TKMS hands over third Meko frigate to Egyptian Navy

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ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) has handed over the frigate Al-Qadeer to the Egyptian Navy during a ceremony in Germany, marking the third of four German-built frigates to be transferred to the North African nation.

Production work on Al-Qadeer began with the first steel cutting in late 2020, followed by keel laying in March 2021, launching in April 2022, and naming in October 2022. Handover was on 15 December 2023, with the ceremony attended by high-ranking representatives from the Egyptian and German Navies.

Oliver Burkhard, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, said, “Just six months after the handover of the second frigate, Al-Qahhar, another state-of-the-art ship was successfully delivered to the Egyptian Navy today. The handover marks the official completion of construction of the ships in Germany, all in record time. The fourth frigate will be completed at Alexandria Shipyard in close cooperation with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.”

Vice Admiral Ashraf Ibrahim Atwa, Commander in Chief of the Egyptian Navy, said: “Within only 14 months, the Egyptian Navy received the three Meko A200 frigates Al-Aziz, Al-Qahhar and Al-Qadeer. These repeated visits for the handovers are the actual proof of the extent of cooperation and friendship between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Federal Republic of Germany. As much the Egyptian Navy is proud to acquire the Meko A200 frigates, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems must also be proud for building them.”

Earlier in December, at the Egyptian Defence Exhibition (EDEX) 2023 in Cairo, the fourth frigate, Al-Jabbar, was launched for an expected delivery in October 2025.

In 2018, the Arab Republic of Egypt commissioned ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems to build a total of four identical ships. The first three units were built in Germany, while the fourth frigate is currently under construction at Alexandria Shipyard in Egypt.

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.