Egypt Caterpillar D7R II Armoured Bulldozer

On the 14th August 2013 Egyptian security forces moved to clear protest camps in Cairo.  These camps contained supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi who was removed from power in military coup in July 2013.  The attempted removal of these camps has resulted in widespread violence, hundreds of deaths and left the country in a declared state of emergency [1].

The presence of at least one armoured bulldozer in the removal of protest camps has been heavily reported and photographed.  The author has identified the type used as an Egyptian Army armoured Caterpillar D7R-II medium Bulldozer.  Supporting evidence of this identification can be found directly on the US manufacturers website [2].

At the time of writing the author has been unable to find any prior reference to the procurement and operation of this vehicle type by Egypt other than a single unreferenced source indicating 240 D7 units are in Egyptian Service [3].  This same source indicates that Egypt also operates the much larger Caterpillar D9, though this cannot be verified.  Armoured variants of the D9 are operated by US forces and Israeli forces.

Reports had indicated the presence of multiple bulldozers operating against protest camps, but the imagery currently available cannot confirm this.  The only identifying marking is a black circles number ‘45’ which is clearly visible in a number of images [4].  This could represent a unit marking or potentially an individual vehicle marking, the latter would not support reports of multiple bulldozers deployed.

The author does not condone the use of these vehicles in the manner reported and the purpose of this article and this site in general is to identify and highlight lesser known military vehicle service.  Any political comments will be removed.

[1] August 14th Clashes (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_14th_clashes (accessed 15/08/2013) 
[2] Caterpillar http://www.cat.com & Caterpillar D7RII Brochure: http://www.cat.com/cda/files/1856782/7/DFP%20D7R-II%20web.pdf (accessed 15/08/2013)
[3] Equipment of the Modern Egyptian Army (Wikipedia) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equipment_of_the_modern_Egyptian_Army (accessed 15/08/2013)  
[4] This is not believe to relate to the vehicles weight, which based on manufacture information is in the region of 30-35 tonnes.