The Egyptian Navy has taken delivery of the first of two FREMM (European multi-purpose frigate) naval ships built by Fincantieri. The handover ceremony was held on 22 December in La Spezia (Italy), and followed the Italian ministry of defence’s green light for the sale in July 2020.
Purchasing costs for Cairo have been estimated at 1.2 billion euros for the two ships, which were originally destined for the Marina Militare. The sale is reported to be part of a much bigger deal, totalling 11 billion euros, which will also include 24 Eurofighter Typhoon jets, a satellite, two dozen trainer aircraft, four more FREMM frigates and as many as twenty patrol ships.
Unsurprisingly, given the Regeni homicide, the deal encountered considerable opposition in Italy. However, critics failed to derail the sale of the two vessels.