What's new

The air arm of the Egyptian army - an overview and summary of procurement plans


Dec 21, 2007

The air arm of the Egyptian army - an overview and summary of procurement plans​

Eli Dekel-Dlitsky

29 Beshevat 5555 02.14.2018.

Update of parts 8 of the 5th Tevet 01.01.2023

From an Israeli perspective


As part of the basic research on the arms in the Egyptian army, chapters will be singled out for the arms: the land, the sea and the air defense. This time we will deal with the air arm. The review was originally written in February 2018, was updated in July 2020, and has now been updated again.

historical background

As early as 1937, the air force in the Egyptian army received the status of an arm. Since the war of independence, the Egyptian army has been working on the development of this branch. Indeed, for many decades now, the Egyptian army has been very careful that the Egyptian air force has at least a quantitative advantage over the Israeli air force.

In the early 1960s, Egypt, under the leadership of President Gamal Abdel Nasser, began to develop a military infrastructure for a war with Israel. In this framework, two new airports were built in Sinai: in Jebel Livni and Bir Thamada. And this is in addition to the airports in El Arish and Rafidim and Sharm el-Sheikh, which existed since the time of the Kadesh War.

In the Six Day War, the Israeli Air Force surprised the Egyptian Air Force and attacked the runways of the military airports in Egypt. The move prevented the ability of the Egyptian Air Force to take off, so that in the second wave the Israeli Air Force attacked the Egyptian planes while they were on the ground, and in fact the Egyptian Air Force did not really show itself in this war.

The discrimination in the Six Day War taught the Egyptians a triple lesson, which they apply to this day:

A. Immediately after the war, hundreds of apartments (protected structure for fighter-bomber planes) were built all over Egypt, and today there are over a thousand apartments. In fact, from then until today, all fighter planes have apartments (for transport planes and helicopters, the solution of apartments is usually impractical, so most of them stay at the airports without protection).

B. In most airports, an additional runway was built - which makes it difficult to paralyze the field, and additional new airports were also built.

third. A sophisticated air defense system was established that includes a combination of air-to-surface missiles of various types with radar-guided anti-aircraft guns, and an extensive network of radar emplacements was deployed all over Egypt. The air defense system is a separate arm, something that Egypt had to deal with during the Yom Kippur War. I don't know what the solution to this problem is today.

In the Yom Kippur War, the Israeli Air Force tried to repeat its success in the Six Day War, and tried again and again to hit the airport runways in Egypt, but this time to no avail (recommend listening to the lecture of Lt. Col. Aviam Sela in the link. [1]) On the other hand, the performances of The Egyptian Air Force during the Yom Kippur War, both in attacking IDF military targets in the Sinai, both in air battles and in close assistance to the Egyptian ground forces, were not something to be proud of, and this despite the fact that it was the one that struck first. The main failure of the Egyptian Air Force was that it failed to prevent the IDF's successful move.

The situation today

Egypt currently has about 60 airports - 45 of which are military, and military infrastructure facilities were built in them such as: military bases, ammunition bunkers, T/K fuel storages and fortified command and control centers. In addition to the airports for airplanes, where there are parking lots for helicopters, Also airports designated for helicopters only, such as: in Dursoar and Hatataba


In recent years, especially since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took power in Egypt, there has been a boom in the construction of anti-corruption facilities, which is mainly carried out at airports in Sinai and in the Suez-Cairo Canal area.

In addition to the expansion of the airport infrastructure in the Sinai - Cairo area, works are also being carried out in the following fields:
A. At the military airport in Siwa (in the western desert near the Libyan border) a new runway is being paved. A wall with guard towers was built around the field and we built camps for the units to defend the field.

B. 12 more apartments were added at the Bata - Solom airport near the Egypt-Libya border. In my opinion, the expansion of the field is closely related to protecting the Egyptian naval base on July 3, which was built in western Egypt.

third. The civil airport in El Alamein was converted to military needs, on a renovated runway and 6 apartments were built there. In my opinion, the conversion of the field to military needs is due to the construction of the nuclear facility located in the nearby Adeva.

d. At the Ras Benas military airport (in the eastern desert near the border with Sudan), another runway was paved and 18 new apartments were built, apparently replacing the old ones.

God. The civil airport Kawnath (in the western desert about 300 km west of Abu Simbel and about 70 km north of the border with Sudan), is equipped for military needs and 16 apartments for fighter/bomber planes are being built there


Along with the works to develop the infrastructure of the Egyptian Air Force, Egypt is conducting an extensive procurement campaign to increase the air force and upgrade the capabilities of the aircraft as detailed below

Air Force General Staff

Below is a table summarizing what is known from visible sources on the subject of the Egyptian Air Force SDF. The table is based on information collected mainly from Wikipedia in 2017. The table has undergone a partial update of details updated to the end of 2022


Purchased the air arm

Since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took power in Egypt, the Egyptian army has been feverishly strengthening and equipping itself with the best weapons available for purchase in the world. The army is very particular about diversifying its sources of supply to avoid dependence on one country or another.

In the tables below there is a prot; What was purchased, how much was supplied and the cost in millions of dollars



The low performance of the Egyptian Air Force in the Yom Kippur War led the Egyptians to the conclusion (wrong or right - it doesn't matter at all) that the fault lies in the landing of the Soviet planes and armaments in front of the American planes and armaments in the hands of Israel. Now that they are equipped with an abundance of planes and advanced weaponry both from the United States and from the best European planes (the "Raphael" plane), they have gone to sea to be tempted to think that they have reached a balance against the Israeli Air Force. I hope that those in charge of Israel's security are aware of this danger and are preparing for it




Last edited:


Dec 21, 2007

What is mentioned in the Israeli article does not mean that it is 100% correct information, but it clarifies in a good percentage the directions of the Egyptian Air Force, although it is not 100% accurate. MIG-35, but it seems that Egypt turned to the FC-31 as an alternative to the MIG-35 fighter, especially after China achieved great successes in the J-20 project and the success of Chinese engine manufacturing programs that were completely parallel to the American engines.

There are also pending deals on the SU-57. There was interest and there were no contracts because Egypt did not want the plane with izdeliye 117 engines. The same is true of the level of thermal and radar signature of the plane.

We come to the point of the SU-35 fighter. This deal is next to impossible to undo. Egypt has already received the plane in Russia, but Egypt has development demands.

The fighter Rafale Egypt has already paid part of the price of the deal, so assembly operations will begin at the end of the year

The CH-5 & WING LOONG 2 UAV deals have already been completed, and they believe that a large part of them has been delivered. Egypt has also obtained other planes and new plane deals from China.

Last edited:


Dec 21, 2007

Egypt is expanding another military airport​

Eli Dekel-Dlitsky

15 in the 5th tribe of Tashpag. 06.02.2023

A review of satellite photos shows that Egypt is expanding the military airport in Bnei Suif. The airport is located about 100 km south of Cairo and about 15 km northwest of the city of Bnei Suif, which lies on the west bank of the Nile and serves as the capital of the Bnei Suif district.

The development works began in early 2022 and include, among others:

A. Construction of nine double apartments (protected structure for fighter planes or bombs). These are pairs of apartments, with two apartments in each pair 55 meters long and 22 meters wide. A pair of such apartments can serve as shelter for six Rafale or F-16 fighter jets. Of course, a larger number of smaller planes or drones can be stored in the shed.

B. The airport has two runways, one 3,000 meters long and the other 3,600 meters long. On the side of the long runway, paving and expansion of the shuttle runway are being carried out. It is possible that at the end of the works, the shuttle route will also be ready for takeoff.

third. The field's fuel reserves are being expanded.
Bnei Suif Airport is one of 45 airports in Egypt. The field is one of the airports that protect the Cairo area and in addition it was also used as a field for the bomber planes. Since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi seized power in Egypt, he has been devoting resources to building airports and expanding them. Most of the development works are carried out at the airports built in Sinai and at the airports in the Cairo-Suez Canal area.

This article updates my review "The Air Wing in the Egyptian Army - Overview and Summary of Procurement Plans". You can view the review at the link: https://www.dekelegypt.co.il/230101

Below are some data on the development of military airports in Egypt.

The Israeli side closely monitors any developments in the infrastructure of the Egyptian Air Force, the Egyptian Army, the Egyptian Navy, and even the national development projects, and uses every poison that is constructive as a result of pressure on the American administration, and considers it a threat to its existence, although its presence in the Palestinian territories is illegal.
The follow-up process of the Egyptian armament and infrastructure is used by the Israelis to assess the real capabilities of Egypt, especially since Egypt has many of its capabilities, whether buying weapons or manufacturing them, which are not declared. Therefore, relying on published information gives false indications for assessing the Egyptian combat capability. On the other hand, the Israelis have a doctrine of imaginary superiority to them, which is good because it is. It will be one of the means to eliminate them if they think of using the military conflict as a means to deal with Egypt in the future. The Israelis do not understand that since October 24, 1973, the people will deal with themselves against it, not the armies, to which there is part of the corruption and lack of professionalism. The Israelis are put in dilemmas and losses that they cannot bear. In the end, they are a small artificial entity that will inevitably end, no matter what they do and no matter how much they seek help from the West, because the people do not accept them, even if the governments accept them.



Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)

Top Bottom