The Egyptian Navy will in the coming weeks induct into service another two Ambassador class fast attack craft after they arrived in the port of Alexandria on 17 June.
The United States Embassy in Cairo said the final two vessels were transported to Egypt via a US transport ship and double Egypt’s total fleet of fast missile craft from two to four. Having received training on the Fast Missile Craft in Pensacola, Florida, Egyptian Navy personnel are now conducting all required inspections and will activate the vessels in Alexandria shortly.
U.S. Embassy Senior Defense Official in Cairo Major General Charles Hooper, noted that, “The Fast Missile Craft directly supports maritime and regional security, which includes protecting vital waterways such as the Suez Canal and the Red Sea. This delivery is a sign of America’s ongoing commitment to Egypt and to our shared security interests in Egypt and the region.”
The $1.1 billion fast missile craft project began in 2005, when plans were initiated by the US Department of Defense to help produce a naval vessel for the Government of Egypt. The four 63 metre Ambassador IV class vessels were built by VT Halter Marine in Pascagoula, Mississippi, which received a production contract in September 2008.
The first vessel, ENS S Ezzat, was transferred to the Egyptian Navy in a ceremony in Florida in November 2013 while the second, ENS F Zerky, was handed over in December. Both were shipped to Egypt in late May 2014.
Each of the craft carry an OTO Melara 76 mm super rapid gun, eight Harpoon block II missiles, Mk 49 Rolling Airframe Missiles, Block 1B Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWSs) and two M60 machineguns.
Powered by three MTU diesels, they have a top speed of 41 knots and with a crew of 38 they can operate at sea for up to eight days.
The US embassy said the four vessels “will contribute significantly toward ensuring regional security, countering terrorism, and protecting global commerce. The Fast Missile Craft is designed to counter Egypt’s current maritime surface threats and provide freedom of navigation. They will also help protect civilian and commercial vessels entering Egypt’s territorial waters through coastal patrol surveillance and maritime searches.”