The Egyptian Type-033 submarine is a Chinese-made replica of the Soviet submarine, which is then equipped with Western electronic systems.
Egypt's Defense Ministry posted a video of a live-fire drill exercise on the Mediterranean on December 11, showing the country's most modern naval assets, such as the Mistral-class amphibious assault ship, the class missile defense ship. Gowind, Type-209 attack submarine and AH-64 Apache armed helicopter.
However, the highlight of the video is the attack submarine model 849 of the Type-033 class with the launch of the cruise missile destroyer UGM-84 Harpoon. This is considered one of the most unique submarines in the world, when China was built based on the design of submarines Project 633 of the Soviet Union and the US modernized. Outside of Egypt, only North Korea currently operates and continuously upgrades this type of submarine.
"The interior of the 849 submarine is a rare sight, combining mechanical watches and manual valves from the mid-20th century with modern electronic screens and computers. The five-year parent's product stems from its diplomatic relations with the great powers, "commented military expert Tyler Rogoway.
The Soviet Union built submarine Project 633 in 1957-1961, then shared the design for China to develop the Type-033 domestic variant. Each ship is 77 m long, 6.7 m wide, with a displacement of 1,830 tons when diving, equipped with 8 533 mm launch tubes with a combat base of 14 torpedoes or 28 torpedoes.
Relations between Egypt and the Soviet Union were relatively warm in the 1960s, when Cairo ordered a series of modern weapons from Moscow to develop its military might. The Soviet Union met most of Egypt's demands for influence in the Middle East and North Africa.
Egypt purchased 6 submarines under Project 633 between 1966 and 1969, and later purchased four more Type-033s with special configurations called "ES5A" from China in the early 1980s. sonar, communications equipment and periscope new generation, replacing the old equipment on Soviet submarines. Many improvements also help reduce the noise level of ES5A significantly, ensuring the ability to hide better under the sea.
The upgraded ES5B was offered to Egypt in the mid-1980s by China, equipped with a computer that controlled fire and could launch guided torpedoes.
Also during this period, Egypt-US relations improved significantly. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat accepted a peace agreement with Israel proposed by the US in 1979 in exchange for military and economic aid from Washington. Many Egyptian military generals opposed the deal, but it was still enforced even after Sadat was assassinated in 1981. Cairo also asked Washington to assist in modernizing its submarine fleet in service.
In 1988, the US State Department approved plans to upgrade the Egyptian submarine fleet and hand over the job to Tacoma shipyard in Washington state. The Type-033s were almost completely replaced with active and passive sonar, and the US-developed fire control system.
The modernization was completed in 1993, allowing two Egyptian Project 633 submarines and four Type-033 submarines to launch Harpoon anti-ship missiles and Mark 37 Mod-controlled torpedoes. two Soviet-built Project 633 submarines were soon demolished later.
Egypt is also constantly seeking alternatives to Type-033s to maintain undersea combat capability. The US State Department in 1994 approved a plan to build a Type-209 submarine based on German copyright and transferred it to Egypt under the Sale of Military Equipment to Foreign Countries (FMS) program, but this deal was not implemented. .
Egypt directly ordered four Type-209 submarines from Germany in 2011 and 2015, with the last expected delivery before 2022. They plan to replace Type-033s in the Egyptian navy. The current.
The Type-033s still play an important role in Cairo's naval strategy. The ability to launch Harpoon missiles and Mark 37 torpedoes allows them to remain powerful compared to the forces of many neighboring countries, even if these submarines have been in service for nearly 40 years.