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The fourth and final 209/1400mod class submarine ordered by Egypt has been christened at the premises of Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) in Kiel. The small scale ceremony took place in compliance with strict COVID-19 preventive measures.

“S44” follows its sisters “S41”, “S42” and “S43” which were delivered in December 2016, August 2017 and April 2020 respectively. According to TKMS, the HDW class 209/1400mod is the latest version in a series which has seen over 60 units built or contracted. According to a newspaper report from April 2019, the German Government has approved the delivery of three MEKO 200 frigates from TKMS to Egypt in an order valued at around €2.3bn. Reports from September 2019 also suggest that Bremerhavener Stahlbau Nord is a subcontractor for steel sections for the construction of the Egyptian MEKOs, though there is varying information on the actual scope of the contract. The German Government does not comment on this, citing a ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court of 21 October 2014 (BVerfGE 137, 185).

Naval Expansion

In addition to the German submarines and frigates, Egypt also purchased the MISTRAL class helicopter carriers intended for Russia, a FREMM class multi-purpose frigate and four GOWIND class corvettes from France. The Egyptian Navy also ordered a POHANG class corvette from South Korea and four AMBASSADOR MKIII class patrol boats from the U.S. In the summer of 2020, it became known that Italy would provide (at least) two FREMM-class frigates to Egypt. Between 2015 and 2019, Egypt was the world’s third largest arms importer after Saudi Arabia and India (source: SIPRI) with Russia, France and the USA are the major suppliers according to the Stockholm Institute.

209/1400mod Submarine Specifications:

  • Length: 62 metres
  • Diametre: 6.2 metres
  • Displacement: 1,450 tonnes (surface) and 1,600 tonnes (submerged)
  • Crew: 30
  • Armament: six torpedo tubes.

Hans-Uwe Mergener