Despite rising budget deficit, Egypt acquires new submarine in show of military strength
London, May 6, 2020 (AltAfrica)-In a show of military strength, the Egyptian government has acquired a new S43 Type 209/1400 submarine despite expecting 7.8 budget deficit occasioned by coronavirus pandemic.
The submarine has arrived in Alexandria on Tuesday from Germany, the armed forces said.
The navy officially received the submarine in Kiel, Germany, in April.
Egypt’s Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait announced that 2019/2020 financial year is expected to end with a budget deficit ranging between 7.8 percent and 7.9 percent because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new arrival is the third submarine Egypt has received so far in a deal that was signed with Berlin in 2011, originally to buy two submarines, then updated to additional two in 2014.
According to the armed forces, the new submarine held exercises with several “friendly countries” on the way to Egypt.
Speaking at the reception of the new submarine in Alexandria, the commander of the Egyptian naval forces, Vice Admiral Ahmed Khaled, said that the submarine had been acquired to protect Egypt’s territorial waters and its economic interests.
Type 209/1400 submarines have a range of 11,000 nautical miles and a top speed of 21.5 knots. They are equipped with missiles and torpedoes.
The submarines are manufactured by the German company ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems
Meanwhile, Egypt on Tuesday announced a daily record of 388 new coronavirus cases, surpassing the 7,000 infections mark to report a total infection tally of 7,201, the health ministry announced.
The ministry also reported 16 new deaths, bringing the total deaths from the virus to 452.
The statement said that 98 patients, including a foreigner, have been discharged, bringing the total number of recoveries to 1,730 so far.
Health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said in the statement that the number of people whose test results have turned from positive to negative, including the 1,730 recoveries, has now reached 2,224
Egypt surpassed 1,000 coronavirus cases on 4 April, with infections continuing to rise despite lockdown restrictions imposed since March to stem the spread of the virus in the populous country.
The first case of COVID-19 in Egypt was confirmed on 14 February, seven weeks prior to surpassing the milestone of 1,000 infections.