SHAH ALAM: Walk Like An Egyptian Part 5. The Egyptian Navy took delivery on October 14, the first of four MEKO A-200 frigate from German shipbuilder, Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS). Four ships were ordered in 2018, with the first three units produced in Germany and the fourth vessel built by Alexandria Shipyard in Egypt.
According to TKMS, the frigate Al-Aziz was accepted by the Egyptian Navy after only 38 months of the contract becoming effective. Apart from Al Aziz, the second MEKO frigate was named at the same ceremony, Al Qadeer.
After short but intensive negotiations that started in May 2018, the contract for the four frigates was signed in September 2018, with the project work formally starting in August 2019. First steel cutting was already in September 2019 and the launching of the first-of-class took place in April 2021. In July 2021 Al Aziz was named, and on October 14 she was handed over.
From the above, it appears that the Egyptian Navy has beaten the RMN to the punch, twice. First it was the Gowind corvettes and now the MEKO frigates. Furthermore, it is likely all four MEKO frigates will be in commissioned into the Egyptian Navy earlier than our own LCS.
Shephard reports that the four MEKO frigates cost some US$2.5 billion (RM11.8 billion) which was the cost of the LCS in 2019. No one knows how much the LCS will cost when all ships are delivered in the navy. The most recent press release from the Defence Ministry stated that the Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd will be negotiating with Naval Group for the determine the cost of contract between both companies (which is not the cost of the whole project).
Anyhow, the Egyptian MEKO frigates are slightly cheaper than the three Belharra frigates procured by Greek from Naval Group. That said the former are equipped with MBDA MICA NG VL missiles compared to the Aster 30 missiles on the latter. The MEKOs are fitted with a 127mm gun compared to the 76mm gun compared to the Belharra, though.
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