U.S. Delivers First Egyptian Fast Missile Craft

November 20, 2013 8:55 AM
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.

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
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