The U.S. Navy announced the launch of the first Egyptian Navy Fast Missile Craft (FMC) from VT Halter Marine’s Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard, Oct. 20, marking a key milestone in the ship’s construction process.
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 vessel 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.
“The launch of the FMC is the culmination of nearly two years of production rigor and dedication from all parties,” said Frank McCarthey, the Auxiliary Ships, Boats, and Craft program manager. “The FMC program will continue to benefit from the high degree of design and planning maturity that has already been accomplished by the Navy/VT Halter team.”
Each of the 63 meter craft 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 craft can reach speeds of greater than 34 knots provide berthing for a crew of up to 40 sailors and operate up to eight days independently at sea.
The first of four FMCs are scheduled to join the Egyptian fleet in 2012. 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 Navy upon delivery of the vessels.
The Auxiliary Ships, Boats, and Craft Program Office within the U.S. Navy’s Program Executive Office (PEO), Ships manages the Egyptian FMC program. The Navy utilizes the foreign military sales program to help build partner nation maritime security capabilities through acquisition and transfers of ships, boats, combatant craft, weapon systems, communication equipment and a variety of training programs.
As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships, an affiliated PEO of the Naval Sea Systems Command, is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all major surface combatants, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, service craft, boats, and combatant craft.
Source: Navy, October 21, 2011