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Egypt receives Gowind 2500 corvette and Type 209 submarine

The Egyptian Ministry of Defence announced that the Egyptian Navy’s first DCNS Gowind 2500 corvette (the Elfateh) and second (S 42) Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) Type 209/1400 diesel-electric submarine (SSK) arrived at a naval facility at Alexandria on Wednesday, 18 October.

Egypt has four Gowind 2500 corvettes on order under a €1 billion order from France in 2015 and four TKMS Type 209/1400 SSKs from Germany in 2012.

Egypt officially accepted the first two Type 209/1400 SSKs in December 2016, with the first being delivered in April of this year. The Type 209/1400 is equipped with eight 533 mm torpedo tubes that can fire heavyweight anti-submarine warfare (ASW) torpedoes and anti-ship missiles (AShM).

The Gowind 2500 has a displacement of 2,600 tons and it is armed with a 76-mm main gun, two 20-mm cannons, two quad-cell MBDA Exocet AShM, two-triple ASW torpedo tubes and a 16-cell SYLVER A35 vertical launch system (VLS) for the MBDA MICA-VL. Egypt has an option to procure two additional ships.

Cairo ordered the Gowind 2500s from France as part of a multi-billion-dollar arms package which included two Mistral landing helicopter docks (LHD), a DCNS FREMM multi-mission frigate and 24 Dassault Rafale fighters. Paris provided a $3.76 billion loan to support 60% of the deal, with Cairo providing 40% in upfront payments from its own national funds.

Egypt took delivery of both Mistral LHDs – i.e. Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar el-Sadat – in 2016.

Egypt is also taking delivery of its Rafale fighters, with the latest batch of two aircraft delivered in July. The Rafales include air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions, among them MBDA’s Hammer stand-off range precision-guided bomb suite, MICA RF and MICA IR air-to-air missiles, SCALP air-launched cruise missile and Exocet AShM.

Collectively, these weapon systems have helped the Egyptian Navy and Egyptian Air Force modernize their respective fleets with new equipment. However, the Egyptian forces have also gained capabilities in terms of expeditionary deployment (via the Mistral LHD) and long-range strike (via the Rafale).