Egyptian Navy getting technical support from VSE Corporation for frigates, missile craft

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VSE Corporation continues to provide technical support for Egyptian Navy vessels and has received an $85.99 million contract to support the maintenance, repair and overhaul of four Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates, four fast missile craft, and two coastal minehunters.

The US Department of Defence on 16 August announced Virginia-based VSE Corporation had been awarded a follow-on technical support contract in support of the Egyptian Navy vessels. The majority (80%) of work for this contract will be performed outside the continental United States, and is expected to be completed by March 2023.

The contract was not competitively procured as only one responsible source and no other suppliers or services will satisfy agency requirements, the Department of Defence said.

In July last year, VSE Corporation was awarded a $41 million contract to deliver technical support to the Egyptian Navy.

“The contractor shall provide in-country technical assistance team (ICTAT) support to include technical, logistics, training, and facilities and administration support to the Egyptian Navy for work on multiple ship platforms. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $77 554 810.

“Work will be performed in Alexandria, Egypt (50%); and Alexandria, Virginia (50%), and is expected to be completed by June 2023. If all options are exercised, work will continue through June 2023,” the Department of Defence announced at the time.

Shephard Media reported in July 2019 that VSE was providing engineering services support via the Foreign Military Sales system to the Egyptian Navy for Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates, fast missile craft, coastal minehunters and 25 metre and 28 metre Fast Patrol Craft.

From 1994 through 1998, the Egyptian government purchased two Knox-class and three Perry-class frigates from the United States for a total of $165.6 million. Additionally, in September 1996, the US gave one additional Perry-class frigate to the Egyptian government through a grant. The Egyptian Navy has used those frigates to patrol the Mediterranean Sea, protect the Suez Canal, and participate in combined exercises with the US Navy.

More Swiftships

Meanwhile, Egypt is getting more Swiftships patrol craft from the United States. In March this year, Swiftships was awarded a contract for ten 28 metre Coastal Patrol Craft (CPCs) that will be delivered in kits and co-produced in Egypt at Alexandira Shipyard and Egyptian Ship Repair and Building Company. In addition, six additional 28 metre CPCs will be awarded under Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract, Swiftships revealed in March.

Swiftships is also supplying Zodiac rigid inflatable boats, forward-looking infrared systems (FLIRs), personal computer packages, and associated engineering technical data packages (TDPs).

The 28-meter CPCs reach a top speed of 22-25 knots with a range of 900 nautical miles. They are powered by two CAT diesel engines and equipped with 12.7 mm machine guns.

By combining Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) contracts, Swiftships will have co-produced 42 28-meter CPCs for the Egyptian Navy by the end of 2025. The two new contracts signed in 2022 will add 16 craft, with the Egyptian Navy’s total requirement of 50 CPCs by the end of 2027. In addition, Egypt and Swiftships have started co-market the 28-meter CPC to North African allied partners to the US.

EN has been co-producing Swiftships craft since 2010. The collaboration began in the early 1980s when Swiftships delivered its first set of eight 28m CPCs; later, in 1990, it delivered two 54-meter Mine-Hunters (MH) under a Direct Commercial Sales contract. In 2006, Swiftships further delivered six 26-metre Fast Patrol Craft (FPC), and in 2009, delivered two 28-meter CPCs and co-produced four kits built in Egypt under Swiftships’ guidance.

Swiftships has been discussing with the Egyptian Armaments Authority (EAA) the co-production of 35-meter Fast Patrol Vessels (FPV) in Alexandria to extend their capability from steel co-production to aluminium.

Egypt has an established local defence and security industry that produces a range of products from small arms to armoured vehicles and naval vessels. It has co-production agreements with several countries, including the United States and France.

Specializing in the construction of small to medium-sized watercraft built of steel, aluminium, and fibreglass, Swiftships offers turn-key solutions to all branches of the US military and 52 foreign countries. Over the last 70 years, Swiftships has built more than 600 hulls.