Series: Armed Forces in the Middle East (Egypt)

Egypt ranks sixth in the list of the most powerful militaries in the Middle East. Here are some data.

$4.4 billion defense budget
468,500 active frontline personnel
4,767 tanks
1,100 aircraft

The Egyptian Armed Forces is one of the oldest and largest militaries in the Middle East. The Egyptian military has existed in its current iteration since 1952, and the military has played a direct role in Egyptian politics since the country’s founding — current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is the military’s former commander in chief.

The US has provided Egypt with over $70 billion in aid since 1948, most of which came in the form of an annual $1.3 billion military assistance fund established after Egypt and Israel signed a peace deal in 1979. Because of this assistance, Egypt has replaced a mostly Soviet-provided arsenal with US-produced arms.

Egypt has over 1,000 M1A1 Abrams tanks, many of which sit in storage and have never been used. Egypt also coproduces M1A1 tanks domestically. The Egyptian Air Force has 221 F-16 fighter jets, alongside a range of other US-provided aircraft.

But the military’s operational abilities are highly suspect, and it has had trouble fighting terrorists and insurgents in the Sinai. It has discussed future arms purchases with Russia but only because of a falling-out with Washington over the summer 2013 military coup that put Sisi in power.

Key allies: The US and Saudi Arabia — although security cooperation between Israel and Egypt has picked up since the summer 2013 coup in Cairo.

Source Business Insider UK 2014

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