President Morsi’s military might
Egypt’s senior military leadership is being replaced and power now lies in
the hands of Islamist president. IsraelDefense reviews the military ability
possessed by one of the more advanced militaries in the Mideast
The removal of the senior military leadership in Egypt has caught most of
the world by surprise. New Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, initially
perceived as a "puppet” of the Egyptian military, ended the rule of the
military council established after the fall of the Mubarak regime in
February 2011 in a show of force.
It remains unclear if the move will affect the relations with Israel, but
what is clear is that Egypt’s tremendous military might is now in the hands
of a president coming from an Islamist movement.
It should be mentioned in the wake of the developments in Cairo that Morsi
is now in control of a military armed with the best weapons offered by US
manufacturers in recent years, sponsored by Washington’s annual aid.
Much like Israel, Cairo benefits from fixed US defense aid at an amount of
$1.3 billion annually. According to the agreement signed between the US and
Egypt in 2007, the aid will continue at least until 2018. Egypt, already in
possession of a significant aircraft fleet consisting of 217 F-16s, has
ordered 20 additional multi-purpose combat aircraft valued at $3.2 billion.
Besides this deal, Egypt’s chief procurement agreements in recent years
included Apache AH-64D combat helicopters (though the deal for the Longbow
radar system for these helicopters has yet to be approved) and more M1A1
tanks. The Tanks are procured as parts and are assembled in Egypt.
Since the start of their procurement, Egypt's military industry has
assembled 880 tanks, and the last deal, being materialized today, includes
another 125 tanks. Egypt’s navy has a standing order for the procurement of
four fast missile boats from the US.
Egypt also procures weapons from other sources, in the framework of its
budgetary limitations, and is currently negotiating with Germany for
procuring Type-214 submarines (similar to Israel’s Dolphin submarines, which
according to foreign publications can carry nuclear missiles).
It is also maintaining its military ties with Russia and former-Soviet
states, both for upgrading its aging Soviet-era weapons (like upgrading APCs
in Ukraine) as well as for procuring new weapon systems, such as the Russian
Strelets air defense system).
The figures are from the 2011 Strategic Survey for Israel by the Institute
for National Security Studies (INSS)