Historically, throughout the 20th century, Egypt had a strong and extensive firearms industry. Hakim and Rasheed rifles, Helwan pistol, Egyptian-made AKs called Maadi or MISR were used domestically and exported throughout the world. But at the beginning of the 21 century, most service weapons in Egypt, especially with the Ministry of Interior, are imported, which means that political turmoils can easily compromise procurement and supply of spare parts for the currently issued firearms. To decrease the country’s military dependence on exports, the Egyptian Military Factory is slowly trying to modernize the firearms they currently manufacture. Two examples of such efforts are the “upgraded 7.62x39mm automatic assault rifle” presented at EDEX-2022 in Cairo and World Defense Show in Riyadh.
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If you’re familiar with modern Kalashnikov rifles, you’ll see that upgrades were inspired by various Israeli products – FAB Defense AK/AKM Picatinny Scope-Mount Dust Cover, FAB Defense AK-47 stock, CAA Bipod grip, and CAA XRS47 rail system.
At the same time, another prototype of the same rifle was showcased earlier at EDEX 2021 exhibition in Cairo and had a significantly more original design. Both receiver cover and pistol grip were clearly designed from scratch and not based on existing products.
But apparently, there is another Kalashnikov upgrade kit that hasn’t been in the public eye as much as the previous two prototypes. This third upgrade, which looks significantly more up to date, was spotted in the promotional video featuring Egypt Special Forces Unit called “Black Cobra”. This unit is a Special Operations outfit within the Central Security Forces, which is the part of the Interior Ministry.
According to the sources within the Egyptian military-industrial complex, this particular modernization package was designed for the military Special Forces by an active duty police officer and firearms design engineer Zeyad Refaat. Later this design was picked up by the state-owned Egyptian military factory “300”, which offered it to the “Black Cobra” unit.
So far, only the third upgrade kit was actually seen in action, and it is not yet known if other prototypes will actually be procured by the Egyptian military or MOI.