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Gulf Coast Shipbuilders Play Key Role in Modernizing Egyptian Naval Forces

Two Gulf Coast shipbuilders, VT Halter Marine (Pascagoula, Miss.) and Swiftships (Morgan City, La.), are playing important roles in modernizing Egypt’s naval and coast guard forces respectively.

VT Halter Marine (VTHM) is building four fast missile craft (FMC) for the Egyptian navy. The Auxiliary Ships, Boats, and Craft Program Office (PMS 325F) within the U.S. Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Program Executive Office (PEO), Ships manages the Egyptian FMC program as a foreign military sales (FMS) case that is valued at approximately $807 million.

The Auxiliary Ships, Boats, and Craft Program Office (PMS 325F) within the U.S. Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Program Executive Office (PEO), Ships manages the Egyptian FMC program as a foreign military sales (FMS) case that is valued at approximately $807 million.

The FMC program recently crossed another milestone with the launching of the second fast missile craft (FMC 2) on March 4, 2012. VTHM would not disclose the keel laying date for the warship.

According to NAVSEA, FMC 1 is scheduled to go to sea trials this summer, with delivery planned for the end of the year.

Fast Missile Craft (FMC) 2

Fast Missile Craft 2, reportedly named F. Zekry, being moved out of its building hall on Jan. 21, 2012, prior to launching. U.S. Navy photo

Planned delivery schedules of the others are: FMC 2 in calendar year (CY) 2013, FMC 3 in late CY 2013, and FMC 4 in CY 2014. Deliveries are likely to be staggered six months apart.

While the first FMC has been named S. Ezzat and given the pennant number 682, the names of the others are reportedly F. Zekry, M. Fahmy, and A. Gad.

The almost 63-meter-long, stealthy looking FMC has a standard displacement of around 700 metric tons and a full-load displacement of 779 metric tons. They have a steel hull and an aluminum superstructure. As expected, the stealthy design incorporates several signature reduction features, including a low radar cross section with sloped upper works and covered bulwarks, low radiated noise, and infrared suppression devices, along with unspecified measures to lower the ships’ visible signature.

The propulsion system configuration has a layout that is seen in fast-attack craft designs. There are four shafts driven by four MTU 16V 595TE90 diesels developing 23,175 horsepower. The reduction gear system is comprised of a Rientjes WVS 2240P forward-mounted gearbox and a Rientjes WVS UP aft-mounted gearbox.

According to VTHM, the FMC are designed to sustain speeds of more than 34 knots. Other reports suggest a top speed of up to 41 knots, possibly in a lightly loaded condition. They have a range of 2,000 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 15 knots. With a crew of 38-40 personnel, the FMC have an endurance of up to 15 days. These ships are designed to be fully operational at sea state four.

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