Naval Group, formerly known as DCNS, has handed over the first Gowind 2500 corvette, ENS El Fateh, to the Egyptian Navy.
The company said the vessel was handed over on 22 September during a ceremony at its facilities in Lorient, France, in the presence of Admiral Ahmed Khaled, commander in chief of the Egyptian Navy, Hervé Guillou, President and CEO of Naval Group and senior officials of the French Navy and the French armament procurement agency.
Guillou said the programme was conducted in record time, the vessel being designed, built and tested in just three years.
“Naval Group and its industrial partners are mobilized to assist Egypt in the local construction in technology transfer of the three following corvettes. Once again I would like to enhance the exceptional professionalism of the Egyptian crew members and engineers,” Guillou said.
ENS El Fateh was due to take to the sea on 23 September on its voyage home to Egypt.
This vessel is the first of the four units ordered by the Egyptian Navy in 2014. It began sea trials in March this year after completing assembly in August 2016.
The other three Gowind 2500 corvettes are being built in Egypt, with Alexandria Shipyard cutting the first steel in April 2016.
The Gowind 2500 has a total length of 102 metres, a width of 16 metres, displacement of 2600 tonnes and a maximum speed of 25 knots. Range at 15 knots is 3 700 nautical miles. Including a helicopter detachment, crew is 80 persons.
The Gowind design selected by Egypt is fitted with DCNS’ SETIS combat management system. A panoramic bridge offers 360° visibility and a single enclosed mast offers 360° sensor visibility. DCNS installed the Panoramic Sensors and Intelligence Module (PSIM) on the El Fateh in October last year. The mast integrates the SETIS combat management system as well as most sensors of the Gowind corvette.
Egypt’s vessels will be equipped with VL-MICA surface-to-air missiles and Exocet MM40 surface-to-surface missiles as well as a 76 mm gun. The vessels can each carry one medium helicopter (such as the Eurocopter EC 725 Cougar) and will be fitted with a 57 mm gun and torpedo launchers. They are able to launch fast commando boats in under five minutes and have full provision for unmanned aerial and surface vehicles (UAVs and USVs).
El Fateh is the fourth vessel to be delivered to Egypt by Naval Group. “It forms part of a strategic and long-term partnership with Egypt. For the record, Naval Group delivered a FREMM frigate in 2015 and two Mistral-class LHDs in 2016,” the company said.
Six Gowind 2500 corvettes have also been ordered by Malaysia. On 24 August 2017, Naval Group’s Malaysian partner, Boustead Naval Shipyards, floated the first corvette intended for the Royal Malaysian Navy.