Egypt has received the first of four German military submarines commissioned for the Navy, the first of which was launched on Thursday.
The second diesel-electric attack submarine is reportedly due to be delivered and launched sometime over the next few weeks. The subs were constructed by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, which is based in the northern port city of Kiel.
State-owned media outlets reporting on the new military vessels failed to mention the price tag, but German media outlets report that two of the subs, along with their missile defense systems, cost 920 million euros (around LE8.9 billion).
The German sources said contracts for the first two submarines were signed in the summer of 2011, while Egypt purchased two more in 2014, presumably at the same price.
A government statement published in the state-owned Middle East News Agency on Friday hailed the submarine launch as a victory for President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s administration.
Navy commander Osama Mounir Rabie declared the event “a day of honor for the Egyptians” while attending the submarine’s launch from Hamburg on Thursday.
Obtaining the vessels represents “a tremendous technological addition to the Navy and its ability to protect Egyptian national security, to confront various threats and challenges affecting the safety and security of Egypt’s coasts and territorial waters,” read a statement posted to the Armed Forces spokesperson’s official Facebook page.
Despite the country’s myriad economic woes, Egypt has spent hundreds of billions of pounds on the purchase of military equipment and hardware over the past few years.
Seeking to diversify its sources of armaments, Sisi’s government has been turning away from its reliance on US-made military equipment and moving towards Russia, France, China and Germany, among others.
In July, the Armed Forces procured three French-made Rafale fighter jets as part of a military deal estimated to cost 5.2 billion euros (about LE44 billion). The deal includes the purchase of 24 Rafale jet fighters, a naval frigate and other French hardware.
Egypt is reportedly also in the process of purchasing two French-made Mistral helicopter carries for the Navy, a deal that will also carry a multi-billion pound price tag.