French shipyard group DCNS has started construction on the Egyptian Navy's first Gowind 2500 corvette in Lorient.
DCNS won the four-ship contract in June 2014, beating competition from Germany's ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and the Dutch Damen Schelde group.
The company will also provide the Egyptian Navy with its knowledge for the construction of three high-technology corvettes and the through-life support for an equally modern FREMM frigate.
DCNS Egypt Gowind programme director Bruno Chapeland said: "This industrial milestone is the concrete output of preliminary work to adapt the vessel to the specific needs of the Egyptian Navy, conducted over the last nine months by the DCNS teams."
Equipped with the latest technologies, DCNS has specifically developed the Gowind 2500 for naval defence.
It features the DCNS' SETIS combat system, panoramic sensors and intelligence module (PSIM), an assembly that brings together the integrated mast with its various instruments, along with the operational centre, its associated technical rooms and the high degree of integration, automation and conviviality of the DCNS systems.
The corvette is powered by a diesel-driven propeller and waterjet system and is capable of cruising at a maximum speed between 22k and 27k, while accommodating 50 to 75 crew and passengers.
As part of the contract, DCNS will construct the four corvettes both in France and Egypt with the first vessel expected to be delivered in 2017.
The first corvette will be built on the DCNS site in Lorient, which specialises constructing and designing surface vessels of 1,000t to 8,000t. The other three units will be built in Alexandria, Egypt, within the frame of a construction technology transfer agreement.
In addition to this contract, DCNS has also won a first contract for the Royal Malaysian Navy, which includes the design and construction of six corvettes in Malaysia at the Boustead Naval Shipyard through technology transfer.
Image: DCNS Gowind-class corvette. Photo: courtesy of DCNS.