French naval vendor DCNS launched the first Egyptian Navy Gowind 2500 corvette – the ENS al-Fateh (971) – for sea trials earlier this month.
Defence Web reports that the ENS al-Fateh was launched on 13 March for a four-day trial, but it had to return early on 15 March to rectify a minor propulsion issue. The al-Fateh is scheduled for delivery by the end of this year.
Egypt ordered four Gowind 2500 corvettes in a near €1 billion contract in 2015, under which three of the ships will be constructed in Egypt by Alexandria Shipyard.
The Gowind 2500 displaces at 2,600-tons and is armed with a 76-mm main gun, two 20-mm cannons, two quad-cell MBDA Exocet anti-ship missiles (AShM), two-triple anti-submarine warfare (ASW) torpedoes, and a 16-cell SYLVER A35 vertical-launch system (VLS). The SYLVER VLS can house surface-to-air missiles (SAM) such as the MBDA MICA-VL (20 km) and MBDA Sea Ceptor (25+ km).
Egypt has an option for two additional ships.
The Gowind 2500 are among several big-ticket items Egypt purchased from France, which also include two Mistral landing helicopter docks (LHD), a DCNS FREMM multi-mission frigate, and 24 Dassault Rafale multi-role fighters. The French government issued U.S. $3.76 billion in loans to back 60% of the cumulative value, with Egypt paying 40% up front from its national funds. The loan will be repaid in installments.