skip to main content

Egypt's second Italian FREMM arrives in Alexandria

The second of the two Italian-built FREMM frigates bought by Egypt arrived at the naval base in Alexandria on 14 April.

         arrived in Alexandria.
       (Egyptian Ministry of Defence)

ENS Bernees arrived in Alexandria. (Egyptian Ministry of Defence)

The Egyptian Ministry of Defence (MoD) released a video showing ENS Bernees (1003) being escorted into the Ras-al-Tin Naval Base by most of the Egyptian fleet. The first of the two, ENS Al-Galala (1002), arrived in Alexandria in December 2020.

Both frigates were built for the Italian Navy but sold to Egypt before they were delivered in a deal that the Italian government has tried to keep quiet. The sale has been controversial due to Egyptā€™s human rights record and it deprives the Italian Navy of two frigates.

The shipbuilder Fincantieri has reportedly started work on the two replacement frigates for the Italian Navy. However, the Italian Lā€™Espresso weekly news magazine reported on 28 March that Fincantieri had submitted a request to export two more FREMMs to Egypt, which it said was evidence that Cairo wants to exercise an option in its contract for additional vessels. Lā€™Espresso reported that these would be delivered in 2025, further delaying the delivery of the replacements for the Italian Navy.

Meanwhile, the il Fatto Quotidiano newspaper reported that the frigates were sold for EUR990 million (USD1.2 billion) each when the estimated cost of a FREMM for the Italian Navy is EUR1.2 billion. NATO-standard equipment has been removed from the ships before their transfer to Egypt, presumably reducing their cost as it can be reused on the future Italian frigates, although Lā€™Espresso has reported that the work cost an additional EUR140 million.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...