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Today "S43", Hull number 867, was handed over to the Navy of the Arab Republic of Egypt. It is clear from the shipyard's press release that the ceremony took place in the narrowest circle. The Egyptian Navy inspector, Vice Admiral Ahmed Khaled Hassan Said, had gotten himself involved in writing.

Eleven months after his baptism on May 3, 2019 (ESUT reported) the unit could be completed and handed over. This despite the current adversity due to Corona. A fact that Dr. Rolf Wirtz, CEO of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (tkMS), addressed the project managers in his speech. “S43” came back to the Schleswig-Holstein state capital on April 3, which it had left north on March 23 to fulfill the performance records before the handover.

"S43" is the third of four submarines for Egypt. In 2011 the contract for the delivery of two boats was concluded. Cairo decided in 2015 to draw an option for two more. The program is expected to end with the handover of the fourth ship in 2021.


Key data:

Total length: approx. 62 meters

Diameter: approx.6.2 meters

Displacement: Above water approx. 1,450 tons; Underwater: approx.1,600 t

Crew: 30

Armament: six torpedo tubes

The HDW class 209 / 1400mod is the latest version of the series with over 60 units built or contracted (factory information).


tkMS and Egypt: frigate ambitions and international competition

Little is known about another project that connects thyssenkrupp Marine Systems with Egypt: the delivery of three Meko A200 frigates. According to a newspaper report from April 2019, the federal government is supporting the delivery of three frigates to Egypt worth around 2.3 billion euros. A referral to the Budget Committee of the German Bundestag on April 3, 2019 was positive. In September 2019, regional and specialist newspapers reported that Bremerhaven's Stahlbau Nord, a company of the Rönner Group, which is known for the construction of hulls and sections, produces steel sections for the construction of the Egyptian Meko on behalf of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems.

In addition to the French Naval Group, Italy is now also involved in the frigate for Egypt. In February 2020, the French trade press, citing Italian media, reported on efforts by the Italian Fincantieri to sell or lease two FREMM-class frigates - from holdings by the Italian Navy, which currently operates eight of this class, and two more are currently being completed . According to the French reports, the governments are agreed. Rome had given its consent and the financial agreement was underway. The two ships that have not yet entered service may be available (F598 "Spartaco Schergat" and F599 "Emilio Bianchi").

The FREMM class is a joint Franco-Italian project. France gave Egypt a unit of this class in 2015 (the former "Normandy", now "Tahya Misr").


New armaments partners

The USA has traditionally been a strong (armaments) partner for the Egyptian armed forces. However, after the Muslim Brotherhood was disempowered, relations deteriorated and the country began to look for alternatives. And has been using since 2015 in France (two LPH (DropShips helicopter carriers), four Corvettes, one frigate, 24 (+12?) Rafale fighter jets) and in Russia (Su-35, Mig-29, KA-52 attack helicopters). Beijing is now showing interest in the Egyptian armed forces.

In connection with the arms cooperation between Cairo and Paris, which has been in place since 2015, the French Naval Group agreed with the Egyptian government in 2018 to found a subsidiary to operate and maintain the Gowind-class corvettes.

The Gowind 2500 design is one of two variants of the multi-purpose corvette developed by the (then) DCNS (for air (AAW), sea target combat (ASuW) and submarine defense (ASW)). The Egyptian Navy reached an agreement in June 2014 with Naval Group, at that time still DCNS, on a contract for the delivery and construction of four Gowind 2500 corvettes, including an agreement on technology transfer. Accordingly, three units were to be built on the Egyptian Alexandria Shipyard. "Al Moez", Hull number 981, the third Gowind 2500 Corvette of the Egyptian Navy, was launched on May 12 in Alexandria.

With the subsidiary "Alexandria Naval for Maintenance and Industry (ANMI)" Naval Group strengthens its presence in the country on the Nile. In August 2015 the group delivered the Fremm frigate "Tahya Misr", Hull number 1000, in 2016 two LPH (landing craft helicopter carriers) of the Mistral class to the Egyptian Navy - "Gamal Abdel Nasser" (L1010), "Anwar El Sadat ”(L1020).

Hans Uwe Mergener