by Paolo Valpolini
The link between Naval Group and the Egyptian Navy is definitely strong, the major French shipyard having delivered in the last few years four ships, one FREMM frigate, two Mistral-class Landing Helicopter Dock and one Gowind 2500 corvette, the latter three ship of that class being produced by Alexandria Shipyards.
The second Gowind, the Port Said, was launched last September in Alexandria and according to the Egyptian shipyard the work is now at around 70%; the first sea trials are scheduled for May 2019, following which the weapon systems will be installed, in view of the ship delivery which is planned one year after launch. Work on the third Gowind is ongoing, its launch being planned for April 2019, when the keel of the fourth ship of the class will be laid. It is to note that the Port Said is the first major combat vessel to be produced in Egypt.
The Tahya Misr FREMM frigate, delivered in 2015, the two LHDs, Nasser and Sadat, delivered in 2016, and the El Fateh, the first of class of the Gowind corvettes, built in Lorient and delivered to Egypt in September 2017, have all ended their one-year warranty period. This led the Egyptian Navy to sign an agreement with Naval Group, to provide in-service support to all vessels delivered by France. This agreement is a further sign of the long standing partnership between the two entities.
The work will be done through Alexandria Naval for Maintenance and Industry (ANMI), a purposely made subsidiary operating under the Egyptian law, 100% owned by Naval Group; the signature of the contract that will finalise the agreement signed on 3 December at EDEX being is awaited very soon. This might be only the first step, as further developments might bring cooperation beyond the simple maintenance work, the Egypt-based subsidiary being a potential dialogue platform between Naval Group and its Egyptian customer. Moreover The new entity is expected to generate direct and indirect jobs in the related industrial sectors in Egypt.