Walk Like An Egyptian, Part 2

Port Said corvette as her launching ceremony. Naval Group

SHAH ALAM: Walk Like An Egyptian, Part 2. In an earlier post, I reported that Egypt may well beat Malaysia in getting their first Gowind corvette. And indeed it had happened as the Egypt Navy took delivery of its first Gowind corvette last year.

Now it appears that Egypt will be the first to take delivery of a locally built Gowind as the first one built at its own shipyard was launched yesterday.

Port Said corvette at her launching ceremony. Naval Group

Naval Group release.

Launching of the first Gowind® 2500 corvette built in Egypt.
The launching ceremony of the Port-Said Gowind corvette, the first warship built in Egypt, took place on September 6th, 2018 in Alexandria. This launching constitutes a success for Alexandria Shipyard team. It also reflects the effectiveness of Naval Group’s industrial cooperation schemes. This industrial achievement demonstrates the strength of the strategic partnership between Naval Group and Egypt.
The launching of the Port Said corvette shows the capabilities of the Alexandria shipyard, as it is the first warship built in Egypt. This launching ceremony celebrates the rise in competences of the Alexandria Shipyard team which is now able to build civilian boats as well as state-of-art military vessels.
Along with the first ever delivered Gowind® corvette, El-fateh, already deployed by Egyptian Navy on many operational theatres, it will contribute to increase the Egyptian Navy Power. The corvette is part of a strategic and long-term partnership with Egypt. It is the fifth ship designed by Naval Group, operated by the Egyptian Navy, after the already delivered FREMM frigate Tahya Misr in 2015, the two Landing Helicopter Docks Nasser and Sadat in 2016 and the first Gowind® corvette, Elfateh, in 2017.
Hervé Guillou, Naval Group’s CEO declared: “Naval Group is very proud to be part of this longterm 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. In addition, Naval Group is pleased to participate in the maintenance and modernisation of this fleet. Naval Group has a long-term presence in Egypt and will remain involved for many years to come in Alexandria as partner of the Egyptian Navy to secure their operations. ”
Naval Group’s commitment to support customers through transfer of technology at each stage of the construction process is reaffirmed. Port Said, the first ever Egyptian made warship, is a proof that industrial cooperation works. The corvette manufactured in Alexandria has identical features and possesses the same performance level than the sea-proven Elfateh, which was built on Naval Group’s site in Lorient and delivered to the Egyptian navy last autumn.

Port Said corvette at her launch ceremony.

Normally it will take at least two years after launch, to get a ship commissioned though as El Fateh is already in service, it is likely the second in class, first locally built, can be put into service earlier. One can take comfort that our own LCS is a bigger variant of the Egyptian corvettes which is probably the reason it had taken longer for the first vessel, Maharaja Lela, to conduct its harbour and sea trials.

PCU Maharaja Lela on BNS dock,

As reported previously, Boustead Naval Shipyard is expected to conduct harbour trials for Maharaja Lela, late this year with sea trials expected by March, 2019, just in time for the ship to take part in LIMA 2019.

Egyptian Navy EL Fateh Gowind 2500 corvette.

I am told that the schedule will be kept but its disconcerting to hear talks that it won’t as BNS continue to have difficulties with the project. I am told that the six BAE Systems 57mm guns are being prepared for delivery to Malaysia at the very moment. These will be CBU units ready for installation once the ships are ready for them

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2223 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. “I am told that the schedule will be kept but its disconserting to hear talks around the industry that BNS was having difficulties with the project”

    What difficulties? Money or skill?


  2. Yes, what I heard is the same. If the rumours I hear are true, there is no way the ship will be ready for LIMA. She will not even be able to sail by then. Maybe the next LIMA…. hopefully not….

  3. romeo,

    Suffice to say that building a ship and watching others build a ship are two totally different things!


  4. Really? BNS have money and skill problems.

    Damn…wil this project follow his predecessor?
    It looks like both NGPV and SGPV were planned to be failed so somebody can make profit….but no surprise there since these project were questionable from the beginning.

    It’s different from SGPV. That one money was siphoned off to pay for something else. The government is a very bad paymaster and most of defence contractors have to find ways to pay off their bills until they got paid.

  5. So why do we need to waste billions in TOT when every new ship project we need to start from 0.

    Just look at indonesia. They successfully used the TOT for the makassar LPD to build more for local use and also for export

  6. @Api69
    Suffice to say, its easier to complain and criticise (a Malaysian hobby, sadly) but when comes time to do the job, many will find it not as easy at all.

  7. Api69: “Suffice to say that building a ship and watching others build a ship are two totally different things!”

    Jiran tiru orang lain buat terus jadi, bns tiru tak jadi.
    Indon yang dulu pandang rendah pun sekarang boleh tiru bina submarine.
    Biliions of ringgit is wasted.

    No they cannot bina the submarine

  8. I’m in agreement with Safran and … We say TOT, but the extent of the transferred ‘T’ is nothing more than maintenance level work. Are we suppose to obtain the blueprint of the ship?

    Secondly, I’m puzzled why can’t we get more Kedah since as someone mentioned before the ‘design’ is in our hand. If that were to be true then we can build as many as we can afford, either use it as MMEA OPV or RMN corvette.

    I think for the money we paid for the NGPV we could at least get the type 056!

  9. TOT is an overused term, in reality, we just bought the rights to assemble them locally. IINM, even the steel are source from the technical partners, hence we are unable to build more than the signed off volume. This unless the ships are built to commercial marine standards, instead of military. All for the sake of “job creation”.

    I stand corrected of course.

  10. Marhalim: “No they cannot bina the submarine”

    Indon PT Pal nearly to launch TNI 3rd DSME type 209 lah….at least they can assemble submarine. They can tiru orang lain buat. LPD dan PKR frigate tak usah lagi tanya. Esok probably they can JV with other build sub from the scratch just like their medium tank.

    Macam mana BNS tak boleh tiru? Rasa tak percaya copy paste pun failed.

  11. @romeo
    Assembling and manufacturing are 2 different things. Much like in the automotive industry, where Perodua are successful in assembling but they aren’t yet able to manufacture their own indigenous car. Indon might be relatively successful in local assembling their warships but to locally produce them, they’re still far away.

  12. @ joe

    You are wrong on both counts

    Perodua now does not just assemble (putting together parts made by others) but has been truly manufacturing cars for ages. Do you know that a lot of proton campro cylinder heads is actually cast by perodua at their engine factory? Body panels are stamped and made in-house. Bezza and new myvi exterior are fully designed by perodua. The new state of the are engine factory in negeri sembilan also manufactures engines for toyota vios and sienta for south east asia.

    Indonesia has a very advanced naval manufacturing capability. They are on their way to build their own subs. They are successful in exporting their LPD, able to design and build their own attack crafts the KCR 40 and KCR 60. Assembled and partially build the SIGMA frigates. The imprtant thing is that they successfully used TOT to manufacture follow on ships on their own.

    Our problem with continuing with Meko100 is that the design is too expensive to build even though we can build it. But all the experience should enable us to say take our well known FAC designs and improve them to build an ingenious LMS for example.

  13. @joe
    You should look closer. Indon made warships start from roll of steel. Manufacturing is not about indigenous or 100% parts are locally made. They can offer a160 metres LPD to RMN MPSS programme (based on makassar class). Now, their local shipyard, Pt pal, is aiming at building submarine and DDG class.
    Even they are still on phase of assembling sub but it has already made them ahead of others in SEA region.

    This should be a wake call. A decade ago PSC could be a more succesful shipyard. Government paid billions for TOT even for the blue print of Meko. Unfortunately it end up as oversize patrol ship (ffbnw as they said) with unclear TOT and continuation.
    Let”s hope SGPV project will end better.

  14. Indon still cannot build the submarine,they just assemble it..the import the large section from south korra and assemble that in indonesia plus the large section already fit with the sensitive system and technology..same like sigma pkr..they also import large section from netherland and assemble it.

  15. @ Rocks

    You are wrong. There is 6 Sigma PKR modules. Damen is responsible for building module 3 & module 5 (bridge section) whereas PT PAL built module 1, 2, 4 and 6.


    Next Sigma PKR #3 & #4 for the Indonesian Navy will be built entirely by PT PAL.

    Indonesia is on the path of building their own submarines. Future Indomesian DSME Type 209 submarine #3, #4 and #6 will be built entirely by PT PAL under supervision by DSME.

  16. Correction:

    It should be..

    “Future Indomesian DSME Type 209 submarine #4, #5 and #6 will be built entirely by PT PAL under supervision by DSME.”

  17. D.W

    some correction..Indon still import some of the large block part of sigmas from netherland compared to malaysia that build entirely block of the gowind in malaysia except for the pism..same goes to submarine where they just assembling the large section imported from south korea..we can says that in the frigate and corvete building malaysia is better than indonesia because almost all the shils built entirely in malaysia but for lpd and fac-m building idonesia ia better than malaysia.

  18. @DW
    My point is until now or at least by 2020 what ships can be build entirely (not assembling) in country?

    For Indonesia they still need to import large block from origin country like South Korea for submarine and Netherland for frigate.. the next PKR Sigma frigate Indonesia will build entirely in country but its not happen yet..for submarine,according to new graphic released by PT PAL only by 2030 they can produce it locally and export it but before that they still need to assemble it from south korea.So rigth now only LPD from South Korea Indonesia can build it entirely in country and can export it.

    For Malaysia all six Gowind Frigate build entirely in Malaysia without need to import the large block from France,plus from 1990s Malaysia already can build corvette class ship which is Kedah (the last four) entirely in country or even Boustead already make an improved design of stealthy Kedah class for Malaysia or export..not just that from the LMS program also Malaysia able to build OPV class ships entirely in country plus there also already an improved design of LMS with length more than 75m and have a helipad.

    So for now or by 2020 Malaysia already can build frigate,corvette and OPV entirely in country..so next just focus to get ToT of LPD and submarine so the list will complete.

    Frigate-Gowind (√)
    Corvette-Kedah (√)
    OPV-LMS (√)
    *LPD-(pending) (x)
    *Submarine-(planned) (x)

  19. No lah..indon can’t build their own submarine and frigate..they still assembling it..its still far for them

  20. If you follow the progress of kcr project you will see the presistance of pt pal in improving the design of their products.as we aware there is a lot of problems in their home made kcr such as design problem,large rcs,communication problem,low endurance, low sea keeping and too small to install a missiles but pt pal promised to improve this for the next batch.same goes for lpd where pt pal offered to us improved design lpd with 162m length.this show us the willingness to offer the service not just because of money but also stay logic in the market

  21. Can all of you stop using the word Indon as it is deragotary and instead type Indo for short?

    Please be educated Malaysians.

  22. @Rocks

    Regarding the proposed new LMS design by Boustead, I’m not really convinced at all. That ship model (in the pic below) has an awfully high center of gravity. They could’ve at least redesign the ship to have a slightly wider hull to lower its center of gravity.

    Furthermore, the model looks like it has some space for a RAM surface-to-air missiles at the deck behind that gun turret if the RMN want it. As for AShM, it doesn’t look like it has some space unless the RMN decide to ditch the helipad in favor of AShM launcher boxes.

    But for patrolling in the open sea, especially in Malaysia’s EEZ, maybe it’s for the best that the RMN keep the helipad.

  23. Melayu Ketinggalan. There is no logic to call them Indo too. Indo is an inference to Indochina or India or any matter related to India. Indon is a term created by their brethren who worked in Malaysia the past 30+ years and it took on. The negative reflection on INDON actually came about in the 90s from Indonesians who have not worked in Msia but instead THOUGHT it was denigratory. It was extensively explained in many forums inc YouTube but sadly not many Indonesian youths believed it. Sad, real sad.

  24. Having read various comments above, I see many want our Gowinds to sail ASAP. I hope so too and let’s not be overly pessimistic about it. God Willing, the timetable will be kept.
    I am repeating myself here. It bemused me that MinDef is still hunching their bets on current shipbuilders that were awarded the contracts to build our Kedahs Gowinds the lot. I wonder why they can’t expand the list to include Shin Yang Shipbuilding Yard and Brooke Dockyard both from Sarawak. I am pretty sure Sabah has fine yards too. Shin Yang build at least 2 50m landing crafts for Qatar. Qatar went on to make repeat orders with Shin Yang. Brooke Dockyards, Sarawak’s century old yard was doing extensive repairs for British naval vessels right up to the early 80s. Why didn’t MinDef see we have a wealth of knowledge available locally too? They may not fit hand in glove with MinDef & TLDM requirements but it can be learned rather quickly. Our shipbuilding pool will get bigger.
    And if an Arab state can trust a local yard to build them boats meant for war, why can’t we in Msia join them?
    * wondering off my head here…

  25. @Marhalim

    I think if you have time, it will be a good idea if you would write an articles about defence industries of all SEA nations including all their land, aero or naval defence industries what they have done or will be done.
    If an article is too long then it can be broken into 3 articles which each article discuss specifically about their land, aero and naval defence industries.

    So, you can educate us all and suggest some biliateral or trilateral cooperation among SEA nations.
    Maybe someone out there read your articles and make it become reality. If the european can so can the asean.

    This is Malaysian Defence therefore I don’t intend to write anything in-depth about other countries apart from occasional reference to things which is related to us. And of course replies in the comments section though I admit it is really not a good idea as shown by my recent reply to the submarine comment

  26. In the 1990’s Pakistan insisted of having its Agostas license assembled/built/manufactured in Karachi and a lot of work [and money] went into ensuring Karachi had the needed infrastructure. Whilst it is indeed an achievement for a 3rd world/developing country to be able to license assemble/build/manufacture a sub [also MBTs and jets]; we should not forget the fact that almost everything that goes into it, from the engine to the sonar to the ventilation system, are still sourced from abroad. Of course the long term aim is to gradually increase the local content but great reliance is still placed on foreign suppliers.

    Another question is that although the whole purpose of the exercise is to improve the local industry; the question is whether it really does and at what cost? Who actually benefits : the local industry or the end user? Was the whole exercise driven by political considerations or a genuine need to improve the local industry? For some countries, it is worth doing so as they have economics of scale and the local industry is in a position [Turkey, India and South Korea come to mind] to supply certain key components but the same is not the case for many other countries.

  27. Xan vreda – ”That ship model (in the pic below) has an awfully high center of gravity.”

    Maybe, maybe not. One can’t always tell simply by looking at a scale mode. There is always the possibility that the design was based on feedback from the RMN. I’m not saying this is definitely the case but a possibility.

    Xan vreda – ”But for patrolling in the open sea, especially in Malaysia’s EEZ, maybe it’s for the best that the RMN keep the helipad.”

    The value in the helipad is that a helo can perform MEDEVAC, light resupply, personnel transfer, etc. For long periods at sea a hangar will be needed.

    Taib – ”I am pretty sure Sabah has fine yards too.”

    There was the plan to have the Lekiu Batch 2s built in Labuan and RMN ships have been refitted in East Malaysian yards. In the past 2 Mahamirus received a sonar upgrade in Labuan.

    Taib – ”And if an Arab state can trust a local yard to build them boats meant for war, why can’t we in Msia join them?”

    We do ‘trust’ local yards to build our ships. The problem [like the Arabs and other countries] we are still dependent on foreign suppliers for almost all the key components that make up a ship. Also take note that given the RMN’s requirements and the lack of large orders to keep yards in the naval business; having too many yards for the job will not make sense. Even in the UK, there are less than a handful of yards – still in business – that cater to the RMN’s needs.

    Romeo – ” If the european can so can the asean.”

    The Europeans have NATO to bind them together and have big companies [with joint ownership and the required know how] to enable them to produce jointly. Even then, European joint production has been and continues to be hit by political issues and the differing needs and financial abilities of respective countries. In the past there were attempts to have joint production by Malaysia and Singapore but [even if the politics are sorted]; the MAF and SAF have differing needs.


  28. Azlan: ” it is worth doing so as they have economics of scale…”

    The main factor of industry can survive is competitiveness. All local defence industries have been protected for a long time, even so looks like they still can not compete with others.
    All local defence industries only wish government give project, how can they will survive if government has no money?
    Few days ago SMEO workers went on strike again. How can compete with Thai or SG who can make a better quality ammo or with indon who can make ammo much cheaper wirh same quality? If only hope “tongkat” from government.

  29. I didn’t read the first part of this article. Scary the way we do our procurement. A lot of wastage and scandals. Going a bit off topic, so much drama about buying 6 Little Birds light armed recce helicopters. Look at the pace the Philippines are are buying new defence hardwares. Why not arm our 10 (?) operational PUTD’s 109 helicopters with rockets and atgms? We have the mentality of doing things the way of ‘fitted for but not with’ when planning our purchases. Just look at our first OPVs project. Later struggling to come up with the budget to upgrade. Again going off topic, it’s sad there are not many good local defence blogs ( like this one and Senang Diri blog of neighbouring Singapore to quote another example) showing the sorry state of our rakyat’s interest in defense matters. Wassalam.

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