WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The keel for the first Egyptian Navy Fast Missile Craft (FMC) was authenticated April 7 during a ceremony at VT Halter Marine shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.
Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, and Vice Adm. Mohab Mameesh, commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Navy, delivered remarks highlighting the continued cooperation between both navies.
Authenticating the keel on behalf of the Egyptian Navy, Mameesh verified that it was truly and fairly laid.
The Egyptian FMC program is being managed as a foreign military sale by the Auxiliary Ships, Small Boats and Craft Program Office (PMS 325) in the U.S. Navy's Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships.
"Our foreign partners rely on PEO Ships' expertise in ship design and acquisition," said Frank McCarthey, PMS 325 program manager. "Since the beginning of this year, PEO Ships has delivered more than 30 boats and combatant craft to allied navies and coast guards."
VT Halter Marine started fabrication of the first craft, Nov. 30, 2009, in a newly constructed fabrication facility at their Pascagoula shipyard. The keel laying for the first craft represents the official unveiling of the new facility, which will allow the shipyard to perform 75-80 percent of production work indoors. Production of the first craft is progressing on schedule, and the ship is expected to join the Egyptian fleet in 2012.
The primary mission of the FMC is to conduct independent and joint operations, primarily against armed surface adversaries. The Egyptian Navy has a requirement for a ship with the capabilities of an FMC to combat these threats and to patrol and defend its coastal waterways of the Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea and, in particular, the Suez Canal.
Each 63 meter craft will carry a 76mm Super Rapid Gun, Harpoon Block II missiles, MK49 Rolling Airframe Missiles and the Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) Block 1B. These high-speed, agile ships will reach speeds of greater than 34 knots, provide berthing for a crew of up to 40 sailors and will be able to operate up to eight days independently at sea.
Egypt signed an FMC case for the purchase of three FMCs in September 2004. After extensive functional design and long lead item procurement and design efforts, the construction contract was placed with VT Halter Marine in September 2008. A fourth vessel was requested by the Egyptian Navy and was put under contract in March 2010
PEO Ships will continue to assist with acquisition and oversight efforts throughout the construction process and will provide follow-on technical and training support to the Egyptian Vavy upon delivery of the vessels.
PEO Ships is currently managing the design and construction of all U.S. Navy surface ships and a wide range of small boats and craft for U.S. agencies and allied nations. Since its creation in November 2002, PEO Ships has delivered 38 major warships and hundreds of small boats and craft from more than 20 shipyards and boat builders across the United States.
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