The handover ceremony of the Gowind 2500 type vessel was held at Alexandria Shipyard in presence of the Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Navy, Vice Admiral Ahmed Khaled Hassan. The ship then sailed to its home base in Alexandria.
The contract for the acquisition of four Gowind 2500 corvettes (with an option for two more) was signed shortly before June 3, 2014 for 1 billion euro, a sum which did not include the weapon systems which were ordered in two separate contracts: one for 400 million euros for MBDA (VL-MICA, MM40 Block 3), the other for approximately 100 to 200 million euros for Naval group (torpedoes). The overall cost of the program is therefore between 1.5 and 1.7 billion euros.
The El Fateh program for the four corvettes included the construction and docking of the head-of-series at Naval Group’s Lorient shipyard (in Brittany). The first steel cut of the ENS El Fateh took place in April 2015, the launch on 17 September 2017 and the commissioning on 22 September 2017.
The three other corvettes were assembled at Alexandria Shipyard under technology transfer with Naval Group. The launches of ENS Port Said (September 7, 2018), ENS El Moez (May 12, 2019) and ENS Luxor (May 14, 2020) took place regularly and in a staggered manner. It took 61 months between first steel cut of the first corvette and the launch of the fourth ship in the program.
Following Egypt, the United Arab Emirates has signed a contract on 25 March 2019 for 750 million Euros (USD850m) for two Gowind 2500 type corvettes with options for two more, to be built in partnership with local shipyard Abu Dhabi Ship Building Company (ADSB). They will be equipped with Naval Group’s SETIS combat management system, MBDA’s Exocet missile, Raytheon’s Evolved Seasparrow Missiles.
The Romanian authorities announced in July 2019 the selection of Naval Group and its partner Santierul Naval Constanta (SNC) for the programme to build four new Gowind multi-mission corvettes, to modernize the T22 frigates and to create a maintenance centre and a training centre.
The first customer of the Gowind type corvette is the Royal Malaysian Navy which awarded a contract in late 2011 to local shipbuilder Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation (BHIC) and Naval Group (then DCNS) for the local construction of six “Littoral Combat Ships”. The Maharaja Lela-class frigates (also known as Second Generation Patrol Vessel – SGPV) are an enlarged version of the Gowind-class corvette.
El Fateh-class specifications
The four Gowind 2500 corvettes of the El Fateh-class are 102 metres long with a maximum width of 16 meters and a draft of 5.4 meters. The displacement at full load is around 2,600 tons. They are manned by a crew of 65 sailors and the accommodation on board can accommodate up to 15 special forces operators. The aviation installations allow the use of a 10-ton class helicopter.
The Combined diesel-electric and diesel-mechanical (CODED) propulsion system consist in two diesel engines (MTU) and two electric engines (Leroy-Somer) for a propulsive power of 10 MW. This allows the corvettes a maximum speed exceeding 25 knots. Their maximum range at 15 knots would be between 3,700 and 4,500 nautical miles.
The armament of the El Fateh-class corvettes consists in a 76 mm artillery piece (OTO-Melara), two remotely operated 20 mm Narwhal guns (Nexter), a 16-cell vertical launch system for as many VL-MICA surface-to-air missiles (MBDA), 8 MM40 Block 3 Exocet anti-ship missiles (MBDA) as well as two triple torpedo launchers (Naval group). The two main means of detection are a SMART-S Mk 2 radar (Thales) installed in the PSIM (Panoramic Sensors and Intelligence Module) integrated mast and a CAPTAS 2 variable immersion towed sonar (Thales).