Egypt’s third Type 209 submarine arrives Alexandria

The Egyptian Navy’s third Type 209/1400mod submarine “S43” has arrived in Egypt on 5 May after leaving ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems’ (TKMS’s) yard in Germany.

S43 was officially handed over to the Egyptian Navy on 9 April in Kiel, the submarine transited the Kiel Canal on 14 April.

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.

Egyptian Navy receives third Type 209 class submarine
S43 was officially handed over to the Egyptian Navy on 9 April in Kiel, the submarine transited the Kiel Canal on 14 April. (Egyptian Navy)

S43 arrived at the Alexandira Naval Base on Tuesday after traveling a distance of 7 800 kilometres, it was received by a military delegation. According to the Egyptian armed forces, the new submarine held exercises with several “friendly countries” on the way to Egypt.

The Egyptian Ministry of Defence (MoD) subsequnetly published a video showing the new submarine S 43 (867) leading the other two Type 209/1400s and two Project 033 (Improved Romeo)-class submarines.

S 43 (867) leading the other two Type 209/1400s and two Project 033 (Improved Romeo)-class submarines. (Egyptian Navy video)

The contract for the delivery of the first two Type 209/1400mod class submarines to Egypt was signed in 2011. In 2015, Egypt decided to take the option for two additional units of the most recent version of the Type 209 family.

The first submarine, named S41, was handed over in December 2016 and the second submarine, named S42, in August 2017. The programme is planned to end with the handover of the fourth submarine in 2021.

The Egyptian military has said the new Type 209 submarine will be used to protect Egypt’s national security, protect its economic interests and ensure safe and free navigation of the Suez Canal and other regions. The vessels have a range of 11 000 nautical miles, a top speed of 21 knots and displacement of over 1 400 tonnes.

Egypt said the Type 209/1400s will be able to launch missiles and torpedoes – it is believed they will be fitted with Harpoon anti-ship missiles.

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

The submarines 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.

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.