Egyptian Military Industry

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Egypt is the most important manufacturer of weapons and military components among the Arab countries. State-owned enterprises, under control of the Armament Authority headed by a major general, were the main domestic producers of Egypt's defense systems.
The Armament Authority was responsible for selecting, developing, and procuring military systems. Acting on behalf of the military's branches, the authority assigned production to domestic factories or contracted with external suppliers.
The National Organization for Military Production within the Ministry of Military Production supervises a number of manufacturing plants, which were usually named after their location.

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[edit] History

As early as 1949, Egypt unveiled plans to develop its own aircraft and armaments industry with the industrial base that emerged during World War II when British and American forces placed orders for equipment. Egypt entered into a number of joint venture projects to produce European-designed aircraft.
The most successful of these led to the Al Gomhuria basic flight trainer, of which about 200 were eventually made.
In 1962, Egypt undertook a major program with the help of West German technicians to design and build a supersonic jet fighter, but the government terminated the project because of financial strains caused by the June 1967 War.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Egypt expanded and diversified its production of arms to achieve partial self-sufficiency and to develop an export market in the Middle East and Africa. In addition to manufacturing small arms and ammunition, Egypt had begun producing or assembling more advanced weapons systems through licensing and joint venture agreements with companies based in the United States and Western Europe. Egyptian technicians and scientists developed several indigenous weapons systems.

[edit] Egyptian Production Purchases

The main purchaser of Egyptian defense products had been Iraq. In the early 1980s, Iraq was desperate to replace Soviet military equipment lost during the early stages of the war with Iran. Iraq blunted Iranian attacks with the Saqr 18, the Egyptian version of the Soviet BM-21 122mm multiple rocket launcher.

Egypt sold a smaller volume of weapons to Kuwait and other Persian Gulf states. In 1988 Kuwait was reported to have ordered about 100 Fahd armored personnel carriers; Oman and Sudan ordered smaller quantities of these carriers.

[edit] Agencies

The AOI supervises nine military factories which are producing civilian goods as well as military products. Initially the owners of AOI were Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, before both countries gave back to Egypt their shares in 1993, valued at $1.8 billion.
AOI now is entirely owned by the government of Egypt. AOI has about 19,000 employees out of which are 1250 engineers. AOI fully owns 6 factories and shares in 3 joint ventures, beside the Arab Institute for Advanced Technology.

The NSPO operates three companies that manufacture military and civilian products. NSPO also provide contracting services.

[edit] Military Aid

U.S. military aid finances most of Egypt's big-ticket defense procurements--$1.3 billion annually for several years. Large projects underway include the M1A1 Abrams tank manufacturing facility, M88A2 coproduction program, IFF, the HAWK rebuild program, and Peace Vector V. Such projects can be expected to continue, although improvements to and maintenance of existing force capabilities are perhaps more likely targets of future spending than entirely new systems.

[edit] Future

Today, the Egyptian Military factories produce civilian products, such as medical and diagnostic equipment; domestic appliances; fire extinguishers; ammunition in addition to regular military production.
Military production plants are not scheduled for privatization and are unlikely to be sold.
Twenty--six of these plants produce both military and civilian goods, and many managers of these plants are interested in licensing arrangements with foreign firms to enhance their production mix and improve quality.

[edit] See also

Egyptian Military Industry

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