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Egyptian Air Defense Forces

  (Redirected from Egyptian Air Defense Command)

The Egyptian Air Defense Forces or EADF (Arabic: قوات الدفاع الجوي‎, Quwwat El-Difa' El-Gawwi), is the Anti-aircraft warfare branch of the Egyptian Armed Forces. It is responsible for protecting the Egyptian airspace against any hostile air attacks. The EADF was established in accordance with the presidential decree issued on February 1, 1968, which provided for the establishment of the Air Defense Forces as the fourth branch, next to the Navy, Egyptian Ground Forces, and Egyptian Air Force, formerly part of the artillery and under the operation command of the Air Force. Egypt has a modern system of air defense armament, characterized by diverse sources between east and west, which is divided between anti-aircraft missiles long, medium and short-range anti-aircraft artillery systems and early warning radars.

Egyptian Air Defense Forces
قوات الدفاع الجوي المصري
Egyptian Air Defense Forces insignia.png
Egyptian Air Defense Forces insignia
Active1968–present (51 years)
Country Egypt
Allegiance Egypt
BranchAir Defense
RoleAnti-aircraft warfare
Size80,000 personnel (As of 2014)[1]
70,000 Reserve (As of 2014)[1]
150,000 Totals (As of 2014)[1]
Part ofCoat of arms of Egypt (on flag).svg Egyptian Armed Forces
Garrison/HQCairo, Egypt
Nickname(s)حصن السماء Sky Fortress
Motto(s)إيمان, عزم, مجد Faith, Will, Glory
Anniversaries30 June
EngagementsWorld War II
1948 Arab–Israeli War
Tripartite Aggression
Six-Day War
War of Attrition
October War
Gulf War
Commander of the Egyptian Air DefenseLieutenant General. Ali Fahmi
Chief of StaffStaff Major General Mohamed Darrag
FlagFlag of the Egyptian Air Defense Forces.svg
InsigniaEgyptian Army ranks

Officers are mostly graduates of the Egyptian Air Defense Academy, located in Alexandria. The headquarters is in Cairo, and currently the Commander in Chief is Lieutenant General. Ali Fahmi[2] and the Chief of Staff is Staff Major General. Mohamed Darrag. The Egyptian air defense forces consists of 30,000 officers & soldiers plus 50,000 conscripts.[1]

Suez CrisisEdit

An Egyptian anti air-craft cannon during 1956 Suez war

Anti-aircraft guns were one of the Egyptian military strengths of World War II.[3] After the 1952 Coup d'etat, further development of anti-aircraft forces was part of Egypt's military buildup.

In mid-1956 the formation of a good number of units of light and medium anti-aircraft artillery began. Following the outbreak of the Suez Crisis, anti-aircraft artillery forces met with sophisticated technology not matched by arming which dates back to World War II technology, engendering aircraft anti-modern vehicles and soldiers with machine guns in a continuous raids and at low and medium altitudes, but the anti-aircraft artillery soldiers inflicted hostile forces, the largest possible losses in spite of the lack of training and the weakness of their equipment have shot down several aircraft in Cairo, Alexandria and Sinai and set up a trap for the planes tried to bomb the crossings that link the Sinai Nile Valley in the city of Suez, and Port Said forces managed to hold out for several days before the air attacks intensive aircraft aggression triangular, also participated in the popular resistance operations.[4]

Six-Day WarEdit

Egyptian missile site captured by Israelis during the Arab-Israeli War.

On June 5, 1967, the Israeli Air Force began air strikes on the Egyptian front in Sinai, taking advantage of shortcomings in the Egyptian air defense. The Israeli Air Force did not face any little resistance except from anti-aircraft artillery, which date back to the manufactured Second World War and that are not suitable for dealing with modern fighter aircraft with high speeds, resulting in a painful loss of life, land and equipment.[4]

War of AttritionEdit

Soviet/Egyptian S-125 anti-aircraft type missiles in the Suez Canal vicinity

Following the 1967 war, Egypt took the decision to re-organize and develop its armed forces, and included those decisions on Presidential Decree No. 199 issued on February 1, 1968, establishment of the Egyptian Air Defense Forces as a branch of a major and the strength of an independent stand-alone after they had their weapons and units scattered among departments and troops with artillery and rockets were tracing artillery management units and radar warning and operations centers used to belong to the air force and the control points were given follow the Border guard.[5]

And confined all the means and weapons and equipment anti-air attacks under one command to ensure coordination and unification of responsibility and in order to achieve success, and in the June 23, 1969 was appointed Lieutenant General Mohammed Aly Fahmy as the first commander of the newly emerging forces, which carry it upon himself to reorganize the forces and the management of cadres and personnel training and increase their level of tactical and tactical mission and technical, with a broad technological base capable of accommodating modern air defense weapons as soon as possible in order to deprive Israel of air superiority configuration.[6]

Warning NetworkEdit

Require the development of the Egyptian air defense system, the establishment of long-range warning network to detect any hostile aircraft approaching from the Egyptian airspace and provide enough time to warn of rockets and artillery positions, and secure the necessary current information to operate the equipment and weapons. Egypt succeeded in providing large numbers of multi-media warning and used in coordination and cooperation and promote the complementary network of checkpoints and processing network, given flexible transportation and protection against Israeli electronic attacks.[4]:10

October WarEdit

After the October warEdit

An Egyptian Crotale P4R low-altitude surface-to-air missile system is positioned in the desert during Gulf War.

In 1970 the Egyptian Air Defense Force consisted of 4 divisions:

  • 5th Air Defense Division placed in Cairo. Sami Hafez Anan reportedly commanded this division in 1996–98.
  • 8th Air Defense Division placed in Abu Suwayr. Division "crawled forward" in mid 1972 or 1973 to establish AA belt on banks of the Canal. (See Dani Asher, The Egyptian Strategy for the Yom Kippur War, 32)
  • 10th Air Defense Division placed in Alexandria.
  • 12th Air Defense Division placed in Aswan.[7]

In 1989 a large share of the Egyptian Air Defense Force's equipment was imported from the Soviet Union.[8] As of 1989, the most modern weapons in the air defense system were the 108 medium altitude I-Hawk SAMs acquired from the United States beginning in 1982.[8] These weapons were supplemented by 400 older Soviet-made S-75 Dvina (SA-2) SAMs with a slant range of forty to fifty kilometers and about 240 SA-3s, which provided shorter-range defense against low-flying targets. A British firm helped the ADF modernize the SA-2s. In addition, Egypt was producing its own SAM, the Tayir as Sabah,[8] based on the design of the SA-2. The ADF had mounted sixty Soviet 2K12 Kub SAMs on tracked vehicles as tactical launchers. Sixteen tracked vehicles provided mobile launching platforms for its fifty French-manufactured Crotale SAM launchers. Egypt was also introducing its own composite gun-missile-radar system known as Amoun (Skyguard), integrating radar-guided twin 23mm guns with Sparrow and Egyptian Ayn as Saqr SAMs.


It is undergoing extensive modernization with budgetary constraints being the only hindrance. Currently, it is believed to possess the following weaponry:

Regional/strategic perimeter-level SAMEdit

  • S-300VM transportable SAM system [first components delivered in March 2015][9][10]
  • Modernized MIM-23 HAWK "Improved HAWK" missile: 18 batteries (6 SP units per battery, 3 missiles per unit plus 2 reloads each) (medium/high-altitude, medium-range SAM)
  • 9K37 Buk-M1 missile: 10 batteries purchased in 2005. Each battery is equipped with 4 SP TEL units with 4 missiles each, with 1 reload as reserve.
  • 9M317 Buk-M2 missile: Purchased in 2013. [in service with unspecified number, probably 4-5 batteries]. Each battery is equipped with 4 SP TEL units with 4 missiles each, with 1 reload as reserve.
  • Modernized SA-3 2M Pechora missile: 43 Batteries (each with 2 stationary units, 4 missiles per stationary unit plus 1 reload each) (low/medium-altitude, medium-range SAM)
  • Indigenous Tayer el-sabah (Morning Bird) (reverse-engineered and modernized SA-2 Guideline S-75 Dvina missile: 40 batteries (6 single units per Battery, 2 reloads each) (medium/high-altitude, long-range SAM)

Army corps and division-level SAMEdit

  • 9K331 Tor-M1 missile : 16 firing units
  • 9K332 Tor-M2 :Purchased in 2013 [in service with unspecified numbers]
  • Modernized SA-3 2M Pechora missile: 10 Batteries (6 SP units per Battery, 2 missiles per S/P unit plus 1 reload per unit) (Low/Medium Altitude, Medium Range SAM)
  • Modernized SA-6 Gainful missile: 14 Batteries (6 SP units per Battery, 3 missiles per unit plus 1 reload each)(Low/Medium Altitude, Medium Range SAM)

Brigade- and battalion-level SAMEdit

  • Skyguard "Amoun" anti-aircraft system AIM-7 Sparrow missile: 72 Units " 18 battalion (3 units each) + 4 batteries for training " (2 4-cell Sparrow missile launchers and 2 Oerlikon GDF-005 twin 35mm guns with one Skyguard Fire Control System per battery, 1 reload per launcher) (Original Italian system is equipped with Aspide missile system, substituted with AIM-7 Sparrow missiles with the Egyptian Air Defense).
  • Modernized Crotale NG missile: 16 Batteries (9 units per Battery, 4 Missiles per unit plus 2 reloads each)(SP Low/Medium Altitude, Short Range SAM)
  • MIM-72/M48 Chaparral low-altitude SAM AIM-9 "Sidewinder": 86 SP units (4 Missiles per unit plus 2 reloads each)(SP Low Altitude, Short Range SAM)
  • AN/TWQ-1 Avenger : 75 Batteries ( 4/8 ready-to-fire FIM-92 Stinger missiles + .50 caliber machine gun with an electronic trigger that can be fired from both the Remote Control Unit (RCU) located in the drivers cab, and from the handstation located in the Avenger turret )( provides mobile, short-range air defense protection for ground units against cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, low-flying fixed-wing aircraft, and helicopters )

By the end of 2008, With the Support of The United-States (through FMF and private contractors\firms) all missile, radar, observation posts, command and control systems are to be linked into a complex multi-level, national computerized early-warning air defense command (C3I4) via modified EC-130H Hercules (modified to AWACS-like specifications) transport aircraft, EW AWACS "Grumman" E-2C Hawkeye 2000, EW ECM Beechcraft 1900 ELINT, underground sheltered-reinforced fiber-optic network.

Commanders of the Egyptian Air Defense CommandEdit

Egyptian Air Defense equipmentEdit

Model Image Origin Type Variant Number Details
S-300     Russia Long Range Air Defense S-300VM (SA-23) 3 Battalions[12] The S-300VM entered service in November 2014[13][14][15][16] and is stocked in Egypt. The one billion dollar regiment includes a command post, 3 Divisions, additional elements and other contract clauses. The contract will be fully completed by the end of 2016, training of employees has already begun.[17] Russia is holding talks with Egypt on the delivery of additional Antey-2500 anti-ballistic missile systems.[18]
AA Range = 200 km, AA Ceiling = 30 km, Speed = Mach 5, ABM Range = 40 km.[19]
MIM-104 Patriot     United States Long Range Air Defense MIM-104-F/PAC-3 n/a In 1999, Egypt acquired 32 missile systems from the United States for $1.3 billion.[20]
IRIS-T SL     Germany Medium Range Air Defense IRIS-T SLM 7 Systems[21] The German government approved the sale of 7 IRIS-T SLM tactical medium range air defense systems to Egypt in September 2018.
AA Range = 35 km, AA Ceiling = 20 km, Speed = Mach 3, ABM = none
Volga     Soviet Union Medium Range Air Defense Tayer el-Sabah
100[22] 100 units were delivered by USSR from 1970 to 1972 for use in the Yom Kippur War. The Egyptian like the performance and purchased the production rights from USSR
AA Range = 45 km, AA Ceiling = 25 km, Speed = Mach 3.5, ABM = none
Buk   M1-2
M2 (SA-17)
The Buk-M2 was not previously known to be in Egyptian service until it was revealed in a video of an air defence exercise released on 2 November 2014 by the MoD.[23]
AA Range = 30 km, AA Ceiling = 14 km, Speed = Mach 3.0
MIM-23 Hawk     United States Phase III 62 On 25 February 2014, Egypt ordered new 186 rocket motors to extend the live of their Hawk batteries.[24] Since there are 3 missiles per launch unit then one can deduce that Egypt plans to maintain 62 launcher systems.
AA Range = 50 km, AA Ceiling = 14 km, Speed = Mach 2.4
Pechora 2M     Soviet Union 2M (SA-3) 70 Originally Egypt received 200 units from USSR between 1970 and 1972[22] and they were used greatly during the Yom Kippur War. These units aged and some of them were upgraded to Pechora-2M version. As of December 2008, 70 Pechora-2M upgraded ramp-launched missiles had been ordered by Egypt.[25]
AA Range = 35 km, AA Ceiling = 18 km, Speed = Mach 3.1
Kub   SA-6 56[26] Purchased from the Soviet Union after the disastrous 6 Day War and was used to great effect in the Yom Kippur War virtually denying the entire air space of Egypt to Israel. The system was modernized and is still in service.
AA Range = 24 km, AA Ceiling = 14 km, Speed = Mach 2.8
Tor   Short Range Air Defense M1
M2 (SA-15)
16 16 units were purchased from Russia.[27] The Tor-M2 was not previously known to be in Egyptian service until it was revealed in a video of an air defence exercise released on 2 November 2014 by the MoD.[23]
AA Range = 12 km, AA Ceiling = 6 km, Speed = Mach 2.5
AN/TWQ-1 Avenger     United States 75 Egypt originally ordered 50 units, but in 2006 it chose to order a further 25 units which all were delivered by September 2008.[28]
AA Range = 8 km, AA Ceiling = 8 km, Speed = Mach 2.2
Crotale     France VT-1 36[29] Purchased from France in 1980.[30]
AA Range = 11 km, AA Ceiling = 6 km, Speed = 3.53
MIM-72 Chaparral     United States MIM-72C[31] 80[32] Purchased from U.S. stock in 1987[30]
AA Range = 9 km, AA Ceiling = 4 km, Speed = Mach 1.5
Strela-1     Soviet Union SA-9 20[29] x
AA Range = 4.2 km, AA Ceiling = 3.5 km, Speed = Mach 1.8
M113 AA     United States SPAAG Nile 23
Sinai 23
Upgraded version of the ZU-23-2 twin 23 mm self-propelled anti-aircraft guns radar guided (148) with Sakr Eye SAM 2X2 on M113, Upgraded version of the ZU-23-2 twin 23 mm self-propelled anti-aircraft guns radar guided with Stinger SAM (3X2) (72) on M113, 108
Shilka     Soviet Union 350 in 1995.[33] 330 were delivered from USSR, also a new contract was signed with Russia in 2005.[34]
ZSU-57-2     Soviet Union 40 100 ordered in 1960 from Soviet Union and delivered between 1961 and 1962,[35] with 40 remaining in storage today.[36]
M53/59 Praga     Czechoslovakia
Oerlikon GDF      Switzerland Towed AA (35 mm) Amoun 72 72 Amoun units used with Skyguard and Sparrow SAM
M167 VADS     United States Towed AA (20 mm) 72
ZPU     Soviet Union Towed AA (14.5 mm) 200
ZU-23-2     Soviet Union Towed AA (23 mm) 280 280 as Nile 23 and Sinai 23, and 650 upgraded with radar guidance
61-K     Soviet Union Towed AA (37 mm) 200 700
S-60     Soviet Union Towed AA (57 mm) 200 600
52-K     Soviet Union Towed AA (85 mm) 400
KS-19     Soviet Union Towed AA (100 mm) 200
KS-30     Soviet Union Towed AA (130 mm) [37] 120

Future of air defenseEdit

System Image Origin Number Comment
Air defence
S-400 Triumf     Russia N/A Egypt has expressed its interest in buying S-400 systems.[38]
Pantsir-S1     Russia N/A There is a definite possibility to contract Pantsir-S1 to protect S-300VM platforms.

Egyptian Air Defense RadarsEdit


Officer Brigadier General General


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External linksEdit