Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems on 14 October 2022 handed over the first-of-class MEKO A-200 EN to the Navy of the Arab Republic of Egypt.
A total of four ships were ordered, with the first three units produced in Germany and the fourth vessel built by Alexandria Shipyard in Egypt. At the ceremony in Bremerhaven, the frigate “AL-AZIZ” was accepted by the Egyptian Navy after only 38 months of the contract becoming effective.
In January, the Egyptian military-owned Alexandria shipyard announced that it was building the fourth and last Egyptian Navy MEKO A200 frigates at the company’s construction facility in Alexandria, in cooperation with the Germany-based Thysskenkrupp (TKMS).
“AL-AZIZ” (904) is the first of four MEKO A-200 EN frigates for the Egyptian Navy. ENS Al-Aziz was built by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS), Blohm+Voss and HDW in a deal worth EUR2 billion (USD2.3 billion) for four A-200s, one of which will be built in Egypt. Egypt ordered four MEKO A-200 vessels under a September 2018 contract worth €2.3 billion (US$2.5 billion), approved by the German government in April 2019.
The first steel was cut in September 2019 and the future Al-Aziz was launched in April 2021. Sea trials for Al-Aziz began in April this year in Germany
Besides the handover ceremony, the Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Navy, Vice Admiral Ashraf Ibrahim Atwa, named the second warship in the class “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.
Oliver Burkhard, CEO of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems: “This record timeline was possible only because the Egyptian Navy and thyssenkrupp Marine Systems have such a long and trustful partnership. The strategic programme is based on an open and collaborative dialogue with our customer and we are thankful for their tireless efforts in contributing to the success of this project.”
The four MEKO A-200 frigates are being procured to replace the ageing US Oliver Hazard Perry-class vessels that comprise the bulk of the Egyptian Navy’s escort fleet.
Budestag’s Budget Committee gave its approval for an export credit guarantee for the six vessels, in 2019, the export credit provides guarantees of up to 2.3 billion euros (US$2.5 billion) for the transaction.
Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government approved the delivery of three Meko frigates and 16 air defence systems from Diehl Defence before leaving the office late last year.
Equipped with the latest generation of Thales NS-110 4D AESA air and surface surveillance radar which is an advanced and upgraded version of the original NS-100 3D radar, decoys launchers for C310 high-performance anti-torpedo counter-measures system, 2× 32 Tube laser-decoys launchers for Rheinmetall Multi Ammunition Softkill System EM/IR (MASS), Thales SCORPION Electronic Warfare Support Measures System (ECM), SATCOM System.
The ENS “Al-Aziz” MEKO A200EN armament will include an LW 127mm main cannon armed with Vulcano and Dart shells, 32 Vertical Launch Systems (VLS) fitted with MICA New Generation (NG) Surface-to-Air Missiles, sixteen Launchers planned to be equipped with Exocet Anti-ships missiles, four Oerlikon Searanger 20mm naval guns, and MU90 lightweight and DM-2A4 (SeaHake Mod 4) heavyweight torpedoes.
Thales supplied its Scorpion 2 EW jamming system and NS-110 4D AESA radar. For the sonar, the vessel is planned to be equipped with a towed array sonar.