WASHINGTON – In an effort to reassert its leadership in the Middle East in the midst of the chaos stemming from the Arab Spring, Egypt is to bolster its navy with two German-built Dolphin 209 attack submarines. Those are an older version of the same class with which Israel is reinforcing its own navy – which are capable of launching nuclear-tipped missiles, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Even though the submarines are older, they will be an improvement in an Egyptian navy which already is considered outdated.
Egypt’s new-found efforts to bolster its military come as Cairo sees Ankara attempting to reassert its own influence in the region.
As a counter-balance to the Brotherhood’s growing influence in the government, the military is reaching out to its Western allies, particularly the United States, as a way for Washington to continue influencing Egyptian politics for a more secular approach.
At the same time, Egypt also is looking to Ankara as a model for its own government redevelopment primarily in the relationship of the military to a more secular Muslim government, a leading role in geopolitics in the region and in economic growth.
Given the close ties between the two countries, Egypt has also looked to Turkey as the successful example of curtailing the power of the military, which Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi so far has been successful in doing by purging the military top ranks.
The Egyptian military, which was in almost every facet of business until Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was ousted last year, now is concentrating more on rebuilding the military, so long as Morsi doesn’t tilt too far toward the Muslim Brotherhood’s strict agenda of bringing the country under Shariah law.
Notwithstanding the Egyptian navy’s low readiness and mostly obsolete ships, Egyptian Naval Commander Ahmed el-Gendy said his navy “is in good condition and is at the highest degree of operational readiness.
“We are carrying out our duties and guarding what is ours day and night,” el-Gendy told the Egyptian newspaper al-Ahram.
“We are ready to deal with developments we are faced with like weapons smuggling and illegal immigration,” he said.
El-Gendy also said the Egyptian navy next year is to receive four U.S.-built missile ships which are FMC, or fast missile craft, boats which he said have the highest levels of defense and attack capabilities.
These are in addition to other ships Egypt will receive from other Western countries, including Turkey.
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