Military industry of Egypt

The military industry of Egypt is among the most important in the Arab world.


As World War II had come to a close, Egypt found itself in possession of a large quantity and assortment of weaponry left behind by Nazi Germany and others. In particular, Egypt possessed large stockpiles of 8mm Mauser ammunition that had been manufactured by a number of countries (Germany, Turkey, Greece, etc.) Egypt decided to manufacture a semi-automatic main battle rifle, and so purchased the tooling and plans for the Swedish Ag m/42 rifle. They reengineered this rifle to use the 8mm Mauser cartridge and added a gas adjustment valve. This rifle was called the Hakim, and Egypt manufactured and fielded it from the early 1950s until about 1961. They also briefly manufactured another reengineered Ag m/42, this time chambered for the 7.62×39mm Soviet cartridge, called the Rasheed. These guns were replaced in the 1960s by the Maadi AK-47 a licensed copy of the widely distributed Soviet automatic assault rifle.

During the late 1950s Egypt built the Jabal Hamzah ballistic missile test and launch facility to test-fire and experiment indigenously built Al Zafir and Al Kahir SRBMs.[1]

Egypt was involved in supplying the CIA with various weapons for Operation Cyclone and the Soviet Afghan war. Officer Gust Avrakotos managed to set up a deal with Abd al-Halim Abu Ghazala for Egypt to manufacture .303 ammunition for the hundreds of thousands of Lee–Enfield rifles the CIA had supplied to the Mujahideen through Pakistan's ISI. Congressman Charlie Wilson (close with Avrakotos) helped grease the political wheels for the deals to go through.[2]


The Arab Organization for Industrialization 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.

See also


  1. "Egypt - Missile". NTI. James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  2. Charlie Wilson's War, George Crile, 2003, Grove/Atlantic.

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