Ambassador MK III Missile Boat

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Ambassador MK III
Class overview
Name: Ambassador MK III
Builders: VT Halter-Marine[1][2]
Operators:  Egyptian Navy
Cost: US$1,290m (program cost for four)[3]
US$240m[3] (marginal cost of fourth hull in 2009)
Built: 2008–2013
In commission: 2013–
Building: 2
Planned: 4[1]
Completed: 2
Active: 2
General characteristics
Type: Missile boat
Displacement: 500 t (490 long tons; 550 short tons)[2][4]
Length: 60.6 m (198 ft 10 in)
Beam: 10 m (32 ft 10 in)
Draft: 2 m (6 ft 7 in)
Installed power: 4 × MTU diesels,[5] 30,000 hp (22 MW)
Propulsion: 4 shafts
Speed: 41 knots (76 km/h)[6]
Range: 2,000 nmi (3,700 km; 2,300 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Endurance: 8 days at sea
Complement: 36 (8 officers, 10 chief petty officers, and 18 ratings), 38[7]
Sensors and
processing systems:
Thales Nederland Scout (I/J band) radar
EADS TRS-3D radar, built by Raytheon
I and K dual-band fire control radar
Link ASN 150, LinkYE, Link 14, and Link 11 data links
IFF
Lightweight Shipboard Electro-Optical Combat Management System/Fire Control
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
4 × chaff/IR launchers
ESM/ECM
Armament: 8 × RGM-84 Boeing Harpoon SSM Block 1G in 2 quad canister launchers
1 × General Dynamics/OTO Melara Mk 75 76 mm/62 Super Rapid DP gun
1 × Mk 31 Mod 3 RIM-116 RAM (21 missiles)
1 × Raytheon Mk 15 Mod 21 Phalanx (Block 1B) 20 mm Phalanx CIWS
2 × deck-mounted 7.62 mm M60 machine guns[1]

The Ambassador MK III fast missile craft or Ezzat-class is a small warship built by VT Halter-Marine for the Egyptian Navy. Four ships are planned at a total cost of US$1,290m; the first, S. Ezzat, was handed over in November 2013 and the remainder are scheduled to follow in 2013/4. Egypt already operated Halter's Ambassador design as a patrol boat for their Coast Guard fleet, and chose a variant of the design with reduced radar cross-section as the basis for a large modern missile boat. Its design was conducted with the assistance of Lockheed Martin.[8]

Background[edit]

The Egyptian Navy has used fast missile boats to patrol its coastline and defend the entrances to the strategic Suez Canal since the Soviet Union transferred Komar-class missile boats in 1962-67[9] and Osa-class missile boats in 1966-68.[10] Their success in sinking the Israeli destroyer Eilat in 1967 and other targets led to the Egyptians acquiring Fast Attack Craft from Europe and China, but the last were acquired in 1982 and by the late 1990s replacements were needed.

New design[edit]

On 7 August 2004 the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified the sale of three Fast Missile Craft to Egypt for US$565m[3] under a U.S. Navy Foreign Military Sales program managed by the U.S. Navy's Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA).[5] A contract was expected to be signed by the end of that year, but industry sources indicate that the program remained in limbo over technical questions that were not resolved until a meeting in Alexandria in January 2005. Phase I began in December 2005, when VT Halter Marine signed a USD 28.8M contract with the US Department of Defense to develop a functional design for a fast missile craft (FMC) for the Egyptian Navy. This was a new design,[10] sometimes referred to as the Ambassador Mk IV design. Under this phase, VT Halter Marine conducted analytical, design, engineering and model testing for the craft. The effort included preparation for the integration of C4ISR as well as a combat system effectiveness study to validate the system requirements of the vessel. The first phase was completed in December 2006.[1]

On 7 September 2008, the DSCA reported that the budget for three ships had increased to US$1,050m[3] and construction finally began in November 2009.[5] On 17 December 2009 the DSCA announced that a fourth vessel would be procured for an additional US$240m, increasing the program cost to US$1,290m.[3][11] In May 2010, the Egyptian Navy was in discussions for the procurement of two additional units (five and six). These units could begin around 2014.[1]

Service history[edit]

In a ceremony on 25 October 2011, the four vessels had been named as S. Ezzat (682), F. Zekry, M. Fahmy and A. Gad.[5] The S. Ezzat was laid down on 7 April 2011 and launched in October 2011 and was handed over to the Egyptian Navy on 19 November 2013.[12] Also, the F. Zekry was handed over in December.[7][13]

The remaining two vessels is scheduled for 2014 to be delivered[7][13] and since July 2013, the officers had been under instruction at Pensacola and crew training will start in July 2014.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Egypt - Future Fast Missile Craft (FAC)". AMI International. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  2. ^ a b "About: Ambassador MK III Missile Boat". DBpedia. Retrieved 2013-09-06. [unreliable source?]
  3. ^ a b c d e "Transmittal No: 09-71, Egypt – Fast Missile Craft". Defense Security Cooperation Agency. 18 December 2009. Retrieved 2013-10-03. 
  4. ^ "Ambassador Mk III design Fast Missile Craft (FMC) Egypt" (png) (Image). 
  5. ^ a b c d Cavas, Christopher (26 October 2011). "New Missile Craft for Egypt Delivered". Defense News. 
  6. ^ Baker, A. D. (2001). "World Navies in Review". Subsim. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  7. ^ a b c d Cavas, Christopher (19 November 2013). "Egypt Receives 1st US-Built Missile Craft". Retrieved 2013-11-21. 
  8. ^ Lake, Darren (11 January 2001). "Egyptian Navy orders four Ambassador MK III PCFGs". Janes Defence Weekly. Archived from the original on 2001-08-15. 
  9. ^ Polmar, Norman (1991). The Naval Institute Guide to the Soviet Navy. Naval Institute Press. p. 465. ISBN 9780870212413. 
  10. ^ a b Wertheim, Eric (2007). The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World: Their Ships, Aircraft, and Systems. Naval Institute Press. pp. 173–4. ISBN 9781591149552. 
  11. ^ Rosamond, Jon (22 February 2010). "Middle East splashes cash on US, European designs". Defense and Security Intelligence and Analysis: IHS Jane's. Archived from the original on 2012-08-17. (subscription required (help)). 
  12. ^ Tringham, Kate (21 November 2013). "Egypt receives first missile craft". IHS Jane's 360. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Binnie, Jeremy (26 May 2014). "Ambassador IV missile craft bound for Egypt". IHS jane's 360. Retrieved 2 September 2014.