Foreign Aid to Egypt to Shut Down- Should the USN Seize the Corvettes?

News is coming across the wires that US foreign aid to Egypt will be suspended, not because of the Shutdown, but in reaction to the removal of the Islamist Morsi government. Mind you, I find it insane that we’d protest the overthrow of a government completely at odds with our interests, but that’s a story for another time.

But here’s the thing. Over the last 15 years or so, the US has been working with Egypt to design and build (on our dime, and here in the US) a class of four large Fast Attack Craft– or small Corvettes, however you wish to slice that distinction. Known as the Ambassador class, they’re nice looking, modern little ships,  Some open source stuff I’ve seen says the first has been delivered.

Galrahn on his twitter feed suggested the US should seize them and turn them over to the USN.

And there’s ample precedent for this. The four modified Spruance class destroyers built for the Shah of Iran were seized and entered service with the US Navy as the Kidd class, and provided yeoman service for 20 years.

While the Ambassadors weren’t designed for US Navy use, most of their systems share a fair amount of built-in interoperability. Further, they’d be pretty handy forward deployed in restricted waters, say, in the Persian Gulf, especially where they could routinely call on carrier or land based air support.

10 thoughts on “Foreign Aid to Egypt to Shut Down- Should the USN Seize the Corvettes?”

  1. So apparently we CAN build a small surface combatant of modest armament, 40+ kts speed, and do it for $240M a copy. Instead, we’ve just chosen to buy something grossly more expensive and less capable. There should be jail time involved for fraud.

  2. Why, it is a ship for combat in the littorals, innit? 40 knots, 76mm gun, CIWS, RAM launchers…. for a fraction of the cost of LCS. With a firm design, unit costs would drop.

    Streetfighter II?

    My preference, however, would be that my government does not come down (once again) on the side of Islamic Extremists who vow our destruction.

  3. The time and expense to bring the Kidd-class DDGs up to full US standards was almost prohibitive. However, the political captial gained, domestically that is, made it all worthwhile. In the case of these craft, would that be the same?

    1. ???!!! Serious question– do you have a source I could go to? I’ve done tours on both 963’s and 993’s. I can’t imagine what would have been so costly. In fact, the talking point I was always given was the fact that the US Gov’t got a 2-for-1 deal: The Shah had put up 50% of the money for the lot of 4 before they were seized. Congress put down the other half.

    2. Study done back in the 1990s as they were going out of service. In addition, I’ve had the pleasure of working with several who served on those ships. Heard the worst comment one can make about a destroyer… “I’d rather be on a frigate.”

      1. Did the Kidds go through NTU (New Threat Upgrade). I think so. And that would be the major cost item involved. But everyone at CDR Salamander’s and other places I’ve heard folks talk about the Kidds liked them. Indeed, in some aspects, NTU ships were superior to Burkes.

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