Third Type 209 submarine on its way to Egypt


The Egyptian Navy’s third Type 209/1400mod submarine is making its way from Germany to Egypt after being handed over by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS), with a fourth due for delivery next year.

The vessel, S43, was seen transiting the Kiel Canal on 14 April. TKMS said the submarine was officially handed over to the Egyptian Navy on 9 April. Due to strict coronavirus prevention measures at the shipyard, the handover took place in Kiel without a ceremony, amongst only the inner circle of project managers.

Dr Rolf Wirtz, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, stated: “Given the global corona pandemic, this handover marks a very special milestone for us. We are extremely proud of our employees, who completed the boat on time and in line with our comprehensive health protection measures. A big thank you for this. With tremendous care and discipline, something very special has been achieved! Our thanks also go to our customer, who has always put great trust in our capabilities!”

In a personal letter prior to the handover, Vice Admiral Ahmed Khaled Hassan Said, Chief of the Egyptian Navy, expressed gratitude to TKMS for ensuring the delivery on schedule.

S43 was launched on 3 May 2019 during a ceremony in Kiel before undergoing sea trials ahead of delivery.

The contract for the delivery of the first two Type 209/1400mod class submarines to Egypt was signed in 2011. In 2015, Egypt decided to take the option for two additional units of the most recent version of the Type 209 family.

The first submarine, named S41, was handed over in December 2016 and the second submarine, named S42, in August 2017. The programme is planned to end with the handover of the fourth ship in 2021.

In March 2020, Germany’s Federal Security Council gave approval for the delivery of the fourth and final submarine. The Council also approved the sale of a single frigate to Egypt. At €290 million in sales, Egypt was by far the largest arms buyer from Germany in the first quarter of this year, Deutsche Welle reports. The German parliament in April 2019 approved the sale of six Meko A200 frigates to Egypt, providing guarantees of up to 2.3 billion euros for the transaction.

Egypt’s new Type 209 submarines have a range of 11 000 nautical miles, a top speed of 21 knots and displacement of over 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 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.

The new Type 209s will most likely replace the Egyptian Navy’s four elderly Romeo class vessels delivered in 1983/84.