Fourth Meko frigate launched by Egypt’s Alexandria Shipyard

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Alexandria Shipyard has launched the Egyptian Navy’s first locally built Meko A200 frigate – the fourth overall for the North African nation.

The Al-Jabbar (910) was launched on 4 December to coincide with the EDEX 2023 defence exhibition underway in Cairo from 4-7 December. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi attended the launch ceremony.

Alexandria Shipyard said manufacture and assembly of the first Meko A200 took two years. Egypt has positioned itself among the few countries to manufacture large military vessels, it said. “Today we celebrate the inauguration and launching of the first Meko A200 stealth frigate by 100% Egyptian hands.”

The shipyard added that “the launching and sailing of Egyptian frigates are now an undeniable reality, underscoring that Egypt is advancing full throttle…to boost the Egyptian position in the field of military production, meeting international standards by Egyptian hands.”

Egypt ordered four structurally identical vessels from ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS), with the first three units being produced in Germany and the fourth vessel built by Alexandria Shipyard in Egypt. The contract was signed in September 2018.

TKMS handed over the second Meko A200, Al-Qahhar, in May this year after work began in December 2019. The first-of-class ship Al-Aziz was handed over in October 2022 and is already in service, while the third frigate (Al Qadeer/909) was launched in April 2022.

Each of Egypt’s new Meko frigates is 121 metres long and displaces 3 700 tons, with a top speed of 29 knots. Armament is eight MM40 Block 3 Exocet and 32 VL MICA NG missiles plus a Vulcano 127 mm main gun and four 20 mm cannon, as well as MU90 lightweight and DM-2A4 (SeaHake Mod 4) heavyweight torpedoes.

Equipment includes Thales Scorpion 2 electronic warfare system and NS-110 4D active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, ALTSSE-H Communication Electronic Support Measures/Communications Intelligence system, and Mirador Mk 2 electro-optical system.

The four Meko frigates will ultimately replace the ageing Oliver Hazard Perry-class vessels that comprise the bulk of the Egyptian Navy’s escort fleet.