Abu Zabaal Company for Specialty Chemicals

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Last Updated: February 1, 2011
Other Name: Factory 18 and Factory 90
Location: Abu Zabaal, northeast of Cairo
Subordinate To: Ministry of Military Production [1]
Size: Multiple factories, missile test site
Facility Status: Operational, involved in missile production

Founded in 1950 to produce propellants and explosives, the Abu Zabaal Company continues to specialize in the design, development, and production of propellants and rocket motors. [2]

During the 1960s, the Abu Zabaal Company produced specialty chemicals for the al-Zafir, al-Kahir, and al-Ra'id ballistic missiles. [3] In the 1980s, the firm joined with the Consen Group—a subsidiary of the West German aerospace firm Messerchmitt Boelkow Blohm (MBB)—to develop the Vector (Condor II) missile program. Consen had hired WTB International AG (a subsidiary of a Swiss-German firm) to build a missile fuel and test area for the Vector program at Abu Zabaal, but production never started because of the dissolution of the Vector/Condor II partnership between Argentina, Iraq, and Egypt. [4] Prior to the dissolution of the relationship, however, the Abu Zabaal Company helped Iraq build the Taj al-Ma'arik solid-fueled propellant plant at Latifiyah (al-Hillah). [5]

Sources:
[1] Hammam Nasr, "Egypt: Military Factories," International Market Insight, 1998, www.fas.org.
[2] "Abu Zabaal Company for Specialty Chemicals (Factory 18)," Federation of American Scientists Website, www.fas.org; Hammam Nasr, "Egypt: Military Factories," International Market Insight, 1998, www.fas.org.
[3] "Egypt: Production Capability," Jane's CBRN Assessments, 5 December 2008, www.janes.com.
[4] Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, "Egypt's Missile Efforts Succeed with Help from North Korea," The Risk Report 2, No. 5, September-October 1996, www.wisconsinproject.org.
[5] "Abu Zabaal Company for Specialty Chemicals (Factory 18)," Federation of American Scientists, www.fas.org.

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