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Egypt inaugurates a new naval base near Libya


Earlier this week, Egypt's President Al-Sissi accompanied by UAE crown prince Mohamed Bin Zayed inaugurated a new naval base on the northwest coast of Egypt bearing the name of the July 3 Naval Base in the Jargoub area, about 180km far from the Egyptian-Libyan borders. (Written by Mahmoud Gamal, Military Affairs Writer)
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Map for Egypt's New Naval Bases (Picture source: Twitter account of Medomee5)


In conjunction with the inauguration, a large-scale military exercise was conducted which included the execution of tactical amphibious assault from the two Egyptian Mistral LHDs, targeting hostile naval vessels represented in decommissioned Egyptian Navy ships with Harpoon &Exocet Anti-ships missiles, DM2A4 Seahake Torpedo from a Type-209/1400 submarine, as well as facing aerial threats by firing MICA-VL Surface-to-air missiles from Gowind corvettes & RIM-116 RAM missiles.

Also, during the Exercise, the Egyptian Kamov Ka-52 Russian Gunships (Ground-based version) appeared for the first time inside the Mistral Hangars with folded rotors in sign that they were modified at an Egyptian request to be able to operate on the Mistral helicopters carrier permanently as the Ka-52K Katran isn't still available yet.


Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Egyptian Ka-52 Gunships inside the Mistral LHD hangar


The new 3rd of July Naval Base is one of three new naval bases that Egypt has completely built recently. The new bases are located in three different strategic directions.

3rd July Naval Base is located on the Northwest strategic direction, near Libya. This country is facing an unstable security situation since 2011 and has imposed a direct threat on Egypt's national security, hence Egypt made a huge military build-up over the past few years near the borders with Libya to secure and control it.

The new Egyptian Navy base aims to protect the Egyptian economic interests in Eastern Mediterranean, especially after signing the Egyptian-Greek Exclusive Economic Zone Agreement (EZZ), protecting and securing global shipping lines to Europe and prevent illegal immigration and smuggling attempts. 3rd of July base is also considered as a logistical hub for the Egyptian Navy Northern fleet. Also, 3rd of July base has been built on strategic planning as the Egyptian Northwest coast is currently witnessing rapid urban development and energy expansion by building a nuclear power plant. All these vital targets require more military presence by naval and air force means to insure security and stability. 3rd of July base along the other new military bases established in this region will play a key role in securing these vital targets.

Berenice Naval Base in the southern strategic direction, on the Red Sea coast. It is entrusted with the tasks of securing the Red Sea sector and Egyptian economic waters and preventing infiltration, smuggling and illegal immigration from the African countries through the Red Sea, as it contributes to securing the Egyptian strategic depth in the southern Red Sea to Bab al-Mandab Strait, Berenice Naval Base also serves a permanent logistical hub for the Egyptian Navy Southern Fleet.

East Port Said Naval Base is located on the Northeast strategic direction, on the Mediterranean coast. Its main aim is to secure and protect the Egyptian economic interests, energy resources as Zohr Gas field in Eastern Mediterranean, also to ensure the security of maritime traffic in the Suez Canal, which is considered as one of the most important shipping lanes in the World.

Why is Egypt building new naval bases? (The Common Goal)


Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Frigate “Toshka” F906 


First, Since al Sissi came to power, Egypt has put at the top of its priorities the development and modernization of the capabilities of the Egyptian army in all its forms, including the navy. The development plan targeted the navy and triangulated in three different directions, namely the development of armaments capabilities and the acquisition of advanced and modern naval units that add to Egypt large and unprecedented combat capabilities and expansion within the scope of the naval forces’ operations, the development of the combatant individual and his qualification of training to accommodate the newly purchased naval vessels and follow up with the rapid development processes at all levels.

The main aspect is the development of the infrastructure of the navy by developing the facilities of the navy, building a number of new naval bases to add new capabilities to the armed forces that enable them to accommodate the development process, securing the Egyptian waters and borders, national interests, energy sources, providing logistical support to the Navy on a permanent basis on all Egyptian state strategic directions, be a hub for training, redeployment of naval units to conduct any assigned task or operation, also the new naval bases could help Egypt's allies like Greece, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia and UAE in providing logistical support to them during military operations or training missions in the Red Sea or the Mediterranean.

Egyptian Navy modernized

Over the past years, Egypt has comprehensively modernized its navy by introducing new naval vessels. It has been assigned missions of different types, involving two Mistral helicopter carriers and amphibious ships, one French-origin FREMM Aquitaine-class frigate, two Italian-origin FREMM Bergamini-class General Purpose (GP) frigates, four Gowind-2500 corvettes, three of which were manufactured in Egypt by Alexandria shipyard company in cooperation with the French Naval Group, fourUS-made Ambassador Mk III fast missile craft, in addition to four German-built Type-209/1400 diesel-electric submarines, one Tarantul-class missile boat donated by Russia, one Pohang-class corvette gifted from South Korea, ten patrol boats from the German Lürssen group. Germany is also currently building four Meko A200 frigates for the Egyptian Navy, the first of which is scheduled to be delivered by early 2022.

Within the scope of the navy's modernization plan, Egypt is not only seeking to purchase combat naval vessels; it is also working on transferring manufacturing technology to build an industrial platform that would enable it to design and manufacture its own technology in the future.

Egypt started with the Gowind-class corvettes deal, which included buying one corvette from France and transferring the manufacturing technology to build three more in Egypt by the armed forces owned company "Alexandria shipyard".

Egypt is also going to manufacture one Meko A200 frigate locally in Alexandria shipyard in cooperation with the German company ThyssenKrupp. Egypt's ambition is not limited to surface vessels: it was reported that Egypt is seeking to transfer the manufacturing technology of submarines to be built locally in its army-owned shipyards, something that will make a big shift in Egypt's naval industries base.

Egypt's plan to develop its naval forces has not ended yet. It just started, as Egypt wants to be a regional power with influence and control in the Middle East region& Eastern Mediterranean.