Egyptian armor

M.13/40 in Egyptian Service

Kingdom of Egypt (1948)
Light Tank – Unknown Number Used

In 1940, when the M13/40 was manufactured in Italy, it was mainly meant to fight British tanks in the Western Desert of Libya and Egypt. Armed with just the 47 mm L/32 main gun, the tank was adequate for 1940, but had little potential for keeping up with the advances in enemy tanks. The gun was inadequate for dealing with the heavy armor of the British A12 Matilda II and, later, the American-supplied M4 Shermans. Nonetheless, the tank remained in service with various parties in Yugoslavia to Northern Italy until the end of the war in 1945. The troublesome climate of the post-war, especially in the Middle East with the creation of the state of Israel, meant that even outdated tanks such as the M.13/40 would continue to see service.

Founded on 12th July 1939, Negba (Hebrew נגבה), is the location of a Kibbutz near Qiriat Gal in what is now South-Central Israel. It is the southernmost of several ‘protected’ settlements, known as ‘tower and stockade’ settlements in the area. The Kibbutz was to become a focal point for the Egyptian attack on the brand new nation in May 1948. With the announcement of the Independent State of Israel on 14th May 1948, neighboring Arab countries such as Egypt, Lebanon, Transjordan, and Syria (all unified under Egyptian command) attacked.

Directions of the attack on Israel, May 1948. Photo: Witte


The Egyptian forces attacked on the 15th May 1948 with a combined infantry and mechanized force of around 6,000 men, with an unknown number of tanks and armored vehicles. The direction of the attack was up what is now known as the Gaza strip on the Egyptian left flank and a second assault across the Negev desert to Be’er Sheeva. The Israeli forces were sparsely equipped with a variety of mainly small arms bought, salvaged, stolen, or donated from a variety of sources but had made preparations for a possible attack including setting up some minefields, something which had continued apace during the rest of May.

The May invasion had started well for Egypt but would stall due to poor coordination of the various allied forces involved and determined Israeli resistance. By the end of June 1948, despite the Egyptian forces having covered a lot of ground, they were not past the line of settlements, including Negba at the north of the Negev and any push on towards Jerusalem would have to get past these settlements.

The newly created Israeli Defence Force (IDF) had counterattacked on the night of the 8th July in Operation An-Far with the goal of recapturing the Iraq Suweidan police fort about 2 miles southeast of Negba. That Israeli force, the Negev 7th Brigade under Uzi Nakissm supported by additional platoons of troops, had been fought off by the Egyptian 1st Battalion at the fort. A second Israeli force consisting of a company from the 53rd Battalion and a platoon from the 54th Battalion coming from Negba took a small position at Idbis north of Negba and halted the Egyptian encirclement. Egyptian counterattacks by the 2nd Battalion then came on 9th and 10th July to try and retake this position, but they failed.

The Israeli 51st ‘Givati’ Battalion then attacked the Egyptians from the North, pushing them out of the village of Tel al-Safi. With their encirclement of Negba prevented, the only logical form of attack left open to try and take the settlement would be a more direct assault. So, on 12th July, the Egyptians attacked once more, with the goal of taking the settlement and driving the Israeli forces out of the area.

The Assault

The Egyptian 4th Brigade was to form the spearhead of the assault of Negba on the 12th July 1948. Attacks by the 6th and 2nd Battalions (4th Bgd.) were used as diversions to pull Israeli forces away from Negba by attacking Julius and Ibdis with the main force, whilst 9th Battalion under the command of Lt.Col. Rahmani would attack the settlement itself. With the fighting over Ibdis and Giv’ati to the north of Negba, the settlement had become a key location forming the corner in the Israeli defensive line.

At the time of the attack by Egyptian forces, the Negba Kibbutz was defended by about 70 soldiers (probably from the 54th Battalion IDF) and a small number of irregular troops, armed mainly with light weapons. The only ‘heavy’ weapons to protect from tanks were a pair of 3” mortars and a couple of PIAT anti-tank weapons.

The Egyptian attack began at dawn 12th July, with movements by Egyptian infantry trying to cross the largely flat ground around Negba to approach the settlement. Despite a bombardment of the settlement from Egyptian guns lasting about 5 hours, the troops had not got closer than 50 m from the edge of the compound by 11am. The placement of minefields around the Kibbutz had prevented the Egyptians from deploying their armored vehicles to make a decisive impact and, by nightfall, the Egyptian troops withdrew. The minefields and defenders had fought off the Egyptian assault and there were several Egyptian vehicles lost, including 4 ‘Bren-gun carriers’ and a single M.13/40 tank.

The Egyptian M13/40 crippled by a mine on 12th July 1948, pictured that day. Gun still fitted at this time. Photo: Negba Kibbutz.

The Tank

The M13/40 tank the defenders found themselves looking at on 12th July 1948 was built by Fiat Ansaldo between 1940 and 1943 in Italy and was originally equipped with an Italian 47 mm L/32 cannon. This vehicle, though, was different. A whole new turret front had been fabricated, with a new flat slab of armor added over the existing front and a new built-up mouth for the gun cradle to sit in. To achieve this work, it appears that the turret had to be removed, and, remarkably, video footage, albeit briefly, shows the turret being refitted by Egyptian forces. Although the video is undated, it is presumably shot between May and June 1948 during preparations by the Egyptian 9th Battalion for that attack.

Still from video footage of Egyptian forces prior to the July attack at Negbi. Photo: AFOX911 on Youtube

The Gun Cunundrum

The gun, unfortunately, cannot be identified. Photographic evidence confirms that it was not the original Italian 47 mm L/32 gun and the reminiscences of Mr. Negbi described the gun as a “37 mm 2 pounder”. This suggests that it was either a salvaged 37mm gun from something like an old M3 Stuart or M22 Locust light tank, or a 2-Pounder gun from something like the British A12 Matilda II. All of these vehicles would have been available to the Egyptians in refurbishing this vehicle, as large stocks of equipment and tank parts were remaining in Egypt after the war, including, obviously, the old Italian M13 tank itself.

The most likely gun used would be the 37 mm Tank Gun M6 as used on the M22 Locust, several of which were also used by the Egyptians in the Negba area during the 1948 campaign. Mr. Negbi reminisces that, during the battle of the 12th, two M13/40’s were used along with several other tanks, which included two British Matilda’s, although no evidence of their use during or afterwards can be ascertained to confirm or deny this. The 37 mm gun would have been inferior to the Italian 47 mm piece, as it lacked an effective High Explosive shell (HE). However, 37 mm ammunition was in supply, unlike the Italian gun (47 mm) for which not many shells were probably available. This too explains the logic behind the rearming. Better to rearm with a gun which although not optimal, is available, rather than a gun for which you cannot find ammunition.

There is also the question of the gun mantlet which was definitely not from the M.13/40 or from the M22 Locust. It seems more like the mantlet from a German Panzer III or Panzer II, parts from which were also potentially available to the Egyptians during the refurbishment of this tank.

No Other Modifications

No other modifications are known, but it is also likely that the two hull machine-guns fitted to the M13/40 when it was in Italian use were also removed or changed. Unfortunately, the only photos available of this tank either obscure the hull machine-gun position (front right on the hull) or are after it has been removed. Post-removal would suggest that the original cover for the mounting had been retained rather than blanked over and welded, leaving a question mark over what, if any, secondary armament was used.

The Egyptian M13/40 after the fighting on 12th July 1948. Pictured the day after the battle, the gun has been removed. The man of the left (shirtless) is Oded Negbi. Photo: Negba Kibbutz and Oded Negbi.

It is unlikely that any re-engining took place, which would mean it would have retained the original Italian Fiat SPA engine, probably the 125 hp diesel.

The mine damage to the tank was crippling. The open side door and lack of burning suggest that the crew escaped, but the vehicle was not repairable. At least one entire suspension unit on the right-hand side of the vehicle had been smashed and the tracks broken. The tank was recovered back to the Kibbutz where it was photographed, stripped of armament and tracks.

The M13/40 after recovery to the Kibbutz at Negba sporting a slogan painted in Hebrew reading “מות לפולש” (mawet la-polesh) meaning “Death to Intruders”. Photo: Negba Kibbutz

Destination Unknown

The M13 was recovered from the fields and remained at Negba for about 3 days before it was hauled away on an army truck, presumably to be taken away for scrap. Although other vehicles of that era and conflict have survived, including an M22 on display at Negba, this very unusual M13/40 has not. No trace of it can be found and it does not appear as a monument or in the IDF collection at Latrun. It is presumed to have been scrapped.

Speculative illustration of the Egyptian M13/40 with an M6 37 mm gun and a Panzer II turret front, produced by Tank Encyclopedia’s own David Bocquelet and modified by Stan Lucian.

Carro Armato M.13/40 specifications

Dimensions (L-W-H) 4.70m x 2.20m x 2.30 m
(15’5″ x 7’2″ x 7’6″ ft.inches)
Total weight, battle ready 13.5 tons
Crew 4 (commander, driver, machine-gunner/radioman, loader)
Propulsion Fiat SPA 8T V8 diesel, 125 hp, 8.92 hp/ton
Suspension Leaf spring bogies
Maximum speed (road) 32 km/h (20 mph)
Operational range 200 km (120 mi)
Armament Believed to be 37mm Tank Gun M6
Armor From 25 to 42 mm (0.98-1.65 in)
Total Used At Least 1


In the production of this article, the author would like to acknowledge the assistance of Ilan and Oded Negbi.


Personal correspondence with Oded Negbi by the author
Zionism and Israel Encyclopedic Dictionary
Gamal Abdel Nasser. (2004). Sam Witte. Rosen Publishing Group
1948: A history of the first Arab-Israeli War. (2009). Benny Morris. Yale University Press

Egyptian armor

Kader Walid

Egypt (1967) 4×4 APC – 900+ built

An Egyptian BTR-152 ?

Among the first armored vehicles mass-produced in Egypt (or Africa for that matter) was the Walid/Waleed (from “Walid Gomaa Mohamed”). It resembled the BTR-152 at that time, the main Egyptian APC in service, but in a simpler 4×4 configuration (like the BTR-40 also operated by Egypt). The type was not a copy, as far too many modifications were put in it to be associated with the Soviet vehicles other by a reference. At that time the Egyptian Army had some experience with the BTR-152 but also ideas on how to improve it. It was the first mass-product of the newly established AOI (Arab Organization for Industrialization) working with the Kader factory that Nasser intended as the “arsenal of the Arab world”. Perhaps more than 1,000 were built (900 according to Wikipedia operators references) and operated by at least 6 countries outside Egypt. It is now replaced by the Kader Fahd.

Hello dear reader! This article is in need of some care and attention and may contain errors or inaccuracies. If you spot anything out of place, please let us know!


The choice of the chassis was crucial, and for that Egyptian engineers turned to the West German Mercedes-Benz company that developed the very capable UNIMOG 4×4 chassis. It was coupled to a German Deutz diesel with an output of 168 hp. The result was wrapped in a locally built armored body capable to withstand small arms fire (possibly 12-13 mm at the front, 8 mm elsewhere), which resembled the BTR-152 and was certainly as roomy, but the rear section was only carried by a single axle. The compartmentation was straightforward, with the driver and commander seated at the front, behind the engine, and up to 8-10 troops were carried on benches at the rear with their equipment and had pistol ports to fire from, six on each side and possibly two each side of the rear door.
The rear compartment was open-top although it could be covered by either a hard-top, folding armored panels or a simple tarpaulin. Therefore the vehicle was not protected NBC. There were no periscopes but armored shutters with vision slits on the front compartment windows and doors. Off-road performances were helped by a 40 cm ground clearance included fording 0.8 m of water, climbing a 0.5 m vertical obstacle, or a 60% gradient.


The basic Walid was intended as a reconnaissance APC but eventually was given other tasks, and it was modified accordingly. In its APC configuration, it was armed with a single standard Soviet-built PKM 7.62mm and carried 10 infantrymen.
Command Vehicle which received communications gear
Riot control car a government security forces vehicle, without notable modifications
Multiple Launch Rocket System. A 12x D3000 80 mm or 6x D-6000 122 mm rocket launcher was installed in the rear compartment, served by two operators
Minelayer Modified with a rear ramp to help digging and deposit mines.

Operators and operational career

The Walid main operator was Egypt, which still operates around 650 vehicles. In addition Angola, Algeria (20, 1978), Iraq (100, 1980), North Yemen (20, 1975), and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) as known as former operators while Burundi (6, 1982), Sudan (104, 1981-86), and Yemen still operates the vehicle. The IDF also captured some in the Six Day War (1967), but their fate is unknown.


The Walid on wikipedia
The Walid on tanknutdave

Walid APC specifications

Dimensions 6.12 x2.57 x2.3 m ( ft)
Total weight, battle ready 9 -12 tonnes fully loaded
Crew 2+10 (driver, cdr, 10 infantry)
Propulsion Deutz 6-cyl diesel, 168 hp, 14 hp/ton
Suspension 4×4 independent UNIMOG
Speed (road) 86 km/h (60 mph)
Range 800 km (550 mi)
Armament Standard APC 7.62 mm PKM MG (1000 rds). See notes.
Armor 8 mm to 12-13 mm front (0.8-0.5 in)
Total production 900 in 1967-1975

Kader Walid - basic APC version
Kader Walid – basic APC version.

Kader Walid, Minelayer version
Kader Walid, Minelayer version

Kader Walid MLRS version (rocket launcher) with erected pack.

Kader Walid references
Various references from the web

Egyptian armor

Fahd 240-280

Egypt (1986) – APC – 1900+ built

Predecessor: The Walid APC

The land of the Pharaohs had both the wealth and the ambition to compete with Saudi Arabia for the title of the leader of the Arabic world, a movement that started with Gamal Nasser in the 1950s. In 1975, the Arab Organization for Industrialization was founded in Cairo and represented a step towards self-sufficiency for regional defense industries (also endorsed by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar). The AOI helped, for example, to build the first Egyptian APC, the Walid/Waleed. It was based on a German Unimog chassis which had excellent 4×4 capabilities, and Deutz AG diesel mated to a hull inspired by the BTR-40 and BTR-152. It was a mid-sized vehicle between the two, proved versatile and was exported to 8 other countries. By the early 1980s however it appeared obsolete with its open top configuration, no NBC protection nor amphibious capabilities, and the lack of night vision. A new APC was ordered by the Army staff to the Kader AOI factory in Cairo, which started sourcing a chassis and engine abroad. It was intended to replace not only the Waleed but also the BTR-40 and BTR-152 in service with the Egyptian Army.

Design of the Fahd

Army specifications called for a versatile and modular vehicle able to perform military as well as internal security duties, which was fast, manoeuvrable, had long range and excellent off-road capabilities. At least seven variants were planned. The base was a Mercedes-Benz LAP 1117/32 truck (4 × 4) chassis. Although it was assembled in the Kader factory, the general design was from Thyssen Henschel (now Rheinmetall Landsysteme). The hull was relatively slab-sided, with sloped sides but an almost flat front which gave an excellent driving forward position. It was made of welded steel RHA 8 mm thick, protecting against small arms fire and shell splinters. Both the driver (left) and commander sat in the front section. Both had bulletproof glasses protected by armored shutters hinged on top. Access was granted by two side doors, with windows that can be also protected by an armored shutter. The driver had a roof-mounted day periscope that can be swapped for a night vision device.

They are separated from the rear section which could hold 10 passengers seated on removable bucket seats down the center facing outwards and can access through a rear door folding in two parts, the lower one acting as a step. The compartment also had ten pistol ports with bulletproof vision blocks, four on each side and two on the back, on each side of the door. On top were two rectangular roof hatches hinged in the center, that can be locked vertically and serve as standing fire shields, with pintle mounts for LMGs. Armament was variable depending on the configuration.
Mobility is provided by a Mercedes Benz Diesel OM 366 LA 4-Stroke turbocharged water-cooled diesel engine, giving 280 hp @ 2,200 rpm. It is light in its standard configuration (10.9 tons) fast on flat (100 kph) but also off-road (60 kph) with a range of 450 km without extension.
Field performances in 1985 showed it can climb 80% slopes and negotiate 30% side slopes, cross 0.8 m trenches, climb over 0.5 m vertical obstacles, and have a steering radius of 8 m.

Variants of the Fahd

Fahd 240

The Fahd 240 APC used a modern Mercedes Benz LAP 1424/32 chassis, and have an increase in frontal armored thickness. It is one ton heavier (11.6 ton) but kept the same engine. It is now an upgrade for previous vehicles. It could be equipped with three machine-guns, one in a mount above the commander’s seat and two on each end of the infantry roof hatches, facing outward down the center. These could be PK machine guns (1,500 7.62 mm rounds each) or GMPG or FN MAGs. There is also a 20 mm autocannon turret option. A special mount could be adapted to the roof for a MILAN ATGM capable also to target low flying aircrafts.

Fahd 280/BTM-208

The Fahd 280 is relatively similar to the 240 with the exception of the dual French SAMM licence-built BTM-208 turret housing a 12.7 mm HMG and light coaxial 7.62 mm (100 & 200 rounds). It is air-tight, providing full collective NBC protection, had six vision blocks, allows a -8 and +45 dep./elevation, and top cupola hatch and electric traverse with a 24V DC supply.

Fahd 280-30 (1990)

The most heavily armed version is the Fahd 280-30 used as an infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), and equipped with a 30 mm 2A42 autocannon and AT-5 Spandrel or AT-4 Spigot ATGM with SACLOS guidance (max. range 4 km), plus a coaxial 7.62 mm PK. The turret was similar to the one on the Russian BMP-2 and locally assembled. This version had appliqué armor but only six firing ports and is the heaviest at 12.5 tons. Compared to the armament, this is still one of the lightest IFV on the market.

Other versions

The Fahd 240 ARV had a heavily modified rear compartment fitted with a roof-mounted 2.5 ton turntable-mounted hydraulic crane, and ground hydraulic stabilizers. There is a water-cannon armed Anti-Riot variant, with smoke grenade launcher. The minelaying variant use a four-bank Nather-2 launching tube system, controlled by a computer for the right dissemination. Up to 1,500 to 3,000 m x 25-30 m could be covered by a single vehicle with a density of 0.2 to 1 mines per m2.

Service & exports

The Fahd was produced to an extent of more than 1900 throughout the late 1980s and 1990s is used also as a command post vehicle, ambulance, light ARV, anti-riot vehicle, mine laying and dispensing vehicle. This vehicle is currently in service with Egypt (1400 vehicles), Kuwait (200), Bangladesh (66), Algeria (200), Oman (31).
A former operator was Iraq that captured in 1990 and reused most Kuwaiti vehicles. These were scrapped or destroyed. Use by Sudan and Congo is also confirmed but with no details.

Fahd 280 specifications

Dimensions : 10.9 x 11.48 x 9.51 ft
(10.8 oa/7.5 m x 3.5 m x 2.9 m)
Total weight, battle ready 10.9 to 11.3 tons
Crew 2+10 (commander, driver, 10 infantry).
Propulsion Mercedes Benz Diesel OM 366 LA TD 275 hp @2,300 rpm
Speed on/off-road 100 km/h/60 km/h ( mph)
Range/consumption Range 700 km/450 km (road/cross country)
Armament 1-3 7.62 mm machine guns. See notes.
Armor Welded steel RHA 8 mm
Total Production (Fahd 280) 900


The Fahd APC on Wikipedia
Additional pics and data on

Fahd 240 APC.
Fahd 240 APC.
Kuwaiti Fahd 240 command
Kuwaiti Fahd 240 command. This vehicle have a three-four wireless antennas communication set, six terminals intercom system, 10-line telephone exchange and two field telephones fed by a 1.5 kW electrical generator.
Malian Fahd 240
Malian Fahd 240
Fahd 240 IFOR
Fahd 240 IFOR
Fahd 240 BTM208
Fahd 240 BMT-208 turret. This French licence-built version by SAMM has a 12.7 mm machine gun and a 7.62 mm machine gun. It is NBC proof and it is fitted with a fume and gas extractor.
Fahd 240-30
Egyptian Fahd-280-30. This IFV version had a 2A42 30 mm autocannon with a dual rate of fire of 200-300 or 550 rpm or rapid fire burst at 800 rds. It can engage other armoured vehicles but also low flying aircrafts, helicopters and dismounted infantry. With a muzzle velocity of 960 m/s it can engage armoured targets at 1,500 meters, up to 4000 for softskin targets and has maximal operational range of 2,500 meters against helicopters and planes.


Egyptian armor

Ramses II

Egypt (2004) – Main battle tank

The M60/T-54 hybrid…

In November 1984, US firm Teledyne Continental Motors (now General Dynamics Land Systems) part of Chrysler Defence, was awarded a contract to upgrade the T-54 for the Egyptian Army, still in large stocks in its arsenal. Among the origins of this idea was the Israeli Tiran conversion, which seems quite satisfactory for Tsahal…
The original project was to be called T-54E (the “E” standing for Egypt) but was subsequently renamed Ramses II, from the most famous conqueror Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, and third sovereign of the Nineteenth Dynasty. The first prototype was sent to Egypt for extensive firepower and mobility trials in January 1987, until late 1987. By 1989, a technical assistance agreement was signed with Teledyne Continental Motors for additional modifications in the process of more extensive Egyptian testings, commencing in the summer of 1990. photo is the ONLY ONE known of a Ramses 2 MBT outside the Teledyne Continental prototype archives back in the US in the mid-1980s. That should raise red lights. So far we cannot tell if the alleged 250 Ramses II converted ever saw light or have been mistaken for upgraded T-55s.
However, by 1998, these additional upgrades had still not led to any production. This second phase, which took years to complete, was accompanied by much more modifications than originally planned (focusing solely on mobility and firepower), and ended with a tank which only superficially bears some resemblance to the T-54 and had in fact more in common with the M60A3, the most current Egyptian tank in service then.

Design of the T-54E

From the basic conversion idea, the Egyptians obtained, in the process of nearly twenty years, a completely new breed of MBT which focuses attentions of world’s experts about the feasibility of radical modern conversions (based on a design first drawn in 1946-47) of a main battle tank, much more demanding than for a specialized variant. Besides the chassis front and turret, everything else was taken from the M60A3 and tailored to fit in, resulting in a strange post-coldwar hybrid which would have been unthinkable before the globalization.

Hull & armor

The hull was at first not modified much, but to accommodate the less compact M60 engine, the rear part was lengthened almost by a meter, while the lower part of the chassis was completely modified to support smaller roadwheels, with consequently one extra pair. However, the armor seems to receive little upgrades. It is unknown how much the NBC lining have been upgraded, but is collective and helped by overpressure. The amphibious capabilities seem to have been extended by better sealing. No ERA blocks provision had been made so far. However some armor protection has been added, and armored side skirts. A modern fire detection and suppression system was installed in the engine compartment, new final drives, fuel tanks, Blair Catton tracks, and a brand new air filtration system.

Turret & armament

The new FCS is a SABCA Titan Mk.1, coupled with a modified Avimo TL10-T sight and laser range-finder with an integrated in-eyepiece CRT alphanumeric graphic display (ballistic computer). The fire-control system includes SABCA’s double digital processor, magnification night sight, atmospheric sensors, automatic attitude and associated controls.
HR Textron provided the gun and turret stabilization system. The main gun is the 105 mm M68 ordnance (common with M60A3s), but the original DT-10T breech is kept modified as well as the recoil system for a better fit into the turret. A muzzle reference system and the M60 day/night searchlight are mounted over the gun. IR vision periscopes are provided for the gunner and driver, while the commander has an image intensification system. The turret receives also a new storage basket and completely modernized communication systems. Banks of four electrically operated smoke dischargers are also mounted on each side for active protection.

Engine, transmission, drive train

The new power pack consists of a TCM AVDS-1790-5A turbocharged diesel (908 bhp) which have 80% commonality with the M60A3 powerplant. It is coupled to a Renk RK-304 transmission. New exhaust pipes are fitted on either side of the hull rear. The suspension is provided by General Dynamics Land Systems, with six Model 2880 in-arm hydropneumatic suspension units fixed on doubled M48-type roadwheels. The original idlers are kept, but the rear drive sprockets are new, and there are two standard track-return rollers per side. New US-patented tracks are replacing the old ones.

Alleged Production

Egypt purchased spare parts for its large M60 fleet and in 1997, thirty M60 series engines from General Dynamics Land Systems ($5,943 million apiece), with more for the planned conversion of the T-54 fleet into Ramses-II MBTs. Eventually, the design was sanctioned by a full conversion order of a first batch of 260 units in 2004/2005, followed by the set-up of a local conversion in an Egyptian tank plant, with some technology transfers. This second phase saw an additional 165 vehicles also planned for conversion. By 2013, an addition conversion order of some 160-180 more was allegedly planned. The overall weight of these converted tanks was 48 tons.
With an estimated 700 M60A1, 1016 M60A3 in service, 1000+ US and locally-built M1 Abrams, and now these US-based conversions, the part of Soviet armor in the Egyptian inventory has rapidly dwindled in the course of twenty years.


There is currently no known active engagement of the Ramses II or even footage connected to the 2011 “Arab spring”. Indeed, Israeli media reported that the 9th, 2nd, and 7th Divisions of the Army had been ordered into Cairo to restore order during the “revolution”, but only Abrams and M60s are shown. Was the Ramses II built and in service in anyway? Like the EIFV, that’s still doubtful. And it seems the Teledyne Continental proposal was very much only that, a proposal. Wikipedia’s Egyptian Army equipment page lists 260 Ramses II, the only source cited for the article, shaky at best is which itself does not provide any reference. Most sources states 260 being converted, but even Jane’s search engine does not return any result on “ramses”. There is a passage in “The Encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli Conflict” edited by Spencer C. Tucker, Priscilla Roberts which states “Egypt also attempted a radical upgrade of the T-55 (…) Designated the Ramses II very few ever entered actual service however”. According to defencetalks forum, conversions stopped after 2005 because of the purchase of cheaper additional M60A3s and upgrades packages.

Ramses II specifications

Dimensions : 35.43/24.6 x 11.48 x 9.51 ft (10.8 oa/7.5 m x 3.5 m x 2.9 m)
Total weight, battle ready 55 tons (11,000 lbs)
Crew 4 (commander, driver, gunner, loader).
Propulsion British Leyland diesel BL 40, 450-650 bhp, later BL 60, 695 bhp
Speed 48/30 km/h road/cross-country (29.82/18.64 mph)
Range/consumption 500 km (310.6 mi)
Armament One M48 105 mm (4 in) main gun
Coaxial 7.62 mm L8A1 (0.3 in) machine-gun
Armor Turret front 7.6 in, glacis 4.72 in, sides 1.37 in (195/120/35 mm)
Ammunition used Antipersonal HESH, armor-piercing APDS
Total conversions 425 planned

Links – Additional pics


Ramses II
Ramses-II, first prototype trials in the 1990s.

Camouflaged Ramses II
Camouflaged Ramses-II from a picture in Could be the same prototype painted and showcased in a show.