Egypt received the first of four Gowind corvettes, named Al-Fateh, on Wednesday after reaching Egyptian waters coming French port of Lorient. The deal between the Egyptian navy and French manufacturer Naval Group includes three more similar vessels.
A German first Type-209/1400 submarine will also join the navy. The ship is supplied by German shipbuilding company Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft to Egypt. It can sail up to 11,000 nautical miles when surfaced and has a maximum speed of 21 knots. It also has the ability to launch missiles and torpedoes and is reportedly equipped with the latest navigation and communication systems that can protect the country’s coasts and waters. The deal included supplying four submarines constructed by the company from the German city of Kiel, as assistance to Egypt’s navy.
During the trip to Egypt, the corvette participated in a drill with the French navy in the Atlantic ocean. The deal is part of the armed forces support for “combat and technical capabilities” of naval forces, according to the Egyptian army official spokesperson. Naval Group reported that ten units of the Gowind 2500 corvette were ordered so far, the other six ones by the Malaysian navy.
The two warships are expected to participate in military drills with live rounds to commemorate the 44th anniversary of the October War.
Egypt and the US concluded a major drill that started on 10 September. Operation “Bright Star” drills were the first between the two countries after an eight-year suspension. According to Reuters, the exercise that was due to take place every two years was cancelled in 2011 during Egypt’s transitional period following the toppling of former President Hosni Mubarak.
Last July, A military drill between the naval forces of Egypt and France took place with the presence of the newly acquired Mistral warships in regional waters in both the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Several aircraft carriers and different boats participated in the drills, in addition to the Egyptian F16 fighter jets.
The Mistral warship deal is part of many other agreements signed between Egypt and France. In January, Egypt received three Rafale jets, the second batch of a deal signed between both countries to sell 24 Rafale jets. The first batch arrived in July 2015.
They were named after presidents Anwar Al-Sadat and Gamal Abdel Nasser and were assigned to secure gas fields around the Mediterranean, as well as being on call if Gulf countries ask Egypt for aid.
This also comes as the Egyptian army also held joint exercises with Russia in the southern city of Novorossiysk. The operation named “Friendship Defenders” aims at training Russian and Egyptian paratroopers.