Egypt in Talks over €1 billion Arms Deal with France – Paper

Egypt is about to sign a €one billion contract to order 4 Gowind class corvettes plus two in option from French military shipbuilder DCNS, France-based financial newspaper La Tribune reported on Wednesday.

The corvettes selected by Egypt would be of the “Combat” type as the vessels are set to be fitted by MBDA’s VL Mica surface to air and Exocet anti-ship missiles. The Royal Malaysian Navy already selected the Gowind Combat and will get 6 vessels of the type starting around 2020.

The Gowind “Combat” for Malaysia could almost be considered as a fully fledged Frigate because of its length announced at 111 meters and displacement of about 3,000 tons.

According to the French newspaper, DCNS’ Gowind was competing against two other designs: The Meko A200 from German company TKMS and the Dutch Sigma design by Damen shipyard.

Moreover, the French newspaper has pointed out that Egypt’s Defence Minister Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi – who is very likely to run for president – was the one who decided to go on the arms deal with DCNS, signalling a strong gesture of Cairo’s rapprochement with Paris.

The French newspaper has referred to Sisi as “the current strong man in Egypt” who is willing to conclude a number of arms deals before leaving his defence minister post and running for presidency to respond to his nation’s calls. The anticipated arms deals include ordering 9 additional transport aircrafts from Airbus Military Group, noting that the Egyptian Air Force has already purchased five C295 Airbus transport aircrafts out of 12 aircrafts been ordered, La Tribune added.

Integrated with SETIS, a combat system derived from FREMM, Gowind Combat Corvettes are true light frigates: They can tackle air, surface and submarine threats. The shock-resistant platform (built according to military standards), the small radar cross-section together with an excellent acoustic signature make it a high-performance surface combatant.