Every reference I've seen classifies them as guided missile patrol craft or fast attack craft -- press releases usually used "fast missile craft" but there was lots of variation. They vessels are too small and too limited in endurance to be regarded as corvettes and are far too heavily armed to be offshore patrol vessels. OPVs almost by definition have only limited armament such as small- to medium-caliber caliber guns.
These seem only marginally heavier than the Israeli Saar 4/ 4.5 classes, with a heftier anti-surface complement. Could this be seen as a first step to counter balance the force of the Heil HaYam in the Mediterranean?
I presume that this is the Ambassador Mk. III missile boat built by Halter Marine of the United States, with the design assistance of Lockheed Martin, that was purchased by the Egyptian Navy?
Yes, but the Wikipedia entry is no longer up to date. None of the four planned boats began construction and things have been stalled for several years due to major upheavals at Halter (which went into bankruptcy, was bought out by ST Engineering, and then and got hammered by Katrina), some FMS funding constraints imposed by Congress, and the usual Egyptian program delays. The current plan seems to call for three boats to be delivered beginning in 2010.