The Egyptian Navy has launched its third locally built Gowind class corvette, which was constructed at the Alexandria Shipyard.
The ENS Luxor (986), built by the Alexandria Shipyard Company in cooperation with France’s Naval Group, was launched on 14 May. Naval Group said that with the Gowind programme, Alexandria Shipyard has upskilled from a civilian shipyard to being able to achieve complex military qualifications and high-quality results thanks to the cooperation with Naval Group’s local teams.
“The launching ceremony of the third warship built in Egypt celebrates the rise in competences of the Alexandria shipyard teams who are now able to build both civilian boats and military vessels. This is a new proof of our industrial cooperation,” Naval Group said.
Egypt’s defence minister Mohamed Zaki attended the launch along with other dignitaries, including French Ambassador in Cairo, Stefan Romaté.
In 2014 Egypt ordered four Gowind vessels from France’s Naval Group (formerly DCNS) for one billion euros, with three to be built in Egypt. The first vessel, ENS El Fateh, was built in France and delivered to Egypt in October 2017.
Egypt’s first locally produced Gowind corvette, ENS Port Said, was launched during a ceremony in Alexandria on 6 September 2018 while the second locally built vessel, Al-Moez, was launched on 12 May 2019.
The Gowind design selected by Egypt is fitted with the Naval Group’s SETIS combat management system including Panoramic Sensors and Intelligence Module (PSIM). A panoramic bridge offers 360° visibility and a single enclosed mast offers 360° sensor visibility. The mast integrates the SETIS combat management system as well as most sensors of the Gowind corvette including SMART-S radar and electronic warfare equipment (including Sylena decoy launchers).
Egypt’s vessels are equipped with 16 VL-MICA surface-to-air missiles and eight Exocet MM40 surface-to-surface missiles as well as one 76 mm and two 20 mm guns. The vessels can each carry one medium helicopter and will be fitted with torpedo launchers. Sensors include a Kingklip sonar and Captas 2 towed sonar.
The Egyptian Gowind 2500 has a total length of 102 metres, a width of 16 metres, displacement of 2 600 tonnes and a maximum speed of 25 knots. Range at 15 knots is 3 700 nautical miles. Including a helicopter detachment, crew is 65 persons.
Egypt entered into talks with France for the acquisition of another two Gowind vessels, but in the end chose to acquire Meko A200 corvettes from Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS). TKMS already supplies Egypt with naval hardware and recently delivered the third of four Type 209/1400mod submarines to the Egyptian Navy. Submarine S43 arrived in Alexandria on 5 May, and was inspected by Zaki on 14 May. “The new submarine is a major deterrent force added to the Egyptian Navy,” Egypt’s military said.