Egypt's armed forces have launched 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.
The warship, named the Port Said Frigate, is manufactured by the armed forces' Alexandria Shipyard Company in cooperation with France’s state-owned shipbuilder Naval Group.
"The frigate is [now] the most advanced piece of Egypt's marine forces”, Lieutenant-General Ahmed Khaled, the commander of the Egyptian Naval Forces, said during the launch ceremony.
The warship is aimed to enhance Egypt’s naval capabilities “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,” Lieutenant-General Khaled said.
The corvette frigate is part of a 1 billion euro deal signed with France in 2014 to provide four naval frigates to the Egyptian naval forces. Egypt received the first corvette frigate manufactured by the French company in September 2017.
According to the deal, the other three corvettes will be built in Egypt under a transfer of technology agreement.
The multi-mission corvette is designed for surveillance and surface and subsurface combat and can also perform monitoring and policing missions, said Hervé Guillou, Naval Group's Chairman and CEO, adding that the warship was built in a record time.
"Naval Group is very proud to be part of this long-term partnership with the Egyptian authorities and industry. This ceremony is an opportunity to reiterate our strong commitment to execute all the programs and to equip the Egyptian navy with an homogeneous fleet," Guillou said, according to a press release by the company after the launch ceremony on Thursday.
Port Said is the fifth ship designed by Naval Group and operated by the Egyptian navy, after the REMM frigate Tahya Misr in 2015, the two landing helicopter docks Nasser and Sadat in 2016 and the first Gowind corvette, El-Fateh, in 2017.