The Egyptian Navy is using Avenger vehicles as short range air defence systems on its Mistral class vessels, with the Stinger-armed vehicles positioned on the vessels’ flight decks.
The Egyptian Ministry of Defence (MoD) released a video on 12 July showing the Cleopatra 2017 exercise with the French Navy, and at least three Avengers tied to the flight deck of the Egyptian Navy’s Mistral class landing helicopter dock (LHD) amphibious assault vessel Anwar El-Sadat.
The AN/TWQ-1 Avengers are being used to provide short-range air defence. The vehicle comprises a manned turret on a modified Humvee armed with eight Stinger surface-to-air missiles. Avengers have been in Egyptian service for a number of years and two have been seen before aboard an Egyptian Mistral.
The use of the Avengers appears to be due to the fact that they do not have a full weapons and sensors fit yet, as they were delivered to Egypt without the Russian equipment originally intended (this was to include two 3M-47 Gibka turrets with Igla-S missiles and two AK-630 rotary cannons to provide short-range air defence). Russia is still holding discussions with Egypt over the outfit of the Mistral vessels. Egypt has ordered Ka-52K navalised attack helicopters for the vessels, in addition to an earlier order for Ka-52s for landward use.
The Cleopatra 2017 exercise took place between 8 and 11 July in the Red Sea and Mediterranean. Participants included the French Navy LHD Mistral and Lafayette-class frigate Courbet. Egyptian navy units included the Anwar El-Sadat, as well as seven other warships (including some of the latest units such as the FREMM Frigate Tahya Misr and one of the Ambassador Mk III class missile craft) as well as helicopters and smaller boats.
Various components of the exercise saw boarding, search and seizure exercises, helicopter manoeuvres and live firings. The exercise concluded with an amphibious landing near Alexandria, using L-CAT landing catamarans and marine infantry.