The Egyptian navy officially receives third German submarine

The Egyptian navy received the third Type-209/Mod 1400 submarine (S43) on Thursday, 9 April. The submarine is a part of a two-deals signed with the German ThyssenKrupp Marine Group in 2011-2014 to purchase four Type-209 diesel-electric attack subs, as part of the expansion plan of Egypt’s Navy.

The launch and naming of the third submarine “S43” actually took place in May 2019, the first submarine, named S41, was handed over in December 2016 and the second submarine, named S42, in August 2017, the fourth ship is expected to be delivered in 2021.

Spokesperson for the Egyptian Armed Forces Tamer al-Refaey said that Egypt received the submarine after the submarine’s technical and specialized crews completed simultaneous training in Egypt and Germany.

The new Type 209s will most likely replace the Egyptian Navy’s four elderly Romeo class vessels delivered in 1983/84.

Submarines is an essential part of Egypt’s military strategies, since the last decade, Egypt has taken a number of steps to improve the extent of its naval strength especially in underwater domain.

Traditionally, submarine warfare has been Cairo’s Achilles heel, as clearly witnessed during the Six-day and Yom Kippur War. Both Egyptian and Israeli warships attempted to intimidate each other throughout the war, but did not engage each other.

It features recent technology, extraordinary battery payload and low signatures. The class can be armed with a variety of torpedo.

Equipped with an advanced offensive weapons, a torpedo fire control system, an electronic weapons control system, along with capability of launching anti-ship missiles and planting naval mines.

With the new Type 209 in place, Egypt will have one for maintenance, one for training, one ready to dive and one at sea, an indication of a significant upgrade of the Egyptian Navy’s operational capabilities.

Besides the type 209/1400 submarines, Egypt also has four Chinese-built Romeo class submarines which has undergone upgrades such as fire control systems, sonars and improved weapon systems including addition of Harpoon missiles.

Darek Liam

Darek Liam is the North African editor for AMB, where he writes about the intersection of Technology and national security. He has been covering defense and national security issues for more than a decade, previously as African Union correspondent.