S43, the latest Type 209/1400 submarine to be handed over to Egypt by German submarine specialist TKMS, rendezvoused with French Navy units while en route to its base in Alexandria.
Accompanied by ENS Taba, a former US Navy Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate, the submarine carried out a passing exercise with French Navy patrol vessels between April 15 and 17. The exercise provided an opportunity for the two sides to hone interoperability and allowed the S43 to test different communications systems and radars.
French and Egyptian naval assets interact regularly with each other in the Mediterranean and Red Seas. One of the more notable bilateral exercises being conducted annually is the Cleopatra exercise, which usually takes place in the spring. It is unclear whether this year’s edition of the drill took place, or whether it would take place at all, concerning the COVID-19 outbreak and the Marine Nationale involvement in the country’s armed forces response to the pandemic as part of operation Resilience.
S43 is the third of four boats Egypt is to receive from Germany. TKMS delivered the first two boats, S41 and S42, in 2016 and 2017. Egypt will receive the fourth unit in 2021.
Type 209/1400 submarines displace approximately 1,450 tons and have a crew of 30. They are fitted with Atlas Elektronik’s SeaHake heavyweight torpedoes and Harpoon missiles.