Egyptian Armed Forces at the celebrations of first Egyptian manufactured Gowind-class Corvette on September 7, 2018 - Press photo/Armed Forces Spox
CAIRO - 7 September 2018: The Egyptian navy has celebrated on Friday the launching of the first Egyptian manufactured Gowind-class Corvette as part of a 2014 contract with France aimed at upgrading the country’s marine fleet, the military said in a statement on Friday.
Defense Minister Mohamed Zaki said during the launch ceremony that “the frigate is now the most advanced piece of Egypt's marine forces” and it is expected to come into operation very soon.
He added that "this warship is aimed at enhancing Egypt’s naval efficiency to achieve maritime security and protect borders and economic interests in the Red Sea and Mediterranean, while ensuring safe maritime navigation and bolstering security of the Suez Canal.”
The warship which is called Port Said Frigate is manufactured by the armed forces of Alexandria Shipyard Company in cooperation with France’s state-owned shipbuilder Naval Group.
The multi-mission corvette is designed for surveillance, surface and subsurface combat, protection and to escort naval missions. It can also perform monitoring and policing missions.
Egypt has secured its first major military contract with France in about 20 years with a €1-billion deal to buy four naval frigates.
Since then, Egypt has signed more than three weapon deals with France. In 2015, Egypt signed an agreement to buy French weapons worth €5.2 billion, including 24 Rafale combat jets made by Dassault Aviation, a multi-mission naval frigate, and air-to-air missiles.
The two countries also signed agreements for the purchase of weapons including fighter aircraft, navy vessels and a military satellite communication system worth €1 billion in 2016. Egypt also received two Mistral helicopter carriers on Friday as part of this deal.
In 2017, Sisi signed with his French counterpart Hollande a military cooperation deal that included a €1-billion contract to furnish four Gowind battleships to the Egyptian Navy and the renewal of Egypt’s stock of French-built Mirage 2000 fighter jets.