AFRICANGLOBE – ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) has handed the first of four new Type 209 submarines to Egypt, and named the second.
The submarine (S41) was handed over at the shipbuilder’s facilities in Kiel on 12 December, a year after TKMS announced the launch of the vessel.
The naming ceremony of S42 and handover of S41 was attended by Vice Admiral Osama Rabie, Commander of the Egyptian Navy, Markus Grübel, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Defense, Vice Admiral Rainer Brinkmann, Deputy Chief of Staff of the German Navy, and high-ranking representatives from Egypt.
TKMS noted that S41 and S42 are the first two of four submarines. “Since the start of production of the first submarine at ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems in Kiel, the construction programme has proceeded on schedule and achieved further important milestones with today’s naming of submarine S42 and handover of submarine S41 to the customer,” TKMS said.
Dr. Peter Feldhaus, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems said, “We are proud to have reached this significant milestone in the construction programme for the Egyptian Navy. This success was possible only thanks to constant further development of our products, an open and trusting dialogue with our customer as well as our highly motivated and skilled employees.”
The Egyptian military said the vessel will be used to protect Egypt’s national security, protect its economic interests and ensure safe and free navigation of the Suez Canal and other regions. According to a statement by the Egyptian military, the vessels have a range of 11 000 nautical miles, a top speed of 21 knots and displacement of 1 400 tonnes.
Egypt said the Type 209/1400s will be able to launch missiles and torpedoes – it is believed they will be fitted with Harpoon anti-ship missiles.
The new Type 209s will most likely replace the Egyptian Navy’s four elderly Romeo class vessels delivered in 1983/84.
News of the Egyptian submarine contract first surfaced in August 2012 when the deal was confirmed by Rear Admiral Osama Ahmed el-Gundi, the chief of the Egyptian navy staff. Preliminary negotiations for ex-German Navy Type 206A boats were reported to have begun in December 2004. Two new Type 209s were ordered in 2011 and another two in 2014.
The Type 209 attack submarine was developed for export by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft of Germany. Five variants of the class (209/1100, 209/1200, 209/1300, 209/1400 and 209/1500) have been exported to over a dozen countries, with more than 60 submarines being built and commissioned.
The average Type 209 has a crew of 30 and displaces 1 594 tons submerged. The type is 62 metres long with a 6.2 metre pressure hull diameter. It can dive to a maximum depth of 250 metres and is armed with eight torpedo tubes with 14 torpedoes. Speed is ten knots on the surface and 21 knots dived.
Egypt has received a number of new vessels over the last year. In September it received its second and final Mistral class landing helicopter dock, Anwar el-Sadat, from DCNS, which also floated the first of four Gowind corvettes for the Egyptian Navy.
By 2020, DCNS will have supplied seven combat vessels to Egypt. In July 2014 Egypt ordered four Gowind corvettes, and in August 2015 received the FREMM multi-mission frigate Tahya Misr. Alexandria shipyards is building three of the four Gowind corvettes acquired in 2014 – work on the first began at the beginning of this year.
Tahya Misr, along with two Ambassador class fast missile craft, took part in the Medousa 3/16 naval exercise with the Greek navy between 4 and 8 December off Crete. The exercise focussed on visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) tactics and search and rescue. Egypt received the last two of four Ambassador class vessels from the United States in June 2015.