EDEX 2023 – AOI unveils Hafez, a new family of air-to-surface bombs for the Egyptian Air Force

Paolo Valpolini

Based in the Suez road, 17 km away from Cairo, the Arab Organisation for Industrialisation (AOI) is active in several industrial areas, among which defence. At EDEX 2023 it unveiled a series of new products that aim increasing Egypt military self-sufficiency, among which a new family of air-to-surface bombs, the Hafez

The biggest systems visible on the AOI stand were definitely the company new series of air-to-surface unguided bombs, known as Hafez, unveiled at the Cairo exhibition. Currently the family is composed of three members, the Hafez-1, the Hafez-2 and the Hafez-3. The first two are general purpose bombs, respectively with a mass of 227 and 872 kg, of which 87 and 425 kg represent the mass of the explosive, which can be TNT, Comp B or Tritonal. The Hafez-1 body has a 273 mm diameter, is 1,530 mm long to which we must add the stabiliser, which is 670 mm long, is fitted with four stabiliser fins with a 380 mm span, and weighs 46 kg. The Hafez-2 is much bigger, its maximum diameter being 457 mm while it is 2,551 mm long with tip, which become 3,761 mm with the stabiliser which weighs 36 kg and is fitted with 628 or 465 mm span stabilisers. Both bombs are equipped with nose and tail fuse.

The fuse set has been purposely developed by AOI for the new family of air-to-surface bombs and is known as Hafez 4. The fuse is electromechanical and features a solid-state micro-controller; it is 165 mm long, has a 70 mm diameter and weighs 2 kg. It can work in point detonation mode or in delayed mode, detonation delay being settable on 12 different times, from 0.01 to 1,000 seconds. The fuse set also contains an initiator; this is mounted on the top of the bomb body, between the bomb lugs. Connected to the fuse body, it ensures safety, providing the needed conditions to start the arming process, arming delay time being also available in 12 different settings, ranging from 2 to 25 seconds. The initiator is 68 mm long, has a 52 mm diameter and weighs 0.4 kg.

The Hafez-3 is a wholly different bomb as it is designed to penetrate bunkers and facilities. It is has a mass of 861 kg, of which 254 kg are explosive. The reduced amount of explosive compared to the Hafez-2 should indicate that a part of the forward body is made of hard metal exploiting the kinetic energy to add to the shockwave generated by the explosive; it does not come as a surprise that the Hafez-3 has only a tail fuse, that should be always set on delay. According to information gathered at the show, EDR On-Line understood the Hafez-3 is able to penetrate 1.8 metres of reinforced concrete.

All bombs are designed to be used both from Western-designed as well as from Russian-designed aircraft, bombing flight speed enveloped being 130-300 m/s, while their shelf life is of over 20 years, and can obviously be fitted with add-on guidance kits. According to the company the Hafez family of weapons was designed in cooperation with the Egyptian Air Force and is now ready for production.

Photo courtesy AOI