German shipbuilder thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) handed over the first Meko A-200 EN frigate to the Egyptian Navy in a ceremony on October 14.
Egypt ordered a total of four ships from Germany under a 2.3 billion euro (US$2.5B) contract that will see the first three units built in Germany and the fourth one built by Alexandria Shipyard in Egypt.
TKMS noted that future ENS Al-Aziz (pennant number 904) was accepted by the Egyptian Navy after only 38 months of the contract becoming effective.
After negotiations started in May 2018, Egypt and Germany signed the contract for the four frigates in September 2018. Project work formally began in August 2019, while the first steel was cut in September 2019. Al-Aziz was launched in les than a year later, in April 2021. The ship is expected to start her journey to her homeport in Alexandria in a few days.
Besides the handover ceremony, the celebrations included the naming of the second ship in the class. The Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Navy, Vice Admiral Ashraf Ibrahim Atwa, named the warship Al-Qadeer.
“I am grateful to the friendly Republic of Germany for the constructive relationship which sets the example to be followed by others. Germany always supports Egypt with the up-to-date technology needed to enhance our naval capabilities. We have a longstanding and successful history of cooperation, as reflected in the highly efficient 209 submarines,” Vice Admiral Atwa commented.
Egypt’s Meko A-200s measure 121 meters in length and displace 3,700 tons. They feature CODAG-WARP propulsion systems that incorporate water jet and refined propellers, allowing them to reach speeds of 29 knots. Two CPP propeller shafts driven by cross-connectable diesel engines plus a center-line gas turbine-driven water jet combine the power of each drive in the water without the need of a combining gearbox.
When it comes to armament, they carry 32-cell vertical launch systems for MICA-NG surface-to-air missiles. Other armament includes Exocet anti-ship missiles, an Oto Melara 127/64 LW main gun, and MSI-Defence 30 mm cannons.