Fourth German-Built S-44 Submarine Delivered to Egyptian Navy

The last of four Type 209/1400 submarines was delivered to Egypt on 2 August. The German-made diesel-electric S-44 submarine embarked on its journey from ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems’ Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft’s shipyard in Kiel, manned by its new Egyptian crew and arrived at its new home at the Egyptian Navy’s Alexandria Naval Base.

Egypt’s fourth Type 209 1400MOD submarine, the S-44, at its launching and naming ceremony in Kiel, Germany. (Image courtesy of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems)

According to the Egyptian Ministry of Defense’s press release, this latest delivery marks the on-schedule fulfillment of the four units between 2017 and 2021. The release posits the purpose of the submarines will be securing the trade route between the red Mediterranean seas through Egypt’s Suez canal.

The initial contract for two of the submarines was signed in 201 between the Egyptian MOD and ThyssenKrupp, with an additional contract for the second pair signed in 2015. The total value of the four submarines is estimated at around $1.7 billion U.S. dollars by German media.

Egyptian Navy commander Lieutenant general Ahmad Khalid gave a speech at a ceremony held to celebrate the submarine’s delivery, in which he declared the navy’s intention to continue to modernize its arsenal. In attendance were the German ambassador, generals, and members of the public. A naval show incorporating over fifty ships was held off the coast of Alexandria. 

The delivery ceremony included a naval show led by the four Type 209 submarines Egypt finished acquiring with the arrival of the S-44. (Still image taken from the Egyptian MOD press release video)

The Type 209 class of diesel-electric attack submarines’ development in the late 1960s was originally commissioned by the German government for the exclusive purpose of export, and so far have been incorporated into the navies of 14 countries including South Korea and Turkey. The German Navy only deploys the Type 212 class developed for the German and Italian navies and includes an Air-Independent Propulsion system (AIP) utilizing a hydrogen cell battery. Greek, Turkish, and South Korean Type 209 submarines were retrofitted with AIPs in the past, but the details released for the S-44 submarines indicate that they are not fitted with the technology.