Egypt orders six Swiftship patrol boats


US company Swiftships has received a contract to build six 35 metre long patrol boats for the Egyptian Navy.

The patrol boats will be constructed at the Egyptian Ship Building and Repairs Company (ESBRC) in Alexandria, Egypt. Construction will be carried out by in-country labour under Swiftships supervision.

Contract negotiations are being finalised and procurement of materials will begin before 2015.

Swiftships said the 35 metre patrol boats were selected after a technical evaluation performed by a committee designated by the Egyptian Government. Swiftships has built a total of 23 boats for the Egyptian Navy including mine hunters, survey vessels, and both steel and aluminium patrol boats.

The 35 metre boats feature a hull and superstructure of all-welded aluminium alloy. The hull includes seven watertight bulkheads forming eight watertight compartments. The vessels have a range of 1 000 nautical miles, a normal speed of 30 knots and a complement of 12. They are powered by three engines rated at 2 450 hp. Armament options include a 30 mm MSI Defense Systems or Oto Melara gun, two .50 calibre machineguns and two 7.62 mm machineguns.

The boats can be refuelled at sea using side-by-side procedures, and run on diesel fuel. Weather survivability includes sea state 5, survival at the best heading, and fully operational capability at sea state 3.

Between 2010 and 2014 Swiftships designed and built four 28 metre patrol craft for the Egyptian Navy, with two assembled in Egypt and the other two co-produced by Egypt and Swiftships.

Egypt’s Coast Guard operates a smaller coastal patrol type, the Swift Protector. Swiftships describes these six boats as “the baby sisters of the 35 metre design,” as they were designed later than their larger brethren. The 26 metre Egyptian craft use waterjets that give them a top speed of 40 knots.

Nearby, the Iraqi Navy operates 12 35 metre Swiftships patrol boats.

The Swiftships acquisition is the latest by the Egyptian Navy, which in June this year ordered four Gowind corvettes from DCNS, becoming the type’s second export customer after Malaysia. Earlier this year Egypt began receiving four Ambassador III class fast missile craft from VT Halter Marine in the United States.