French shipbuilder DCNS has handed over a FREMM frigate to the Egyptian Navy, which will commission the vessel next month.
The frigate Tahya Misr was originally destined for the French Navy as the Normandie, but following Egypt’s urgent order for the vessel in February this year it was instead transferred to Egypt.
DCNS said the frigate was transferred to the Egyptian flag on 23 June in a ceremony at the company’s shipyard in Lorient attended by General Sedki Sobhy, the Egyptian minister of defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French defence, minister, Admiral Osama Rabie, Commander in Chief of the Egyptian Navy, Admiral Bernard Rogel, the French Chief of Navy and Hervé Guillou, Chairman and CEO of DCNS.
The ship is now being used to work up the crew, and is to be commissioned in late July. It will arrive in Egypt in time for the celebration marking the expansion of the Suez Canal on 6 August.
“A year ago, DCNS wrote the first lines of a strategic partnership bringing together the Group and the Egyptian Navy. Today, this privileged tie has taken on a new dimension. This event constitutes an important step in the crew taking on the FREMM,” stated Guillou.
“The supply of this latest-generation frigate comes on top of the contract for four GOWIND 2500 corvettes signed in [July] 2014. We are very proud to supply the Egyptian Navy with high-tech ships which will contribute towards the renewal of their surface-ship fleet,” he added.
Since the signature of the contract on 16 February with the Ministry of Defense of the Arab Republic of Egypt, DCNS has carried out the adaptation and outfitting work required for the Egyptian Navy to take on the frigate.
From March 2015, DCNS has been training the Egyptian crew. In order to operate such a highly-automated ship safely, DCNS and its partners accompany the crew for a period of 15 months, the company said. The programme is composed of several phases: theoretical modules, on-land training using platforms and simulators and then onboard training both at the quayside and at sea.
The contract with DCNS also includes support and through life support services for five years which will be carried out in Egypt by DCNS.
The multirole FREMM frigates have been designed for several roles, including anti-air, anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare. They feature Herakles multifunction radar, Aster surface-to-air missiles, MdCN cruise missiles, Exocet MM40 anti-ship missiles, MU90 torpedoes and an Otobreda 76 mm gun. Each vessel is 142 metres long, has a beam of 20 metres and displaces 6 000 tonnes.
Although there is accommodation for 145 personnel, the standard complement is 108 including the helicopter crew – the frigate has an aft helicopter hangar and deck able to accommodate medium helicopters like the NH90, EH101 and Cougar.
The FREMM’s hybrid CODLOG (COmbined Diesel eLectric Or Gas) power package combines electric motors for low-speed silent-mode propulsion and a gas turbine for high-speed mechanical propulsion, with a maximum speed in excess of 27 knots. This gives a range of 6 000 nm at 15 knots.
The FREMM handover comes days after the Egyptian Navy receives its final two of four Ambassador IV class fast missile craft, which arrived in Egypt by ship on 17 June.