This year, the Egyptian Defense Exhibition (EDEX2021) kicked off with a very different form in comparison with its first edition in 2018. The Egyptian military industries were shining this year and begin to appear for the first time, as in the naval industries and shipbuilding sector, Egypt unveiled its first domestic naval vessels projects for surface combatants and Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) along with other new domestic projects for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Radars, Armored Vehicles and Counter drones devices.
The first naval vessel is the Compact Compatant CC-60, a 60-meter Patrol Combatant Vessel/Off-Shore Patrol Vessel (OPV) which has a full load displacement of approximately 750 tons.
The second one is a PV-43 HRM, a 43-meter Offshore Patrol Vessel which has a displacement of 270 tons.
The CC-60 Patrol Combatant / Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) proposed configuration will be as following: a 3D Smart Mk2 surveillance radar from Thales Group, Fire-control system, electro-optical surveillance system, Electronic Warfare Support Measures (ESM) system, the main weaponry configuration will be as following: 1× 76mm primary gun or laser-gun, 2× DS30M RWS equipped with Martlet short-range laser-guided missiles to deal with short-range/attitude aerial threats as UAVs and missiles, 4× Launchers for Extended Range Improved Marte Anti-ship missiles, 8× Vertical Launch Systems (VLS) for MICA Surface-to-Air missiles. The OPV/Corvette will also have Anti-submarines Warfare (ASW) capabilities with the possibility of attaching either Hull mounted sonar or towed array sonar, also it will be fitted with a Dual Torpedos launcher. The CC-60 has a helipad designed mainly for UAVs and it can accommodate lightweight choppers with 10-15 tons weight.
Since this platform is adjustable it can be fitted for multi-role operations, thus it would play a crucial role of securing the Egyptian shores and the economic interests in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea which will reduce the Egyptian Navy dependence on other naval vessels as frigates and corvettes that will perform other tasks in line with the Egyptian navy’s expansion and modernization plans, also these vessels will be the best alternative for the old Egyptian Navy missile and patrol boats from 70s and 80s era.
“We have designed this vessel to be easy with the integration of any type of weaponry, combat systems and equipment, This what the Egyptian Navy needs and looking for”. NVL Group Regional Branch Manager
The PV-43-HRM Naval Vessel Project, based on the Croatian Navy OOB-31 patrol vessel design with an approximate displacement of 270 tons, has been showcased with two different configurations, the first is for a patrol boat configuration, equipped with 2× 12.7mm guns and a light naval gun which is mainly a remotely-controlled 30mm gun, electro-optical surveillance system, 1× RHIB for 6 crew, launch and recovery system, also it has NBC level protection, while the second configuration for the Egyptian Navy will be as a missile boat, which has the same specifications of the patrol boat but with some more additions and special features as a surveillance radar, ECM system, a digital combat management system C4I, 4× Remotely-controlled Stations (RWS) to offer protection from close aerial threats and two launchers for Anti-ship missiles, probably Exocet missiles in case the showcased model has been adapted by the Egyptian Navy and the NVL Group. (Equipment & Weaponry Types which will be installed on the PV-43 OPV have not been identified yet as it depends on what the Egyptian Navy would afford).
The Two projects are considered as a milestone of the promising cooperation between Egypt and Naval Vessels Lurssen (NVL) shipbuilding Group. The Germany-based group has opened recently a regional branch in Egypt under the name of NVL Egypt to assist Egypt boosting it’s shipbuilding capabilities and marine industrial base. Lurssen Group already has many promising projects of naval vessels of different types, including, offshore patrol vessels, corvettes, frigates and supply vessels.
As Lurssen is transferring to Cairo, it will be able to provide Egypt with the Know-How manufacturing technology, training, and required qualification for the Egyptian technicians and engineers, improve the industrial facilities as Alexandria shipyard, Egyptian Navy shipyard and may particpated in Adabiyah shipyard project along with other companies as the Korean Samsung Heavy Industries Group that competing to have the bid of this huge promising project.
However, the cooperation between Egypt and Lürssen (NVL) Group seems to be focusing on small-sized/light naval vessels as patrol combatants, corvettes and offshore patrol vessels (OPV) which Egypt is moving to localize its industry in the coming period not only to afford it’s needs and requirements but also to market it at a regional level for Africa and Middle East countries.