Egypt offers to UAE air defense capabilities with its Skyguard AMOUN to counter Houthi air attacks

According to information published by the "Tactical Report" website on January 28, 2022, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi visited the UAE on Wednesday, January 26, 2022, and held talks with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan concerning joint defense cooperation after the Houthi missile attacks on Abu Dhabi.
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Egyptian Skyguard AMOUN air defense system includes Oerlikon 35 mm twin cannon (Front on the picture) and Aspide surface-to-air missile launcher station (Back on the picture). (Picture source Reddit)

On January 24, 2022, United Arab Emirates armed forces have intercepted and destroyed two ballistic missiles over Abu Dhabi that were fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels. Just a week ago, on January 18, 2022, Houthi rebels launched drone strikes near an Abu Dhabi airport that killed three people.

Recently, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced the strengthening of its military capabilities in the field of air defense. On January 18, 2022, UAE has signed a contract with South Korea for the purchase of the Cheongung II KM-SAM air defense missile systems for a total amount of $3.5 billion.

During the talks, UAE has requested Egypt to have revolved around joint defense cooperation, entailing Egyptian support to increase the UAE’s air defense capabilities after the recent Houthi attacks on Abu Dhabi. Egypt could support the UAE request with its Skyguard AMOUN air defense system.

The Skyguard AMOUN is a cannon and missile air defense system consisting of one Skyguard radar fire-control system, two Oerlikon Contraves GDF-003 twin 35 mm towed anti-aircraft guns, and two four Aspide surface-to-air missile launchers. Egypt armed forces would have 40 Batteries of 18 battalions and 4 batteries for training.

The Oerlikon 35 mm twin cannon is a towed anti-aircraft gun made by Oerlikon Contraves (renamed as Rheinmetall Air Defence AG following the merger with Rheinmetall in 2009). The guns have a maximum elevation speed of 56º/s and a maximum traverse speed of 112º/s. The Oerlikon 35mm gun is able to fire 1100 rds/min with a maximum firing range of 4,000 m.

The Aspide is a medium-range surface-to-air missile that is able to destroy aerial targets at a maximum range of 20,000 m and an altitude of 3,500 m.

The Skyguard all-weather fire-control radar was originally developed in the 1970s by Oerlikon Contraves of Switzerland with the collaboration of Ericsson of Sweden. The Skyguard was designed to control the Oerlikon Contraves GDF cannon series of twin 35 mm GDF cannon series towed and anti-aircraft guns. It has a maximum detection range of 20 km.