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The Gowind design is a family of steel monohull corvettes developed since 2006 by France 's Naval Group, formerly known as DCNS, to conduct missions in littoral zone such as anti-submarine warfare (ASW). The Gowind family includes vessels with lengths from 85 m to 102 m and displacement from 1,000 t to 2,500 t. The Gowind design can deploy Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs) and Underwater Unmanned Vehicles (UUVs). An aft deck has been provided allowing for a 10-ton class helicopter or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operations. The platform's weapon system consists of a multi-functional radar and MICA SAM. It is armed with Exocet anti ship missiles. The propulsion system is based on Combined Diesel and Diesel (CODAD) and includes water-jets for improved maneuverability in shallow waters and high-speed performance. There is no funnel (smokestack) on these ships. The radar and other sensors are mounted on a single central mast thus allowing 360-degree view. Naval Group offers two variants of the design: Gowind 1000 and Gowind 2500.

littoral zone monohull anti-submarine warfare
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    1. Reorganisation

    The Gowind class originally consisted of offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) but after a rearrangement of products Naval Group decided to remove the OPV from the Gowind class and develop the OPVs as a class of their own with L'Adroit top of the range. To do so it formed the Kership joint venture with the Piriou shipyard in Concarneau, Brittany in May 2013 to build and market lightly armed and armoured OPVs for customs, fishing and other home security missions. Naval Group said this would enable it to concentrate on "developing relations" with clients seeking heavily armed and armoured warships while Kership handles the more civilian-standard OPVs.[1]

    2. Class Specifications

    2.1. Gowind 1000

    The Gowind 1000 is a 1,000-ton corvette which is well armed and fast. It is well-suited for protection, escort and embargo naval missions in a littoral environment. The Gowind 1000 can also perform presence, surveillance, intelligence and policing missions. It is armed with:

    • 1 x OTO Melara 76 mm main gun
    • 2 x Nexter Narwhal 20 mm cannon
    • 8 x VLS for MBDA VL Mica surface-to-air missiles
    • 4 x MBDA MM40 Exocet antiship missile launchers
    • 1 x Integrated mast to integrate most sensors in a low observable design

    2.2. Gowind 2500

    The Gowind 2500 multi-mission corvette is designed for surveillance, surface and subsurface combat, protection and escort naval missions. It can also perform presence, maritime surveillance and policing missions against trafficking and piracy.

    The Gowind 2500 capitalizes on Naval Group's expertise in vessel stealth. The vessel is equipped with facilities for an embarked helicopter and drones. It is armed with:

    • 1 × OTO Melara 76 mm main gun
    • 2 × Nexter Narwhal 20 mm cannon
    • 16 × VLS for VL Mica surface-to-air missiles
    • 8 × MBDA MM40 Exocet antiship missile launchers
    • 2 × triple torpedo launcher

    Electronic warfare & decoys for Egypt's Gowind 2500:

    • Vigile 200 Tactical R-ESM System
    • Altesse Naval C-ESM
    • Sylena MK2 decoy launcher system

    3. Vessels

    3.1. Egypt

    Installing the panoramic sensors and intelligence module on board the Gowind corvette El Fateh

    In 2014, Egypt signed a €1bn contract with Naval Group to buy four Gowind 2,500-ton corvettes with an option for two more. Separately, MBDA negotiated a contract to equip the ships with MICA Vertical Launch air-defense missiles and MM40 Block 3 Exocet anti-ship missiles, together worth an additional 400 million euros, while Naval Group negotiated a 100-200 million euro contract for torpedoes.[2] Three of the corvettes are to be built locally by Alexandria Shipyard within a technology transfer agreement. It was apparently President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi who decided these were the ships he wanted rather than the Meko A200 being offered by German group ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) or the Sigma corvette proposed by Damen of the Netherlands.[1][3][4] Egypt is in talks with France to acquire another two Gowind corvettes which, if ordered, would be produced by France in Lorient. [5][6]

    In April 2015, Naval Group started cutting metal for the very first Gowind 2500 corvette, with a planned construction period of 29 months. It is the first of a series of four units that will be delivered to Egypt before 2019. The corvette's first block was laid in the dry dock in September 2015.[7] Naval Group celebrated the launch of the first Egyptian Gowind corvette El Fateh (971) at the Lorient naval shipyard in September 2016. El Fateh successfully concluded its first sea trials by the end of March 2017.[8] The Egyptian Navy took delivery of the vessel in September 2017, 3 years after the order was placed.[9]

    Alexandria Shipyard started cutting metal for the second Gowind corvette intended for the Egyptian Navy in April 2016, it is the first corvette to be built locally in Egypt. Naval Group sent supervision and technical assistance teams, technical data and necessary components to Alexandria for assisting Egypt in the local construction of the three corvettes. The company also provided training for the Egyptian staff at its site in Lorient.[10] All the Panoramic Sensors and Intelligence Modules (PSIM) were produced and tested in Lorient by Naval Group and later shipped to Alexandria for installation on the corvettes. The launching ceremony of the second Gowind corvette Port Said (976) took place in September 2018 in Alexandria.[11][12]

    Construction work on the third vessel has already started, its first block was laid in the dry dock by July 2018.[13]

    Name Hull number Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
    El Fateh 971 30 September 2015[7] 17 September 2016[14] 22 September 2017[15] Alexandria [16]
    Port Said 976 16 April 2016[17] 7 September 2018[18]    
    El Moez 981 July 2018[13] 12 May 2019[19]    
    Gowind 2500 (4)          

    3.2. Malaysia

    Malaysia is designing and building six stealth frigates displacing 3,100 tons, based on the design of the Gowind corvette.[20]

    3.3. Romania

    In July 2019, Naval Group won a €1.2 billion contract, which includes the construction of four new Gowind multi-mission corvettes for the Romanian Navy, as well as a new maintenance center and a training center. Naval Group is due to build the first corvette within three years, while the remaining three corvettes will be constructed by Constanța Shipyard and be delivered before 2026.[21]

    3.4. United Arab Emirates

    In mid-June 2019, Naval Group announced[22] that the United Arab Emirates Navy had signed a contract on 25 March 2019 for Euro750 million (USD850m) for two (2) 2500 class frigates (actually weighing 2700 tonnes) with options for two more, to be built in partnership with Abu Dhabi Ship Building Company (ADSB). They will be equipped with Naval Group’s SETIS combat management system, MBDA’s Exocet missile, Raytheon’s Evolved Seasparrow Missiles.

    4. Foreign Interest

    4.1. Argentina

    After repeated negotiations and break-offs, in February 2018 the Argentine Navy was instructed to restart negotiations with Naval Group for the procurement of four Gowind-class vessels. The decision was motivated by the meeting between Argentine President Mauricio Macri and French President Emmanuel Macron at the annual World Economic Forum summit in Davos, Switzerland. An order for four vessels was expected in July 2018.[23] In November 2018, Argentina confirmed the purchase of four Gowind-class vessels. The purchase includes the already built L'Adroit , which in 2016 visited the region on a marketing trip, and three new vessels.[24]

    References

    1. Mackenzie, Christina (6 June 2014). "Egypt buys four Gowind corvettes". Aviation Week. http://aviationweek.com/blog/egypt-buys-four-gowind-corvettes. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
    2. http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/feature/5/158485/dcns-confirms-sale-of-10-gowind-corvettes.html
    3. Cabirol, Michel (15 September 2014). "Armement : nouveaux clins d'oeil de l'Egypte à la France" (in fr). La Tribune. http://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/20140915trib000848902/armement-nouveaux-clins-d-oeil-de-l-egypte-a-la-france.html. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
    4. "Egyptian Navy would be about to order 4 to 6 Gowind Combat Corvettes from DCNS". navyrecognition.com. 5 March 2014. http://navyrecognition.com/index.php/news/defence-news/year-2014-news/march-2014-navy-naval-forces-maritime-industry-technology-security-global-news/1609-egyptian-navy-would-be-about-to-order-4-to-6-gowind-combat-corvettes-from-dcns.html. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
    5. "Egyptians are in Paris to negotiate the purchase of two Mistral" (in French). 22 September 2015. http://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/les-egyptiens-sont-a-paris-pour-negocier-l-achat-des-deux-mistral-507018.html. 
    6. "Diplomat: France Is In Talks With Egypt For New Corvette Sale". 25 July 2015. http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/naval/2015/07/25/diplomat-france-talks-egypt-new-corvette-sale/30664295/. 
    7. "The future Egyptian #Gowind corvette is taking shape at DCNS Lorient.". 30 September 2015. https://mobile.twitter.com/dcnsgroup/status/649206737787072513. 
    8. "The first Gowind®2500 by DCNS succeeds in the beginning of its sea trials". 22 March 2017. http://en.dcnsgroup.com/news/the-first-gowind2500-by-dcns-succeeds-in-the-beginning-of-its-sea-trials/. 
    9. "NAVAL GROUP DELIVERS THE FIRST GOWIND®2500 CORVETTE, ENS ELFATEH, TO THE EGYPTIAN NAVY". 22 September 2017. https://www.naval-group.com/en/news/naval-group-delivers-the-first-gowind2500-corvette-ens-elfateh-to-the-egyptian-navy/. 
    10. "BEGINNING OF CONSTRUCTION OF THE FIRST GOWIND® 2500 CORVETTE BUILT IN EGYPT". 17 April 2016. http://en.dcnsgroup.com/news/beginning-of-construction-of-the-first-gowind-2500-corvette-built-in-egypt/. 
    11. IndraStra Global (2018-09-09), Port Said - Egyptian Navy's New Home-made Gowind 2500-class Corvette, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WE0MPd218Ho, retrieved 2018-11-21 
    12. "Launching of the first Gowind 2500 corvette built in Egypt". 7 September 2018. https://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php/news/defence-news/2018/september/6485-launching-of-the-first-gowind-2500-corvette-built-in-egypt.html. 
    13. "Naval Group delivering Gowind sensor mast to Egypt". 20 July 2018. http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=52468:naval-group-delivering-gowind-sensor-mast-to-egypt&catid=51:Sea&Itemid=106. 
    14. "Lorient. DCNS livre une corvette au gouvernement égyptien" (in French). http://www.ouest-france.fr/bretagne/lorient-56100/lorient-dcns-livre-une-corvette-au-gouvernement-egyptien-4498064. 
    15. "Corvette Gowind : DCNS passe du concept à la réalité" (in French). http://meretmarine.com/fr/content/corvette-gowind-du-concept-la-realite. 
    16. ""El Fateh" frigate, submarine "42" arrive at Alexandria naval base" (in English). http://www.sis.gov.eg/Story/119106?lang=en-us. 
    17. "BEGINNING OF CONSTRUCTION OF THE FIRST GOWIND® 2500 CORVETTE BUILT IN EGYPT". 17 April 2016. http://en.dcnsgroup.com/news/beginning-of-construction-of-the-first-gowind-2500-corvette-built-in-egypt/. 
    18. "Launching of the first Gowind 2500 corvette built in Egypt". 7 September 2018. https://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php/news/defence-news/2018/september/6485-launching-of-the-first-gowind-2500-corvette-built-in-egypt.html. 
    19. "مصر تجهز "أسطول الشمال" بالقوة الضاربة!" (in ar). https://arabic.rt.com/middle_east/1019161-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A8%D8%AD%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B5%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%81%D8%AF-%D8%A3%D8%B3%D8%B7%D9%88%D9%84%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B4%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%8A-%D8%A8%D8%A3%D8%B1%D8%A8%D8%B9%D8%A9-%D9%81%D8%B1%D9%82%D8%A7%D8%B7%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%B4%D8%A8%D8%AD%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AC%D9%8A%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AC%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%AF/. 
    20. "Royal Malaysian Navy Releases First Official Image of its LCS-SGPV Corvette". navyrecognition.com. 27 August 2014. http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php/news/defence-news/year-2014-news/august-2014-navy-naval-forces-maritime-industry-technology-security-global-news/1969-royal-malaysian-navy-releases-first-official-image-of-its-lcs-sgpv-frigate.html. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
    21. "Naval Group awarded €1.2 billion contract for 4 Romania navy corvettes". TheDefensePost. https://thedefensepost.com/2019/07/03/naval-group-romania-navy-corvette-contract/. Retrieved 3 July 2019. 
    22. UAE, Naval Group quietly cut $850 million deal for Gowind ships, Christina Mackenzie, Defense News, 2019-06-11 https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/06/10/uae-naval-group-quietly-cut-850-million-deal-for-gowind-ships/
    23. Higuera, Jose (2 February 2018). "Argentina restarts talks with Naval Group for Gowind OPVs". Santiago. Archived from the original on 5 February 2018. https://archive.today/20180205224559/http://www.janes.com/article/77575/argentina-restarts-talks-with-naval-group-for-gowind-opvs. Retrieved 5 February 2018. 
    24. "Argentina confirms the purchase of four French OPVs". 30 November 2018. https://www.janes.com/article/84948/argentina-confirms-the-purchase-of-four-french-opvs. Retrieved 3 December 2018. 
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