On the sidelines of the second edition of Egypt International Defense Exhibition EDEX-2021, the Egyptian military-owned Alexandria shipyard announced that the construction process of the fourth and last Egyptian Navy MEKO A200 frigates has started at the company’s construction facility in Alexandria, in cooperation with the Germany-based Thysskenkrupp (TKMS).
The Egyptian MEKO A200 frigate will be considered as the most advanced version of its type in terms of the integrated equipment and weaponry systems. The Egyptian MEKO A200 frigates dubbing the acronym MEKO A200EN in reference to the Egyptian Navy, will have a configuration which will be as follows: The frigate displacement will be ranging from 3700 to 4000 tons with a length of 121 meters. It will be equipped with the latest generation of Thales NS-110 4D AESA air and surface surveillance radar which is an advanced and upgraded version of the original NS-100 3D radar, decoys launchers for C310 high-performance anti-torpedo counter-measures system, 2× 32 Tube laser-decoys launchers for Rheinmetall Multi Ammunition Softkill System EM/IR (MASS), Thales SCORPION Electronic Warfare Support Measures System (ECM), SATCOM System, also for the sonar, the Egyptian navy MEKO A200 planned to be equipped with a towed array sonar. For the armament and weaponry system, it will be fitted with LW 127mm main cannon armed with Vulcano and Dart shells, 32 Vertical Launch Systems (VLS) that will be equipped with MICA New Generation (NG) Surface-to-Air Missiles, 16× Launchers planned to be equipped with Exocet Anti-ships missiles, Oerlikon Searanger 20mm naval guns, in addition to Two types of Torpedos: DM2A4 Seahake and MU-90 Torpedos, a helipad with a hanger that can accommodate two helicopters and a vertically launch drones.
It’s worth notice that the Egyptian Navy has signed the contract for the purchase of four MEKO A200 frigates in early 2019 after negotiations that lasted for months with the German side during which the French Naval Group was competing to award that contract for its naval vessels, mainly Gowind corvettes but they have failed to secure it. The Egyptian contract was estimated to be at a total cost of 2 billion euros (each frigate worth €500 million)
Two of the Egyptian MEKO A200 frigates have been constructed and are currently being fitted with weaponry systems and equipment while the third frigate is in the final construction phase in Bremerhaven, Germany and will be launched into the sea within the next few weeks. It would take around 6 months to complete the weaponry systems and equipment integration for each Egyptian MEKO frigate then they will begin sea trials before sailing to Egypt.
Germany-based Thysskenkrupp (TKMS) Group is also looking forward to marketing other products on the Egyptian Navy, during EDEX2021, TKMS representatives said that the group is offering the MEKO A300 frigate to Egypt and other countries. The MEKO A300 actually could be considered as a destroyer, not a frigate if we are talking about its heavy weaponry systems and integrated equipment.