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While Africans Are Selling Their Defense Assets Egypt Just Launched Its Second Locally Built Corvette

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While Africans Are Selling Their Defense Assets Egypt Just Launched Its Second Locally Built Corvette
South Africa is busy trying to sell Africa’s largest weapons manufacturer to Saudi Arabia while the Arabs are building up their defense capabilities.

AFRICANGLOBE – The Egyptian Navy has launched its second locally built Gowind class corvette, Al-Moez, which was built by the Alexandria Shipyard Company in cooperation with France’s Naval Group.

The vessel was launched on 12 May during a ceremony attended by the Commander of the Egyptian Navy Vice Admiral Ahmed Khaled, Chief of Staff of Egypt’s military General Mohamed Farid, chairman of Alexandria Shipyard and the Consul General of France in Alexandria, Janina Herrera.

In 2014 Egypt ordered four Gowind vessels from France’s Naval Group (formerly DCNS) for one billion euros, with three to be built in Egypt. The first vessel, ENS El Fateh, was built in France and delivered to Egypt in October 2017.

Egypt’s first locally produced Gowind corvette, ENS Port Said, was launched during a ceremony in Alexandria on 6 September 2018. Naval Group has also supplied the FREMM frigate Tahya Misr to Egypt as well as two Mistral class landing helicopter docks (Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar El Sadat).

The Gowind design selected by Egypt is fitted with the Naval Group’s SETIS combat management system including Panoramic Sensors and Intelligence Module (PSIM). A panoramic bridge offers 360° visibility and a single enclosed mast offers 360° sensor visibility. The mast integrates the SETIS combat management system as well as most sensors of the Gowind corvette including SMART-S radar and electronic warfare equipment (including Sylena decoy launchers).

Egypt’s vessels are equipped with 16 VL-MICA surface-to-air missiles and eight Exocet MM40 surface-to-surface missiles as well as one 76 mm and two 20 mm guns. The vessels can each carry one medium helicopter and will be fitted with torpedo launchers. Sensors include a Kingklip sonar and Captas 2 towed sonar.

The Egyptian Gowind 2500 has a total length of 102 metres, a width of 16 metres, displacement of 2 600 tonnes and a maximum speed of 25 knots. Range at 15 knots is 3 700 nautical miles. Including a helicopter detachment, crew is 65 persons.

Egypt entered into talks with France for the acquisition of another two Gowind vessels, but in the end chose to acquire Meko A200 corvettes from Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS). Last month the German parliament’s Budget Committee gave approval for an export credit guarantee for six vessels. France’s La Tribune in November 2018 reported that a contract between Egypt and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems was signed in mid-September and was initially for two Meko corvettes, but was later expanded to cover three manufactured in Germany and one manufactured in Egypt.

La Tribune noted that in January, the German Federal Security Council approved production of a single Meko A200 for Egypt worth 500 million euros. Although financing has been approved, the German government still has to authorise the production of the five other Meko A200s, with exports being evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

TKMS already supplies Egypt with naval hardware and earlier this month launched the third of four Type 209/1400mod submarines for the Egyptian Navy.

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