ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) has launched the fourth and final Type 209/1400mod submarine for the Egyptian Navy during a ceremony at its yard in Kiel, Germany. This comes after an agreement for Alexandria Shipyard to build a single Meko A200 frigate in Egypt.
The Egyptian Navy’s newest submarine was launched on 29 September and officially named S44 by Vice Admiral Ahmed Khaled Hassan Said, Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Navy.
Dr Rolf Wirtz, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, said: “Given the global corona pandemic, we are pleased to welcome Vice Admiral Ahmed Khaled Hassan Said to celebrate this very special milestone. The naming of the fourth submarine proves how…we can work together even in challenging times.”
The contract for the delivery of the first two Type 209/1400 mod class submarines to the Arab Republic of Egypt was signed in 2011. In 2015, Egypt decided to take the option for two additional units.
The first submarine was handed over in December 2016 and the second submarine in August 2017. Subsequently, the third submarine, named S43, was handed over in April 2020. The submarines are designed for maritime defence as well as conflict prevention, surveillance, information gathering and operations by special forces, TKMS said.
The HDW Class 209/1400mod is the latest version of the HDW Type 209 with over 60 boats built or under contract. The class has an approximate length of 62 metres, diameter of 6.2 metres and displacement of 1 450 tons surfaced and 1 600 tons submerged. 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.
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.
Local Meko production
TKMS is also busy producing Meko A200 frigates for Egypt, and earlier this month Alexandria Shipyard confirmed that it will build a single Meko A200 locally next year as per an agreement with TKMS.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI’s) arms transfers database, Egypt ordered four of the frigates from Germany.
Alexandria Shipyard has built a number of naval vessels locally, including three Gowind class corvettes. The final vessel was launched at Alexandria Shipyard on 14 May this year. It took 61 months between first steel cut of the first corvette and the launch of the fourth ship in the programme.
Egypt ordered four Gowind 2500 vessels from France’s Naval Group in 2014, with the first, ENS El Fateh, built in France and delivered in October 2017. Egypt had been in discussion with France for another two Gowind vessels but instead chose to acquire Meko A200s from Germany.
France’s La Tribune in 2018 reported that Egypt and TKMS signed a contract in September that year for three Meko A200s to be manufactured in Germany and one in Egypt. Egypt is also considering the acquisition of two FREMM frigates from Italy’s Fincantieri.
The experience with the Gowind vessels has allowed Alexandria Shipyard to diversify from manufacturing commercial vessels. Naval Group has been instrumental in providing Alexandria Shipyard with experience in naval shipbuilding.
TKMS is advancing with construction of Egypt’s Meko frigates, with photos in June this year showing multiple sections of one vessel being completed at TKMS’s shipyard in Kiel.