Egyptian orders fourth stealth fast missile craft


The US Navy has awarded VT Halter Marine of Pascagoula, Florida, a US$165 million foreign military sales (FMS) contract to build the Egyptian Navy a fourth stealthy fast missile craft (FMC). The yard’s owners, ST Engineering of Singapore, says this take the value of the four 600-ton craft – all still under construction to US$807 million.

ST Engineering, in a statement, says VT Halter Marine has begun construction on the first FMC and expects to deliver it by mid-2012. This will be the culmination of a process that started in 2005 when it secured the initial Phase I functional design contract for approximately US$29 million. Two subsequent contract modifications were awarded in November 2006 and June 2007 respectively for procuring the FMC project’s long lead items which added US$206.5 million to the contract.

Subsequent changes in the scope of work further increased the Phase I contract value to US$249.2 million, ST Engineering says. With the award of Phase II of the FMC project in September 2008, the total contract value awarded to ST Engineering for the first three FMCs amounted to US$642 million. “This latest US$165 million contract reflects non-recurring cost reductions from the first three vessels contracted earlier and government furnished equipment which was previously provided by VT Halter Marine.”

The FMC is designed to perform coastal patrol, surveillance, interdiction, surface strike and naval battle group support for the 21st Century, ST Engineering says. “The vessels will allow the Republic of Egypt to maintain the security of its coastal regions for both itself and friendly countries, while denying access to the areas by any potential adversaries. Each vessel will be approximately 62m in length and will incorporate ship signature control [stealth] technology.
“High speed and maneuverability are two of the ship’s primary assets to fulfill these roles. The vessels will also incorporate numerous combat system assets and electronic sensors, equipping the vessels with capabilities in anti-aircraft, anti-surface and electronic warfare.,” ST Engineering says.

This includes a 76mm cannon forward and a 20mm Phalanx close-in weapons system aft.