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Egyptian Navy - Modernization

Egypt has taken a number of steps to improve its navy. As part of its inculcation of Western technology, the navy holds joint maneuvers with units of the American, French, British and Italian navies. Egypt focused on upgrading the Egyptian fleet of eight submarines acquired from China. Egypt has modernizing four Chinese-built Romeo class submarines with improved weapon systems including Harpoon missiles, fire control systems and sonars.

The Egyptian Navy began benefiting from US assistance in 1994-96, receiving two Knox-class frigates from the US Navy, and two Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates. Two more Perry-class ships were under discussion for transfer in early 1996. The Navy was, in early 1996, contemplating how to acquire two conventional submarines from the West to replace and/or supplement the PRC-built Romeo-class boats now in service. As well, the Navy was contemplating the introduction of a new class of large patrol boats, or small corvettes, of some 75m in length, able to sustain the major part of the Navy's patrol duties.

Egypt leased two former US navy Knox class missile frigates and receiveed 10 ex-US Navy Seasprite ASW helicopters upgraded to SH-2G(E) standards. Between 1989 and 2003, the US Congress has appropriated $1.3 billion annually in nonrepayable Foreign Military Financing grants to Egypt. The Egyptian government used those funds to procure defense articles and services through commercial contracts or the Foreign Military Sales program. Between 1994 and 1998, the Egyptian government purchased six frigates from the U.S. Government under the Foreign Military Sales program using Foreign Military Financing funds.

From 1994 through 1998, the Egyptian government purchased two Knox-class and three Perry-class frigates for a total of $165.6 million from the U.S. Government under the Foreign Military Sales program. The Knox-class frigates were built in the 1970s and are steam boiler powered. The Perry-class frigates were built in the 1980s and are diesel turbine driven. Additionally, in September 1996, the U.S. Government gave one additional Perry-class frigate to the Egyptian government through a grant. The Egyptian Navy used those frigates to patrol the Mediterranean Sea, protect the Suez Canal, and participate in combined exercises with the U.S. Navy.

To support and maintain the six frigates, the Egyptian Navy purchased follow-on technical support. FMF funds financed five Foreign Military Sales cases. In February 2003, a NAVSEA official stated that over $279 million had been disbursed for follow-on technical support provided by BAV5 (Contractor) as well as materials, supplies, and personnel provided by the U.S. Navy under those five cases.

The U.S. Navy hired a contractor to provide technical support for the transferred ships and tasked contract employees to perform additional work on the Egyptian presidential yacht in 1999. An audit was performed in response to a complaint made to the Defense Hotline that alleged mismanagement of the Foreign Military Financing funds used for the Egyptian Navy Frigate program. Specifically, the complainant alleged that funds were inappropriately spent to (1) hire retired Egyptian Navy officers, (2) rebuild personal office space, (3) pay for trips to the United States, and (4) work on the Egyptian presidential yacht. The Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General determined that Naval Sea Systems Command approved the use of Foreign Military Financing funds to hire retired Egyptian Navy officers, to rebuild office space, and for trips to the United States; however, those actions were not inappropriate.

The Egyptian Navy chose the 60m, diesel-powered Ambassador Mk.III fast missile patrol craft; construction of the boats began in Spring 2001. Under the contract, Egypt would provide key weapons and sensors for the boats. Egypt already had the Ambassador patrol craft in service, but the new boats would contain an update in design meant to make the vessels more resistant to radar detection. The design was conducted with the assistance of Lockheed Martin. The Egyptian Navy does not currently have a modern, high speed, ship capable of providing deep and shallow water defensive protection for the approaches to the Suez Canal. Egypt intends to purchase these ships to enhance its overall ability to defend its coastal areas and the approaches to the Suez Canal and will have no difficulty absorbing these crafts into its armed forces./p>

The sale of Fast Missile Craft to Egypt was originally notified on 7 August 2004, in Transmittal 04-05 for three FMCs at a value of $565M. On 7 September 2008, the Administration notified an inflationary cost increase to that program in Transmittal OC-08, for an additional $485M. This notification of $240M brings the total notified value of the FMC program to $1.290B. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified the US Congress 17 December 2009 of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Egypt of the Fast Missile Craft (FMC) program and associated parts, equipment, training and logistical support for a complete package worth approximately $240 million.

The Government of Egypt requested a possible sale for the Fast Missile Craft (FMC) program which was previously reported under Congressional notifications 04-05 and 0C-08. This notification is to document the Government of Egypt’s decision to expand the program from three (3) FMCs to four (4) FMCs including the following; one (1) additional OTO-Malera 76mm/62 caliber Super Rapid Fire Dual Purpose guns, (1) additional MK 31 Mod 3 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Guided Missile Weapon System, installation of Hull, Mechanical, and Electrical equipment, communications, operations equipment, spare and repair parts, support equipment, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical documents, and U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support. The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.<

The Egyptian presidential yacht (Presidential Yacht) was commissioned in England in 1865 as the royal yacht for the Khedive Ismail of Egypt. In 1879, the ship ferried Khedive Ismail into exile as it would King Farouk in 1952. The Presidential Yacht is officially still in service in the Egyptian Navy. US Navy officials who have seen the ship identified it as a museum piece and a pleasure boat of state used mainly for Presidential parties. In 1999, NAVSEA authorized the use of at least $645,480 in FMF funds to replace sets of boiler tubes on the Egyptian presidential yacht. NAVSEA justified that expense as an opportunity to provide on-the-job training to three Egyptian workers. While those actions appear to fall outside the overall intent of FMF and the Contract, they were not directly prohibited. Since completing work on the Egyptian presidential yacht, NAVSEA has tightened program controls that should lessen the probability of incurring similar charges for work of a questionable nature.

On 25 June 2016 Russian Navy spokesman Viktor Kochemazov confirmed that Russia delivered a Project 1241 class R-32 missile corvette to the Egyptian Navy. The warship will help Cairo counter terrorism not only on land but also at sea, Kochemazov said, without elaborating on when the vessel was delivered to Egyptian Navy. In August 2015, it was reported that the Egyptian Defense Ministry said that they received the R-32, equipped with the Moskit missile system. The Ministry said at the time that a group of Egyptian sailors and engineers would be sent to Russia, where they will be trained ahead of being stationed aboard the R-32. The Project 1241 ships are a class of Soviet missile corvettes which have the NATO reporting name Tarantul.

ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) announced on 10 December 2015 that the first of four Type 209/1400 submarines it is building for Egypt at its Kiel yard had been launched and named S 41. This is the first time the German company has acknowledged the Egyptian Type 209 submarine contract, the existence of which was confirmed by Rear Admiral Osama Ahmed el-Gundi, the chief of the Egyptian navy staff, in August 2012.

The French Naval Group’s ENS al-Fateh corvette (model: Gowind), accompanied by the German-made submarine S 42, model 209/1400, sailed on 19 October 2017 to Alexandria Naval Base after they participated in a joint exercise with French naval forces in the Atlantic ocean. Egypt received the submarine in a large celebration in Kiel city in a deal signed between Egypt and Germany, to provide it with four modern submarines, which contain advanced offensive weapons, a torpedo fire control system, an electronic weapons control system, along with capability of launching anti-ship missiles and planting naval mines.

The third diesel-electric submarine of the Type 209 project, built by Egypt's order in Germany, was transferred to the Egyptian Navy on 03 May 2019. Vice Adm. Ahmed Khaled, the commander of the Egyptian Navy, participated in the flag-raising ceremony that took place in Germany's port city of Kiel. The submarine was expected to reach Egypt under the guidance of the Egyptian crew trained in Germany. The first submarine of the order joined the Egyptian Navy in late 2016, the second in August 2017.

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Page last modified: 08-05-2019 18:09:52 ZULU