France’s Naval Group (DCNS) is delivering sensor masts to Egypt for installation on the Gowind corvettes being locally built by Alexandria Shipyard, with the first locally built vessel almost ready for launch.
According to Mer et Marine, one of the masts was loaded onto a freighter on 10 July in the port of Lorient and headed for Alexandria.
In 2014 Egypt ordered four Gowind 2500 corvettes for around 1 billion euros, with one, El Fateh (971) built in Lorient and the other three being built in Egypt. El Fateh was delivered to Egypt in October 2017.
Alexandria Shipyard cut the first steel in April 2016 and, according to photos posted on Twitter, the vessel (ENS Port Said, 976) is almost complete and getting ready to be launched while the third vessel is under construction, with a large portion of the bottom structure almost complete.
The Gowind design selected by Egypt is fitted with the Naval Group’s SETIS combat management system. A panoramic bridge offers 360° visibility and a single enclosed mast offers 360° sensor visibility. Naval Group installed the Panoramic Sensors and Intelligence Module (PSIM) on the El Fateh in October 2016. The mast integrates the SETIS combat management system as well as most sensors of the Gowind corvette including SMART-S radar and electronic warfare equipment (including Sylena decoy launchers).
All the PSIMs are produced and tested in Lorient by Naval Group and later installed on the corvettes once they are launched. The second Gowind corvette was fitted with its mast in March 2018, so the latest delivery must be for the third vessel.
Egypt’s vessels will be equipped with 16 VL-MICA surface-to-air missiles and eight Exocet MM40 surface-to-surface missiles as well as one 76 mm and two 20 mm guns. The vessels can each carry one medium helicopter (such as the Eurocopter EC 725 Cougar) and will be fitted with torpedo launchers. Sensors include a Kingklip sonar and Captas 2 towed sonar.
The Egyptian Gowind 2500 has a total length of 102 metres, a width of 16 metres, displacement of 2600 tonnes and a maximum speed of 25 knots. Range at 15 knots is 3 700 nautical miles. Including a helicopter detachment, crew is 65 persons.
Egypt is in talks with France to acquire another two Gowind corvettes, but apparently talks have stalled over cost concerns. If ordered, they would be produced by France in Lorient.
In addition to the Gowind corvettes, Naval Group has supplied the FREMM multi-mission frigate Tahya Misr to the Egyptian Navy as well as two Mistral class landing helicopter docks.