US deliver two Fast Missile naval vessels to Egypt

Ahram Online , Monday 22 Jun 2015

The fast missile craft vessels are worth of $ 1.1 billion, according to the US

The two fast Missile crafts vessels "Photo : US embassy in Cairo"

The United States have delivered two fast missile naval vessels to the Egyptian navy, the US embassy in Cairo announced on Monday. 

In a statement, the US embassy in Cairo said that the fast missile crafts built in Pascagoula, Mississippi, had arrived in Alexandria on board a US transport ship on 17 June, and would join the Egyptian naval fleet in the coming weeks. 

“This delivery effectively doubles Egypt's total fleet of fast missile craft from two to four," said the statement, describing the vessels as a $1.1 billion "investment" by the US in "the bilateral strategic partnership” between both countries.

“The Fast Missile craft supports maritime and regional security, which includes protecting vital waterways such as the Suez Canal and the Red Sea,” the US embassy in Cairo’s senior defence official, Major General Charles Hooper, was quoted as saying.

"They will help protect civilian and commercial vessels entering Egypt's territorial water through coastal patrol surveillance and maritime searches," the statement added. 

Following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, the US announced it would freeze a part of its annual military aid to Egypt, citing doubts over democratic reforms in the country.

In April, the White House announced that it was restoring military aid to Egypt, aiding efforts to boost Cairo's ability to combat the extremist threat in the region.

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