TKMS hands over second Meko frigate to the Egyptian Navy

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ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) has handed over the second Meko A200EN frigate ordered by Egypt during a ceremony in Bremerhaven, Germany, with two more to be delivered.

During the handover ceremony on 25 May, the Commander in Chief of the Egyptian Navy, Vice Admiral Ashraf Ibrahim Atwa, named the vessel Al-Qahhar, meaning The Irresistible Subduer.

“This project is considered a role model for many countries in the field of joint military industrialization,” Atwa said. “Today, with the delivery of the ‘Al-Qahhar’ frigate, our project has reached its midway.”

Construction work on Al-Qahhar started in December 2019, with keel laying in March 2020 and launching in August 2021. After being handed over to the Egyptian Navy, she started the journey to her homeport in Alexandria.

“With today’s handover ceremony, we add a further highlight to the excellent relationship between the Egyptian Navy and Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems,” said Paul Glaser, CFO of TKMS. “The ongoing cooperation on naval surface vessels and submarines is one of the cornerstones of the long-term partnership between our two countries. The first-of-class ship ‘Al-Aziz’ is already in service and has since proven its technical capabilities and reliability, and its sister ship ‘Al-Qahhar’ will be just as successful.”

Egypt ordered four structurally identical vessels, with the first three units being produced in Germany and the fourth vessel being built by Alexandria Shipyard in Egypt. The contract was signed in September 2018. The next milestone in this project will be the handover of the third vessel of the series, Alqadeer, later this year.

Alexandria Shipyard laid the fourth vessel down in March 2022. It is expected to be handed over to the Egyptian Navy in 2024.

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.