Egypt’s first Italian FREMM Bergamini frigate has arrived at the Alexandria naval base, announced the Egyptian military spokesperson on Thursday, local media reported.
The frigate, dubbed El-Galala and constructed by the Italian firm Fincantieri, can sail for 6,000 sea miles. It features many technical characteristics and modern weapons systems allowing it to carry out all combat missions in the sea in peacetime and war.
The FREMM Bergamini class frigate has a full load weight of around 6,500 tons, an overall length of approximately 144 meters and a top speed exceeding 27 knots.
The specialized and technical crews working on the new unit were prepared and qualified in record time, according to a simultaneous program implemented in two phases in Egypt and Italy.
“The frigate has several technical features and modern armament systems that qualify it to carry out sea combat missions during times of peace and war. Thus, it represents a huge technical addition to the proficiencies of the naval forces and a provision for border security, shipping lines, natural resources in the Mediterranean and Red Seas, in addition to providing support to ground forces deployed along the coast during attack and defense missions,” the Egyptian military statement read.
Egypt looks forward to applying a comprehensive strategy that prioritizes developing and modernizing the naval fleet, said Egyptian Navy Commander Ahmed Khaled in his speech in the ceremony held on the occasion of the frigate’s arrival.
The frigate will prop up security in the Suez Canal against the hostilities and challenges besetting the region, stated Khaled.
The political leadership gives priority to the readiness of the Armed Forces as a power capable of maintaining security and stability in the region, fighting terrorism and illegal migration, and contributing in development works, Khaled said.
The ceremony was attended by a number of Armed Forces commanders, former commanders of the Naval Force, and students at the Egyptian Naval Academy.
The FREMM Bergamini frigate is joining the fleet of the Egyptian Navy, which has recently witnessed a technological boom in armament systems and combat efficiency to cope with the latest global defense systems, stated the army spokesman.
In August 2020, Egypt ordered two Italian FREMM Bergamini class frigates for US$ 1.2 billion. The Egyptian Navy is expected to get the second frigate in 2021.
Egypt is also said to be interested in buying patrol boats from Fincantieri, some of which will be built locally under license under the same business model adopted with the French Gowind corvette.