Egyptian Soldiers – File Photo Egyptian Soldiers – File Photo

6 Oct 44 anniversary: Facts, figures on Egypt’s military power

Thu, Oct. 5, 2017
CAIRO – 5 October 2017: It has been 44 years since the Egyptian army proved its power in defeating Israel in a major victory of October 6, 1973 war. Egypt's powerful army has since developed to be ranked as one of the most powerful arms in the world.

During the war, Egypt's military power, besides its veterans and brave soldiers, defeated Israel in yet another military victory in the long history of Egypt. After the defeat in the Six-Day War in 1967, in which Israel captured the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights, the Egyptian forces launched its war 6 years later - on October 6, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. (Cairo time) - against the Israeli troops and restored the peninsula.

The Israeli forces were forced to retreat to Gaza strip. Meanwhile, Syrian troops waged the war near Golan Heights against the Israeli troops.

Military and strategic expert, Gamal Mazloum, told Egypt Today that although Israel excelled Egypt in its military weapons at that time in 1973, the Egyptian soldiers were well-trained under wise leadership.

The 9K32 Strela-2 rocket, was the main weapon used by the Egyptian army during the war; it is a man-portable, shoulder-fired, low-altitude surface-to-air missile system (MANPADS) with a high explosive warhead.

ZSU-23-4 Shilka, Soviet-made S-75 Dvina, A surface-to-air missile (SAM), the S-125 Neva/Pechora Soviet surface-to-air missile system saw active service in October 6 1973 war

Currently, Egypt ranks number 10 out of 133 countries for military power, according to U.S. military monitoring website Global Fire Power. Egypt is considered the first military power in the Arab world and Africa with progress in the final classification of armies. Israel military power came after the Egyptian as it ranks number 15; since President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi assumed power in 2014, Egypt turned to diversify the arms deals as a part of its policy in order to reduce the overreliance on one arms provider, the U.S.


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World's 15 Strongest Armies in 2017

Since President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi came to power, the Egyptian Armed Forces have engaged in arms deals with a number of foreign countries to boost its military capabilities.


These deals took place between Egypt and several countries such as France, Russia, China and German in addition to U.S.

Weapons deals with Russia

Since Sisi took over Egypt’s leadership, Moscow's relations with Cairo have steadily improved. The two countries signed a $3.5 billion arms deal to buy 24 advanced MiG-35 fighter jetsin 2014.

Egypt and Russia are taking a major step forward in their relationship, primarily military ties.The two countries held a joint naval drill in the Mediterranean, and select Egyptian soldiers and officers trained in Russian military academies.

In 2016, Russia delivered a Molniya RKA-32 Corvette to Egypt, as a present from Russia. Egypt is expected to receive 50 MiG-29 fighters on schedule by 2020.

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Molniya RKA-32 Corvette


Weapons deals with France

Egypt has secured its first major military contract with France in about 20 years with a €1 billion (($1.35 billion) deal to buy four naval frigates.

Since then, Egypt has signed more than three weapons deals with France. In 2015, Egypt signed an agreement to buy 5.2 billion euros worth of French weapons, including 24 Rafale combat jets made by Dassault Aviation, a multi-mission naval frigate, and air-to-air missiles.

The two countries also signed agreements for the purchase of weapons that include fighter aircraft, navy vessels and a military satellite communication system worth €1 billion ($1.1 billion) in 2016. Egypt also took delivery of two Mistral helicopter carrier on Friday as part of this deal.

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Mistral helicopter carrier

Recently in 2017, Sisi has signed with his French counterpart Hollande military cooperation deal included a €1 billion ($1.24 billion) contract to furnish four Gowind battleships to the Egyptian Navy and the renewal of Egypt’s stock of French-built Mirage 2000 fighter jets.

Weapons deals with German

In a significant addition to the armed forces, particularly the navy, Egypt had signed a deal with Berlin to buy two German-made submarines in 2011, and then after Sisi came to power, Egypt ordered two more.

Announcements of the submarine deals angered Israel, whose navy contains vessels of the same model and whose territorial waters border those of Egypt in the Red Sea.

The Egyptian Navy received from German ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) the first two of four Type 209/1400 mod diesel-electric submarines (SSK) in 2016.

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Mod diesel-electric submarine

Weapons deals with U.S

Although the relations between Egypt and U.S. have been tense for a while, Egypt received US 12 F-16 aircraft, 20 Harpoon missiles and up to 125 M-1 Abrams tank upgrades in 2015 after two years of delay

Egypt and the United States celebrated in 2015 the resumption of co-production of M1A1 Abrams Tanks at a ceremony held at the Egyptian Tank Plant outside of Cairo.

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F-16 aircraft

Egypt then has signed a $11.5 million-military cooperation agreement with US in 2016, according to US Defense Department.

The contract stipulated that the Egyptian Air Force (EAF), the aviation branch of the Egyptian Armed Forces, will receive Lockheed Martin Corporation’s .

The $11.5 million contract has been awarded to Goodrich Corporation whichprovided initial parts for two DB-110 reconnaissance pods and an initial study for one existing DB-110 reconnaissance pod.


Weapons deals with China

Egypt has also continued its military modernization programs by increasing their purchases of advanced weapons, even from China.

Egyptian Defense Minister Sedky Sobhi has visited China and signed contracts for new weapons and military equipment with his Chinese counterpart, Chang Wanquan. Sobhi and Wanquan also signed joint manufacturing agreements.

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