Naval Warfare

Germany Approves Egypt Takes Over Lürssen Patrol Boats for Saudi Arabia


Germany Approves Egypt Takes Over Lürssen Patrol Boats for Saudi Arabia

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The German government has approved the delivery of nine patrol and coast defense boats to Egypt for an amount of €130 million. The ships manufactured by German shipyard Lürssen, were ordered by Saudi Arabia, but the sale was canceled due to the decision of Germany to ban arms export to Saudi Arabia. The 1.5 billion euros deal for the construction of patrol boats for the Border Guards (Coast Guards) of Saudi Arabia was signed with the German company Lürssen in early 2013. This information was released via a letter from Federal Economics Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) to the Economic Committee of the Bundestag, the German parliament.

Currently, Lürssen has already delivered 15 patrol boats to Saudia Arabia out of the 35 that it had requested to purchase from Germany before the latter banned all arms’ exports to the kingdom in November 2018. The contract for Saudi Arabia included the delivery of a mix of TNC 35 and FPB 38 patrol boats. The first TNC 35 patrol boat, “Jeddah” (TR 5243), was delivered for Saudi Arabia’s Border Guards in November 2016. The 35m long patrol boat seen here during sea trials in the Baltic Sea in mid-September. In November 2018, the German government imposed an export ban on arms exports to Saudi Arabia because of the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

There are intensive economic and trade relations between Germany and Egypt. After China, Germany is Egypt’s second largest trading partner with a trade volume of just under 4.5 billion euros (2019). In 2019, Egypt was the most important recipient country for German armaments among the developing countries (801.8 million euros). During the first quarter of 2020 Egypt was the largest arms buyer from Germany. Germany’s arms exports rose during the first half of 2019 along with sales to the UAE, which also has a highly questionable human rights record. In terms of approval values, Egypt is the second most important destination country after Israel in the first half of 2020.

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