The German government has allowed ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) to deliver a submarine to Egypt. TKMS has so far delivered three Type 209/1400mod class submarines to the North African Nation, out of four on order.
Minister for Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier announced the decision of the Federal Security Council late last month to the Bundestag’s Economic Committee in a letter that was made available to the German Press Agency.
TKMS launched Egypt’s third Type 209/1400mod class submarines for the Egyptian Navy at a ceremony in Kiel, Germany, in May 2019.
The contract for the delivery of the first two Type 209/1400mod class submarines to Egypt was signed in 2011. In 2015, Egypt decided to take the option for two additional units of the most recent version of the Type 209 family.
The first submarine, named S41, was handed over in December 2016 and the second submarine, named S42, in August 2017. The programme is planned to end with the handover of the fourth ship in 2021.
The new Type 209s will most likely replace the Egyptian Navy’s four elderly Romeo class vessels delivered in 1983/84.
Egypt is a large customer for German military hardware, ordering 802 million euros worth of equipment in 2019. However, German exports have been controversial due to concerns over human rights abuses in Egypt and Egypt’s support for countries like Saudi Arabia, which is involved in conflict in Yemen.
The Federal Security Council also approved the export of four warships to Israel, Rheinmetall ammunition and fuses worth 179 million euros to Qatar, an RAS 72 Sea Eagle maritime patrol aircraft to Pakistan and Diehl Defence missiles to the Philippines.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Egypt’s arms imports tripled between 2010–14 and 2015–19, making it the world’s third-largest arms importer, with the acquisition of attack helicopters, fighter jets, naval vessels and other hardware. The upward trend in Egypt’s arms imports coincides with its military involvement in Libya and in Yemen, and fighting with rebel groups in the Sinai Peninsula. It might also be linked to Egypt’s concerns over the security of gas fields in the Mediterranean and water supply from the Nile Basin, SIPRI said.
Egypt may acquire additional hardware from Germany, after the German parliament in April 2019 approved the sale of six Meko A200 frigates to Egypt, providing guarantees of up to 2.3 billion euros for the transaction.