Egypt’s Defence Industry Soars: AOI Unveils Cutting-Edge Tech at EDEX 2023 

Mohamed Samir
8 Min Read

The Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI), a state-owned Egyptian defence industry conglomerate, concluded its participation in the 3rd International Defense Exhibition (EDEX) 2023 on a high note, with a strong showing of new defence technologies and products.

The Arab Organization for Industrialization, which has been a leading player in the Egyptian defence industry for over 40 years, showcased a wide range of products at the show, including ammunition, missiles, electronic equipment, and aircraft. The highlight of the AOI’s exhibit was the introduction of five new products:

  • The Hafez family of air-dropped bombs: These bombs can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and can penetrate up to 180 centimetres of reinforced concrete. They were developed in collaboration with the Egyptian Air Force and are designed to meet the needs of the Egyptian military’s evolving airpower requirements.
  • The Mobile Command and Control Center: This fully-automated center is designed to control military operations, and secure airspace, borders, and critical infrastructure. It is a 100% Egyptian design and manufacture and is a significant step forward in the AOI’s efforts to indigenize defence production.
  • The Qadar-1 armoured riot control vehicle: This vehicle is the first of its kind in Egypt to offer B4-level protection against 7.62x39mm rounds. It is equipped with a variety of features to meet the needs of the Egyptian Ministry of Interior, including a water cannon, tear gas launchers, and a remote-controlled weapons station.
  • The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Countermeasure System: This system was developed in collaboration with the Egyptian Air Defense Command and the Electronic Warfare Administration. It can detect and counter UAVs at the tactical level, helping to protect Egyptian forces from these increasingly sophisticated threats.
  • The New Egyptian Radiation Detection and Measurement Device: This device is the first of its kind to be manufactured in Egypt. It is designed to detect and measure radiation levels, making it a valuable tool for the Egyptian military and other government agencies.

In addition to showcasing its new products, the AOI also held a number of meetings and discussions with foreign companies and organizations. These meetings focused on strengthening cooperation in the defence industry and exploring opportunities for investment and joint ventures.

The Arab Organization for Industrialization’s participation in EDEX 2023 was a success on several fronts. It showcased the AOI’s commitment to innovation and its ability to produce world-class defence technologies. It also helped to raise the AOI’s profile as a leading player in the global defence industry.

On the sidelines of EDEX, Egypt’s Arab Organization for Industrialization and France’s Safran Engines, a leading French aerospace company, have signed a joint cooperation agreement for the overhaul, repair, maintenance, and manufacturing of spare parts for the LARZAC engine. 

“The AOI is committed to strengthening cooperation with foreign companies and organizations in the defence industry,” said Major General Mokhtar Abdel Latif, Chairperson of the Arab Organization for Industrialization. “We believe that working together is the best way to ensure that our armed forces have the most advanced and effective weapons and equipment.”

AOI products meet Egyptian military evolving requirements

The Hafez family of air-dropped bombs is designed to meet the needs of the Egyptian military’s evolving airpower requirements. The bombs are available in a variety of sizes and weights and can be used to target a wide range of targets, including enemy fortifications, armoured vehicles, and personnel.

The Mobile Command and Control Center is a fully automated centre that is designed to control military operations, and secure airspace, borders, and critical infrastructure. The centre is equipped with a variety of sensors and communications systems and can be operated from a remote location.

The Qadar-1 armoured riot control vehicle is the first of its kind in Egypt to offer B4-level protection against 7.62x39mm rounds. The vehicle is equipped with a variety of features to meet the needs of the Egyptian Ministry of Interior, including a water cannon, tear gas launchers, and a remote-controlled weapons station.

The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Countermeasure System is designed to detect and counter UAVs at the tactical level. The system is equipped with a variety of sensors, including radar, electro-optical sensors, and infrared sensors.

The New Egyptian Radiation Detection and Measurement Device is the first of its kind to be manufactured in Egypt. The device is designed to detect and measure radiation levels, making it a valuable tool for the Egyptian military and other government agencies.

EDEX 2023 paints a positive picture of Egypt’s Defence Industry 

The Arab Organization for Industrialization’s (AOI) participation in EDEX 2023 highlighted several key trends and developments in the Egyptian defence industry:

1. Increased focus on innovation and self-sufficiency:

The introduction of five new defence products, including the Hafiz air-dropped bombs and the Mobile Command and Control Center, demonstrates the AOI’s commitment to developing its own technological capabilities. This reduces dependence on foreign imports and strengthens Egypt’s defence autonomy.

2. Diversification of production:

The AOI’s product portfolio now encompasses a wide range of defence equipment, from ammunition and missiles to aircraft components. This diversification reflects a strategic shift towards meeting the diverse needs of the Egyptian Armed Forces and potentially expanding into export markets.

3. Emphasis on collaboration and partnerships:

The AOI’s signing of memorandums of understanding with major international companies like Northrop Grumman and Edge signifies a recognition of the importance of collaboration in driving technological advancement and competitiveness in the global defence market. This approach allows the AOI to access expertise and resources beyond its own capabilities.

4. Growing role of the AOI in the region:

The AOI’s participation in EDEX and its ongoing discussions with regional partners like the UAE suggests an ambition to play a more central role in the defence industries of Arab countries. This could involve joint ventures, technology transfer, and knowledge sharing, contributing to regional security and economic cooperation.

5. Potential challenges and limitations:

While the AOI’s progress is commendable, it still faces challenges in scaling up production, achieving consistent quality standards, and competing with established international players. Additionally, the reliance on foreign partnerships for some technologies raises questions about long-term strategic autonomy.

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Mohamed Samir Khedr is an economic and political journalist, analyst, and editor specializing in geopolitical conflicts in the Middle East, Africa, and the Eastern Mediterranean. For the past decade, he has covered Egypt's and the MENA region's financial, business, and geopolitical updates. Currently, he is the Executive Editor of the Daily News Egypt, where he leads a team of journalists in producing high-quality, in-depth reporting and analysis on the region's most pressing issues. His work has been featured in leading international publications. Samir is a highly respected expert on the Middle East and Africa, and his insights are regularly sought by policymakers, academics, and business leaders. He is a passionate advocate for independent journalism and a strong believer in the power of storytelling to inform and inspire. Twitter: https://twitter.com/Moh_S_Khedr LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mohamed-samir-khedr/
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