CAIRO:Egypt will buy four naval corvettes from France for one billion Euros ($1.1 billion), an anonymous French official told AFP Saturday.
In 2014, the French shipbuilder DCNS has signed contracts with Egypt to sell the four Gowind-class corvettes, the official added.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met Saturday with French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian and discussed bilateral relations and the international and regional issues, said the Presidential spokesperson Alaa Youssef in a statement.
On April 16, DCNS announced that it has started to construct the first Gowind corvette to Egypt in the modern naval shipyard of Lorient.
The four vessels; France’s most advanced naval equipments, are scheduled to be delivered to Egypt by 2019, while the first corvette will be delivered by 2017, the company said in a statement on its official website. According to the signed contract, the other three vessels will be built in Alexandria.
Gowind corvette is 102 meters in length and 16 meters in width. Its speed is 25 knots with a range of 3,700 nautical miles at 15 knots. It can carry air-defense and anti-ship missiles and torpedoes. Malaysia, was the first country to have bought the French corvettes.
The company has delivered the FREMM-multipurpose French frigate Tahya Misr to the Egyptian navy on Wednesday to be used in securing the new Suez Canal.
On July 20, three of 24 French Rafale fighter jets were sent to the Egyptian fleet. The fighter jets will participate in the inauguration ceremony of new Suez Canal scheduled for August 6.
French President Francois Hollande, with many of world leaders, would participate in the inauguration ceremony.