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 القوات الجوية المصري / Al-Qūwāt al-Gawwīyš al-Misrīyš

 Arab Republic of Egypt Air Force

       Credit:  Roundels of the world

Insignia                     Fin flash

                                                                                                         Last update 26-01-2023


Pre Egyptian/Israeli peace treaty Saudi connection

US Embassy in Jeddah documents show that a programm for the training of Egyptian pilots and 9 maintenance technicians was established in Saudi Arabia in 1975.
There was no US support for this programm, only Saudi instructors were involved.
Six pilots started flying at Dhahran AB in January 1976. Two pilots had soloed by January 14th, four were still trained on the two-seater. End of training was foreseen by April 1976.

Egyptian/Israeli peace treaty
Following peace initiative between Egypt and Israel beginning of 1977, Egypt looked at the USA to obtain new weapons, including aircrafts.

Initial interest for the Northrop F-5E was shown when Egyptian President Anwar el Sadat visited Washington on 06-04-77 requesting the delivery of 20-24 Northrop F-5E without success, request that was renewed beginning of 1978, this time for 30-40 aircrafts.

The request was looked in a more favourable light beginning of 1978
, when the US Senate voted in favour of "Middle East Fighter Package", to counterbalance the delivery of McDonnel F-15s both to Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Egyptian government obtained a letter of offer covering 42 F-5E and 8 F-5F at a total cost of USD 400m, Saudi Arabia financing the deal for USD 525m. Approximately 50-60 pilots and technicians went to the USA as well as to Iran to be trained on the new fighter.
Negotiations were expected to be ended by July 1978 in order that delivery of first 8 aircrafts, originally foreseen for Ethiopia, could be effected within 2 months.
Criticism came both from Israel, that protested, and Egypt. Egypt was satisfied for the delivery of combat aircrafts but felt quantity to be  insufficent and the aircraft lacking sofistication of aircrafts supplied to Israel.

First 8 F-5Es were available for delivery at Mc Clellan AFB on 02-11-78, while training of 16 pilots and 40 ground crews started beginning of 1979. Unfortunately the Tigers were withold, as payment from Saudi Arabia was not forthcoming. Price was claimed to be too high relatively to the cost of Saudi aircrafts, financial situation aggraviated by a site survey in Egypt revealing that the estimated costs of introducing the new fighter were actually around USD 700m.

                  Northrop F-5E 50609/3506 at Mc Clellan AFB in October 1978                                              Northrop F-5E 50606/3503 sitting under the sun at Mc Clellan AFB on 10-10-78
                                                                                                             Photos: archive Northrop Enthusiast

Signature of Egyptian/Israelian peace treaty on 26-03-79 gave the death blow to the deal; Saudi Arabia cancelled the order placed on behalf of Egypt and the initial 8 aircrafts were diverted to the Yemen Arab Republic by US State Department.

As a last chance, possibility to built the F-5E was taken into consideration, negotiations going on for financial and technical aspects, with no results.
Interest for 60 the next generation Northrop F-5G was also shown, without follow-up.

Information needed:

Any additional information/correction.