Tuesday, November 08, 2011

For My Sons' Navy I Want - What We Sell to Egypt

As reported by the shipbuilder VTHM Holds Dedication Ceremony for Egyptian Navy Fast Missile Craft (pdf):
VT Halter Marine, Inc. . . . held a dedication ceremony for the first of four Fast Missile Craft (FMC) built for the Egyptian Navy at its Pascagoula shipyard . The keel for this first FMC was authenticated on April 7, 2010.
The FMC is designed to perform coastal patrol, surveillance, interdiction, surface strike and naval battle group support. The vessels will allow the Republic of Egypt to maintain security of its coastal regions for both itself and friendly countries, while denying access to the areas by any potential adversaries. Each FMC will be approximately 62m in length and will incorporate ship signature control technology. High speed and maneuverability are two of the ship’s primary assets to fulfill these roles. The vessels will also incorporate numerous combat system assets and electronic sensors, equipping the vessels with capabilities in anti-aircraft, anti-surface and electronic warfare.
As reported by World Maritime News, US Navy Announces Launch of First Egyptian Navy Fast Missile Craft:
The primary mission of the FMC is to conduct independent and joint operations, primarily against armed surface adversaries. The Egyptian Navy has a requirement for a vessel with the capabilities of an FMC to combat these threats and to patrol and defend its coastal waterways of the Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and in particular, the Suez Canal.
Each of the 63 meter craft carry a 76mm Super Rapid Gun, Harpoon Block II missiles, MK49 Rolling Airframe Missiles, and the Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) Block 1B. These high-speed, agile craft can reach speeds of greater than 34 knots provide berthing for a crew of up to 40 sailors and operate up to eight days independently at sea.

The first of four FMCs are scheduled to join the Egyptian fleet in 2012. PEO Ships will continue to assist with acquisition and oversight efforts throughout the construction process and will provide follow-on technical and training support to the Egyptian Navy upon delivery of the vessels.
From the U.S. Navy's International Programs Office:


Some background.

I added the emphasis above.

UPDATE: Yes, small ships, heavily armed, short-legged. I got that. Less expensive for littoral warfare (surface) than another model which shall remain unnamed here. In a squadron of 5 or 6, joined by armed helicopters and a "mother ship" - they would be nice to have in the green and brown waters for asymmetric stuff.

I see putting a few in the Med, Guam, Pearl, Singapore, Bahrain, "Africa Station" and the Gulf of Aden (East African littorals) for counter pirate ops.


  1. Anonymous2:26 PM

    Not to mention for the USCG to replace and/or augment their cutters. Imagine a combination of these with a Wasp class for Romeos and armed Fire Scouts with a destroyer or two to complete the SAG.

  2. Personally, I don't like the idea of any Middle East country, with the exception of Israel, having this.

    1. Anonymous6:50 AM

      Personally its so lame that you would favor israel, we have those ships deal with it !!!

  3. Anonymous5:56 PM

    So why is the US Navy and the US Coast Guard not buying these for ourselves. It would be very foolish not to buy them. Who ever wasn't thinking, should be fired right on the spot. I can see plenty of good uses for these FAC for the US Coast Guard and the US Navy.

  4. Back in the '70s we used to have a few ships of similar characteristics homeported in the Med with their own Mothership. We worked closely and well with similar forces of other NATO countries. What we DIDN'T have is any support from our own Navy (all blue water, all the time.) I remember our first operation after arriving was to shadow Soviet submarines -- despite the fact that we didn't have any sonar equipment! That illustrates the lack of knowledge that Sixth Fleet staff about our capabilities/limitations. Needless to say, things didn't get a whole lot better as time went by.

  5. sounds like a modern version of the old Asheville class PG's. VERY fast, and were never really used to their potential.

  6. Re the CG. They are making 28 knot 350 ton patrol boats with longer range (2500 nmi) that cost less than a third ($45M) that of these vessels.

    For larger vessels they want more range and a helicopter.

  7. How are the CG boats armed?

  8. Anonymous4:34 PM

    Seeing as there are a lot of people thinking that these boats should be produced for the Navy and Coast Guard I would say you are very confused at what you are looking at. Yes these boats have a lot of fire power but they are constructed to ABS standards which is not MIL SPEC... The wiring/electrical panel mounts etc. is substandard when compared to MIL SPEC. I have been aboard the FMC's and yes they armed to the hilt but as for the Coast Guard using them they would not be effective. The Coast Guard requires a platform that can recover personnel as well as conduct law enforcement patrols, migrant patrols etc. This boat has capabilities for only one thing and that is attack, evade and destroy. When it comes to the Navy they already have a much better platform that is more capable and built to military standards. As for selling these vessels to Egypt I think it is a bad idea.... I can only hope the role they provide is target practice for Israel....
    Retired US Coast Guard O-4

  9. I love this type of fast attack missile capable ship! less expensive and highly loaded! China has around 60 plus of this type of fast attack ships with anti-ship missiles. The only difference with China and US are the ones sitting at the white house doing the decisions!

  10. The Philippines should have this type of Fast Attack ships with loaded weapons! Pres. Aquino is spending billions of pesos on new ships, weapons and aircraft and this one is the best choice!