CAIRO: The Egyptian navy received the European multipurpose frigate (FREMM) from a shipyard in Lorient, western France, weighing 6,000 tons measuring 142 meters long, Youm7 reported Tuesday.
The frigate is supposed to further enhance security at the Suez Canal, one of the most important waterways worldwide.
The delivery is a “first step” in ensuring a “unique relationship” between Paris and Cairo, given Egypt’s “central role” in the region,” French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said during the delivery ceremony of the frigate.
Egypt and France signed a deal worth more than 5 billion euros ($5.7 billion,) per which Egypt purchased 24 Rafale fighter jets and the FREMM naval frigate and missiles, a French source told Reuters Feb. 12.
The deal was seen as an essential step towards enhancing Egypt’s situation to confront “terrorist threats” especially in North Sinai and neighboring countries that face unrest, including Libya and Yemen.
FREMM has anti-submarines, anti-aircraft, anti-ballistic missiles and surface attack capabilities.
The U.S. had suspended its military aid to Egypt in August 2013, and only announced the full resumption of the aid in late March 2015.
However, in late November 2014, after a major attack on security forces in North Sinai, Egypt announced that the U.S. had delivered a shipment of Apache helicopters.