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The Egyptian Air Force
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Egypt historical camouflage for Spitfire Mk.VB/Trop made by Salonknka  | Download here


First three Egyptian pilots

From all the Air Forces around the world, the Egyptian Air Force is one of the youngest. It was formed in 1930 as the Egyptian Army Air Force, by a decree from king Fuad I. The first commander of the Air Force was a Canadian RAF Officer Squadron Leader Victor Hubert Tait. As Egypt was then in the British sphere of influence, the new force received mainly British - designed planes, such as Hawker Hart light bombers, Gloster Gladiator fighters and Westland Lysander reconnaissance aircraft. The Air Force was detached from the Army in 1937, becoming a separate entity. During the Second World War some squadrons took part in operations against the Afrika Korps, however, other squadrons stayed on the ground to reinforce the idea of Egyptian neutrality. During the war, the force recieved first modern monoplane aircraft - Hawker Hurricane and Curtiss P-40 fighters. After the war, Egypt also purchased surplus Spitfire Mk.IX aircraft.
 

Egyptian Avro 641 “Commodore”

When in 1948 the State of Israel was proclaimed in the British mandate of Palestine, Egypt joined the Arab  League in the 1948 Arab - Israeli war. The Royal Egyptian Air Force regularly clashed with both the Sherut Avir, as well as the RAF. At the time, the Egyptians mainly used the Spitfire Mk.IX aircraft as their main fighters, with C-47 Dakota transport aircraft substituting for bombers. However, with the deliveries of Avia S.199 (Czechoslovakian built Bf-109s), Spitfire Mk.IX and P-51 Mustang fighters to Israel, the Arabs lost air superiority. The war ended with Israel emerging as the tactical and political victor.
 

An egyptian plane shot down in Tel Aviv  during the raid on the city . 1948

In Egypt, civil unrests led to sweeping changes in the country’s government. In 1952, king Farouk was overthrown by a military coup, led by Anwar Sadat and Gamil Abdel Nasser. At first, Egypt was on peaceful terms with the British, which resulted in deliveries of Gloster Meteor jet fighters to the Egyptian Air Force. However, when president Nasser announced the plans to nationalize the Suez Canal, it prompted a rapid response from Great Britain and France. In the ensuing battles during the Suez Crisis, the Egyptian Air Force took heavy losses from not only British and French planes, but also Israeli aircraft supporting the IDF offensive on the Sinai Peninsula. However, thanks to the pressure from the USA and USSR, the coalition forces were forced to withdraw.

After the Suez Crisis, Egypt turned to the Soviet Union for help in rebuilding the Air Force. The USSR responded with deliveries of new aircraft, such as MiG-21 fighters and Su-7 attackers, as well as help from military advisors. In 1967 however, most of the rebuilt force was wiped out by Israeli airstrikes during Operation Focus in the opening stages of the Six-Day War. The Egyptian Air Force also took part in the Yom Kippur War in 1973, this time with more success. It was during that war that the Air Battle of El Mansoura took place - a massive dogfight between Egyptian MiG-21s and Israeli F-4 Phantoms and A-4 Skyhawks. Even though the result of that battle is still disputed, the 14th of October is now recognised as the Day of the Egyptian Air Force.

Adam “BONKERS” Lisiewicz

 

To honor the Egyptian Air Force and egyptian pilots, we present the Egyptian Air Force roundel, which will be added to War Thunder:

 

 

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