FIRST EGYPTIAN NEWLY OPERATIONAL TYPE 209/1400 ATTACK SUBMARINE

The first submarine (S41) of a batch of four, arrived in Alexandria’s Ras El-Tin naval base on 19 April. The new submarine, manufactured by German company ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, sailed from the German city of Kiel at the end of March.

Egypt 209-1400

According to the Egyptian press, the Egyptian navy undertook exercises using the submarine on 18 April, ensuring its readiness to join the fleet.

Similar to the South African submarines, these submarines have a dived top speed of 21.5 knots. They are equipped to launch both missiles and torpedoes.

In May 2016, the US State Department agreed to sell to Egypt via a foreign military sales (FMS), twenty Harpoon UGM-84L Block-II encapsulated missiles at a cost of $143 million including services for five years. At the time, the DSCA (Defense Security and Defense Agency) indicated that these weapons were for supporting the Egyptian Navy’s Type 209 submarines.

Even if South African submarines are equipped with SUT 264 torpedoes, we could fairly think Egyptian boats might fire DM2-A3 torpedoes like Colombia, with its German Type 209/1200. Another option is the American Mk-48 torpedoe. Indeed, Egyptian Romero submarines have already Mk-48 Mod4M or Mk-48 Mod 6AT torpedoes in their inventory.

According to the German press, the second submarine (S42) is currently under trials. The agreement between Egyptian authorities and TKMS foresees that the two next units will be delivered from 2018 onwards.

Romero’s replacement program:

For over 15 years, Egypt has looked for replacing its Chinese Romero-class submarines delivered in 1983 and 1984.

Early in the 2000s, Egypt was keen to procure second-hand submarines. In December 2004, preliminary negotiations with Germany for the acquisition of Type 206A submarines Germany took place. Egyptian authorities were already interested to get up to four submarines. Other studied options included Greek Type 209/1100 submarines and even three Heroj-class submarines from Montenegro.

After several years of negotiations, due to the fact Germany already supplies Dolphin-class submarines to Israel, both governments reached an agreement in summer 2011 for 2+2 (2 and 2 in option) Type 209/1400 submarines for €920 million. In February 2014, rumours indicated that Egypt wanted to activate its option from TKMS for a cost of €500 million notwithstanding the alleged opposition of former Federal Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy, Sigmar Gabriel who vowed a much more cautious approach to licensing arms exports. In 2015, the German press unveiled the option was exercised.

Between 2011 and 2015, other rumours indicated Egypt was interested by Russian submarines into a wider package with aircrafts, artillery systems, etc.

Written by Julien Brugnetti for OIDA Strategic Intelligence

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