Egypt is seeking Harpoon Block II missiles from the United States in a deal worth an estimated $143 million.
The US State Department approved the possible foreign military sale and issued notification to Congress on 11 May, according to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).
The proposed sale involves 20 UGM-84L Harpoon Block II Encapsulated Missiles, two Encapsulated Harpoon Certification Training Vehicles (EHCTV), containers, spare parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment.
“The proposed sale of these submarine-launched missiles will support the Egyptian Navy’s Type 209 submarines, increasing its anti-surface warfare and maritime security capabilities. Egypt already possesses Harpoon Block II missiles and will have no difficulty absorbing these additional weapons,” the DSCA said.
The prime contractor will be Boeing in St Louis, Missouri.
The Harpoon Block II offers an expanded engagement envelope, enhanced resistance to electronic countermeasures and improved targeting compared to earlier models. The Block II missiles continue progress begun with Block IE, and the Block II missile provides the Harpoon with a littoral-water anti-ship capability. The Block II weapon uses navigation systems from the Joint Direct Attack Munition and SLAM-ER.
Egypt has ordered four Type 209 submarines from Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS). TKMS said the first was launched in December last year and named S41.
The Egyptian submarine contract first surfaced in August 2012 when the deal was confirmed by Rear Admiral Osama Ahmed el-Gundi, the chief of the Egyptian navy staff. Preliminary negotiations for ex-German Navy Type 206A boats were reported to have begun in December 2004. Two were ordered in 2011 and another two in 2014.
The 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.