Egypt Military - 2023


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Military and security forces

Egyptian Armed Forces (EAF): Army (includes Republican Guard), Navy (includes Coast Guard), Air Force, Air Defense Forces, Border Guard Forces; Interior Ministry: Public Security Sector Police, the Central Security Force, National Security Agency (2023)

note 1: the Public Security Sector Police are responsible for law enforcement nationwide; the Central Security Force protects infrastructure and is responsible for crowd control; the National Security Agency is responsible for internal security threats and counterterrorism along with other security services

note 2: in addition to its external defense duties, the EAF also has a mandate to assist police in protecting vital infrastructure during a state of emergency; military personnel were granted full arrest authority in 2011 but normally only use this authority during states of emergency and “periods of significant turmoil”

Military expenditures

1.2% of GDP (2022 est.)

1.3% of GDP (2021 est.)

1.3% of GDP (2020 est.)

1.3% of GDP (2019 est.)

1.4% of GDP (2018 est.)

Military and security service personnel strengths

information varies; approximately 450,000 active duty personnel (325,000 Army; 18,000 Navy; 30,000 Air Force; 75,000 Air Defense Command); approximately 300,000 Central Security Forces personnel (2022)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the EAF's inventory is comprised of a mix of domestically produced, Soviet-era, and more modern, particularly Western, weapons systems; in recent years, the EAF has embarked on an extensive equipment modernization program with significant purchases from foreign suppliers; major suppliers have included France, Germany, Italy, Russia, and the US; Egypt has an established defense industry that produces a range of products from small arms to armored vehicles and naval vessels; it also has licensed and co-production agreements with several countries, including the US (2023)

Military service age and obligation

voluntary enlistment possible from age 16 for men and women; 18-30 years of age for conscript service for men; service obligation 14-36 months, followed by a 9-year reserve obligation; active service length depends on education; high school drop-outs serve for the full 36 months, while college graduates serve for lesser periods of time, depending on their education (2023)

note: conscripts are estimated to comprise over half of the military, as well as a considerable portion of the Central Security Force

Military deployments

1,000 Central African Republic (MINUSCA); 1,075 Mali (MINUSMA) (May 2022)

Military - note

the Egyptian Armed Forces (EAF) are responsible for external defense but also have an internal role assisting police and paramilitary security forces during emergencies and in anti-terrorism operations; the EAF also participates in foreign peacekeeping and other security missions, as well as both bilateral and multinational exercises; the military has considerable political power and independence; it has long had a crucial role in Egypt’s politics and has a large stake in the civilian economy, including running banks, businesses, gas stations, shipping lines, and utilities, and producing consumer and industrial goods, importing commodities, and building and managing infrastructure projects, such as bridges, roads, hospitals, and housing; the various enterprises are reportedly profitable enough to make the armed forces largely self-funded

key areas of concern for the EAF include Islamic militant groups operating out of the Sinai Peninsula, regional challenges such as instability in Libya and Yemen, and maritime security; since 2011, the EAF has been conducting operations alongside other security forces in the North Sinai governorate against several militant groups, particularly the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham; since 2014, it has deployed large numbers of troops along its border with Libya and provided air support to the Saudi-led coalition operating in Yemen; the Navy in recent years has sought to modernize and expand its capabilities and profile in the Eastern Mediterranean and Red Sea, including the acquisition of helicopter carriers, modern frigates, and attack submarines; in 2020, the EAF inaugurated a large joint service military base on the Red Sea to secure the country’s southern coasts, protect economic investments and natural resources, and confront security challenges in the Red Sea region

the EAF is the largest and one of the best equipped militaries in the region; the Army’s primary combat forces include approximately 13 divisions, which are mostly armored or mechanized, complemented by some independent armored and infantry brigades; the EAF has approximately 5,000 artillery systems, plus surface-to-surface missile forces and a large special operations command, which includes airborne, airmobile, commando, special forces, and other specialized units; the Navy’s principal warships are approximately 20 frigates and corvettes, 8 attack submarines, and 2 French-built helicopter-capable amphibious assault ships (LHDs); the Air Force has more than 300 French-, Russian-, and US-made fighter and multipurpose fighter aircraft, as well as nearly 100 US- and Russian-produced attack helicopters

Egypt is a major security partner of the US and one of the largest recipients of US military aid in the region; it also has Major Non-NATO Ally status with the US, a designation under US law that provides foreign partners with certain benefits in the areas of defense trade and security cooperation

the Multinational Force & Observers (MFO) has operated in the Sinai since 1982 as a peacekeeping and monitoring force to supervise the implementation of the security provisions of the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli Treaty of Peace; the MFO is an independent international organization, created by agreement between Egypt and Israel; ait is composed of about 1,150 troops from 13 countries; Colombia, Fiji, and the US are the leading providers of troops to the MFO (2023)

Maritime threats

the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial waters of Egypt are a risk for armed robbery against ships; in 2022, one attempted attack against a commercial vessel was reported, this was the first incident reported in four years; the reported incident occurred in port while the ship was anchored

NOTE: The information regarding Egypt on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Egypt 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Egypt 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.