VT Halter closer to missile boat deal
VT Halter Marine is a step closer to stitching up a missile craft deal with the Egyptian Navy that was originally negotiated by the then Halter Marine in January 2001. This time around, though, the number of boats is less and the price tag is higher.
Last week, the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Egypt of three Fast Missile Crafts as well as associated equipment and services for an estimated total cost of $565 million. The agency noted that the notification of a potential sale was required by law and did not mean that the sale had been concluded.
The original deal, announced in January 2001, was four four boats for $400 million.
Egypt is a significant recipient of U.S. military assistance funding. In the House version of the FY '05 Foreign Operations Appriations Bill, Egypt is recommended to get $1.3 billion of Foreign Military Financing.
The Government of Egypt has requested a possible sale of three Fast Missile Craft; three 76mm/62 caliber MK 75 Dual Purpose guns with Super Rapid Kits; three MK 31 Mod 3 Rolling Airframe Missile Guided Missile Weapons Systems; installation of Hull, Mechanical, and Electrical equipment; communications; operations equipment; spare and repair parts; support equipment; personnel training and training equipment; publications and technical documents; and U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics personnel services and other related elements of logistics services.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency says the prime contractor would be "Vision Technology -Marine of Gulfport, Miss."
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency says the "proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that has been and continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East. This sale is consistent with these U.S. objectives and with the 1950 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security."
The agency says the Egyptian Navy does not currently have a modern, high speed, ship capable of providing deep and shallow water defensive protection for the approaches to the Suez Canal. Egypt intends to purchase these ships to enhance its overall ability to defend its coastal areas and the approaches to the Suez Canal and will have no difficulty absorbing these craft into its armed forces.