The Egyptian Navy is currently using a total of four Project 633 (Romeo) class submarines, which were acquired during the 1970s from Chinese shipyards. The ageing submarines were about to be replaced many years ago, but the financial cost of doing so was delaying the decision.
However, the Egyptian naval chief claimed that the submarines currently operated by the navy are capable of performing most of the missions within the territorial waters of Egypt. The submarines are deployed along the northern Red Sea, and the eastern part of the Mediterranean. El Gendy claimed that the decision to replace the submarines was taken after considering the future needs and scenarios. He further claimed that the Egyptian Navy is always concerned about the future needs of the country’s armed forces.
The Type 209 submarines were first developed during the 1970s, as a successor to the Type 206 submarine. The designing was done by the engineers of the German firm Ingenieur Kontor Lübeck (IKL), and the structure was largely based on its predecessor. Built by the Howaldtswerke-Deutsche WerftNordseewerke, the Type-209 vessels remain in active service in the naval forces of more than a dozen nations, including India, Argentina, Brazil, Greece, South Africa and Turkey.
El Gendy further added that the planned acquisition of four American built Fast Missile Crafts (FMCs) for the Navy will be completed by the end of 2013. He claimed that the Navy is in the process of acquiring more naval vessels from the Netherlands and Turkey, in addition to the US.