporting container of about 451 modern tankers.

 

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Fighting mercenaries

Earlier in July, the main branches of the Egyptian Armed Forces carried out the “Hasm 2020” maneuver on the Western strategic direction, including a training for the Air Force to face mercenaries of irregular armies and target their hotbeds, Tamer Al-Refaei, the military spokesman said in a statement.

 

Minister of Defense Mohamed Zaki and Chief-of-staff of the Army Mohamed Farid attended the training. The maneuver has continued for many days.

 

During the training, a number of helicopters have raided and destroyed a hideout housing a number of mercenaries. Also, under the cover of artillery fire, acts of warfare have been carried out within the framework of the maneuver. Also, live ammunition was fired by military tanks.

 

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Inside, outside borders

In June, Sisi checked on the forces in the Western Military Zone, telling them, "the Egyptian Army is one of the strongest in the region. Yet, it is a wise army that protects but doesn't threaten, and is able to defend the national security of Egypt within and beyond its borders."

 

The president said that the Air Force, the Special Forces, and the Border Guards have been securing 1,200 kilometers of borders with Libya for seven years, and accomplishing missions that have not been disclosed.

 

"I'm so happy to meet you today. I got assured about the high status of your combat and technical competence. I see the Air Force and Special Forces are ready to accomplish missions," the president told forces.

 

"Be ready to accomplish any mission whether here within our borders or - if needed – beyond our borders," president Sisi addressed the Air Force elements in the Western Military Zone.

 

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Presidency Spokesperson Bassam Radi announced the news saying that Minister of Defense and Military Production Mohamed Zaki, Chief of Staff Mohamed Farid, and branch commanders were present.

 

The president warned in his speech in Sidi Barani district in Matrouh Governorate bordering Libya against the foreign intervention in Libya for it composes a threat to regional, European, and global security and stability.

 

The president asserted the withdrawal of mercenaries from Libya, and the necessity that militias give up their arms to the Libyan National Army (LNA).

 

"Any direct intervention by Egypt in Libya has become legitimate in line with UNSC resolutions, and upon the call of the legitimate authority in Libya," President Sisi said.

 

The president underlined the outcomes of Germany Conference held in January stating that all foreign powers shall refrain from supplying arms to Libyan armed groups.

 

"If Egypt had illegitimate goals in Libya, we would have intervened years ago. We would not accept that history documents that we intervened in time of Libya's weakness…Jufrah and Sirte are a red line…The current line must be maintained. The party who would not respect it, would attain neither the west nor the east. The political process must go forward," the president tells a representative of Libyan tribes.

 

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