Formerly the Emilio Bianchi before being acquired by the Egyptian Navy and being renamed, ENS Bernees was constructed by Italian company Fincantieri.
A video footage released by the Egyptian Ministry of Defence (MoD) shows ENS Bernees (1003) being escorted into the Ras-al-Tin Naval Base several naval vessels including two Mistral LHDs, two FREMM Bergamini-class frigates, two Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates, one FREMM Aquitaine-class frigate, two Gowind-class corvettes, three Type-209/1400mod submarines and two Type-033 Romeo-class submarines.
The FREMM is a class of multi-purpose frigates designed by French Naval Group and Italian Fincantieri for their respective countries. Eighteen FREMM ships (8 for France, 10 for Italy) will be constructed, with the first FREMM delivered in 2012, and the last in 2022.
According to Egypt’s MOD, the vessel will help Egypt secure its borders, support and protect land forces along the coast during offensive and defensive operations, and secure natural resources in the Mediterranean and Red Seas.
Italy’s FREMM is being developed in two designs: Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) and General Purpose (armed with DCNS Sylver A-50 Vertical Launching System / VLS).
The General purpose variant of the FREMM warship is armed with a Leonardo 127/64 mm LightWeight (LW) mm gun, a 76/62 mm Super Rapido gun and two 25 mm guns, MBDA SAAM-ESD (Surface Anti-Air Missile – Extended Self-Defence) Air Defence Missile system able to launch the Aster family of surface-to-air missiles.
The estimated unit cost of a FREMM for the Italian Navy is EUR1.2 billion, but Egypt netted each vessels for just EUR990 million, EUR210 million lesser likely because all NATO-standard equipment were removed prior to delivery.
This frigate sale, is believed to be part of a larger contract that includes four more frigates, 20 Falaj class corvettes, 24 Eurofighter Typhoon fighters, 24 M346 jet trainers, and a surveillance satellite.