November 6, 2011:
The first of four Fast Missile Craft (FMC) for Egypt was officially dedicated and named in the U.S. (Mississippi) shipyard where it is being fitted out with weapons and equipment. The ENS Ezzat was recently launched and will be delivered late next year. The 600 ton, 63 meter (195 foot) long FMCs have a crew of 35 and are armed with a 76mm cannon, eight Harpoon anti-ship missiles, 21 RAM anti-aircraft missiles, a 20mm anti-missile autocannon and two 7.62mm machine-guns. The crew also has access to assault rifles and pistols. Top speed is 61 kilometers an hour and there are fuel and provisions on board for the ship to stay at sea for eight days at a time. These ships cost about $200 million each and all four will be delivered within three years.
Egypt needs these ships to help guard the two entrances to the Suez Canal (a major economic activity, which brings in billions a year in revenue). In practice, these ships do not spend most of their time at sea. The engines of the FMC are built to be operated 100 days a year, and be dry-docked for overhaul every 24 months. You can operate the engines more frequently, but that means the 24 month overhaul will arrive earlier.