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Italian government reportedly approves frigate sale to Egypt

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has approved the sale of two FREMM frigates to Egypt after he spoke with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the ANSA news agency cited sources close to the subject as saying on 8 June.

Emilio Bianchi
         is seen during its launch at Fincantieriā€™s Riva Trigoso yard on 25 January.

Emilio Bianchi is seen during its launch at Fincantieriā€™s Riva Trigoso yard on 25 January.

ANSA reported the approval covers the sale of the Bergamini-class frigates Spartaco Schergat and Emilio Bianchi for an estimated EUR1.2 billion (USD1.35 billion). Both frigates were ordered for the Italian Navy and have been launched by the shipbuilder Fincantieri, but not commissioned as yet.

The Italian media has reported that the frigate deal is part of a much larger package that includes another four frigates, 20 corvettes based on the Falaj class that Fincantieri built for the United Arab Emirates, 24 Eurofighter Typhoon multirole jets, 24 M346 jet trainers, and a surveillance satellite.

It was confirmed in May that Leonardo has already secured a contract to supply 24 AW149 and eight AW189 helicopters to the Egyptian military for approximately EUR871 million.

The Italian government has made no official statement on the defence sales being lined up with Egypt since Alberto Cutillo, the director of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairsā€™ Military Material Authorisation Unit (UAMA), confirmed in March that Fincantieri had been given permission to negotiate the sale of the two frigates.

Cutillo made the statement to the parliamentary commission investigating the death of Giulio Regeni, a case seen as a potential obstacle for the deal as Italian law bans defence exports to countries responsible for human rights abuses.


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