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U.S. Delivers First Egyptian Fast Missile Craft

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An undated photo of the ENS S. Ezzat, an Egyptian Fast Missile Craft. VT Halter Marine Photo

An undated photo of the ENS S. Ezzat, an Egyptian Fast Missile Craft. VT Halter Marine Photo

Despite the ongoing leadership strife in Egypt, the U.S. has moved ahead with the delivery of four fast missile craft (FMC), Pentagon officials told USNI News on Wednesday.

The first VT Halter Marine-built FMC — ENS S. Ezzat — was transferred to the Egyptian Navy in a Tuesday ceremony in Florida, according to a report in Defense News.

The transfer follows a shift in U.S. military assistance to Egypt led by the White House, Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Bill Speaks told USNI News.

“We did decide to recalibrate these programs,” he said.
The recalibration focused on “vital security objectives” like counter terrorism and counter proliferation operations and “ensuring security” in the Sinai Peninsula, Speaks said.

Following the July ouster of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, the U.S. has slowed the delivery of about $1.3 billion in Foreign Military Financing to Egypt. Military aid accounts for the bulk of the $1.6 billion foreign aid to the country.

Under the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act, countries can not receive aid other than for democracy promotion if the head of state has been deposed by a military coup d’état.

Since July, U.S. has suspended deliveries of 500 General Dynamic M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks, 20 Lockheed Martin F-16C/D and an order of Boeing AH-64 attack helicopters.

Egyptian officials have implied the country could look elsewhere for weapons.

As for the follow on ships, the next of the Ambassador III class FMCs will likely deliver in December with the third and fourth ships slated for a 2014 delivery.

The 75-ton ships are armed with eight Harpoon anti-ship missiles, a 76 mm deck gun and capable of speeds of up to 41 kts. The ships are also armed with a 20 mm Phalanx Close-in Weapon System (CIWS) and a Rolling Airframe Missile, according to Naval Institute’s Guide to Combat Fleets of the World.

Categories: Budget Industry, Foreign Forces, News & Analysis, Surface Forces
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the USNI Online Editor at the U.S. Naval Institute.
He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. In his role he covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
Sam is a 2003 graduate of Virginia Military Institute.

  • Marcd30319

    Why can’t the U.S. Navy buy some of these Ambassador III class fast missile craft. They would be ideal for the Caribbean Sea, the Persian Gulf, and the Straits of Malacca. Pound-for-pound, they are better armed than a Littoral Combat Ship, as well as being a lot less expensive.

  • Peter

    Marcd, I was thinking the exact same thing. They seem faster and better armed than the Navy’s Patrol Coastal boats. It’s amazing what are built in the U.S. and somehow DoD doesn’t even know much about them and ends up selling them to foreign nations. Even the U.S. Coast Guard could benefit with a stronger armament and speed.

    • Nile

      I think we should give credit to our colleagues in the EG Navy Corps of Engineers for coming up with such a package request for their needs that led up to building this fine FMC, I think the EG Navy has the patent rights for this FMC design that does not allow VT Halter to sell similar FMCs without the EG Navy’s approval, but I might be wrong.

  • vincedc

    More like an over armed
    Coast Guard cutter. Probably limited on range that works well in the Med and Red Sea.

  • Matthew Hipple

    Someone needs to go up in front of the IG for fraud waste and abuse, with us buying LCS and these being available.

  • Secundius

    My thoughts exactly, Our Navy and Coast Guard could benefit from the operations of these Go-Fast, Missile/Gun Boats.

  • Secundius

    Actually the displacement is somewhat off, actual displacement is 500-tons, standard…