France sells 2 disputed Mistral warships to Egypt

The Mistral warship is one of three classes of amphibious assault ships in the French Navy, and is informally known as a helicopter carrier.


French President Francois Hollande said Wednesday Egypt had agreed to buy two Mistral warships which France built for Russian Federation before scrapping the sale over the Ukraine crisis.

“The deal is taking place, which means that it respects Russia’s interests”, Peskov told reporters in Moscow.

“The ships should be handed over in early March after the training of about 400 Egyptians and some final tests”, the source said.

Each Mistral helicopter carrier is capable of transporting up to 16 helicopter gunships, 700 troops and 50 armored vehicles.

Russian Federation had traditionally supplied Egypt’s military, but the country has turned more recently toward Western arms purchases, with France taking a leading role.

Differences over the cost had been reported during the French-Egyptian negotiations.

The state-of-the-art ships will be going to Egypt after President Franois Hollands and President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi shook on a deal that will ensure the French don’t lose money on the sale.

The original Russian contract for the ships signed in 2011 with shipbuilder STX France was valued at $1.3 billion, but was suspended past year in the midst of pressures following Russia’s annexation of the Crimea and continuing unrest in eastern Ukraine.

Sisi was elected president in May 2014 with 96.91 percent of the vote a year after toppling the country’s first freely elected leader, Islamist Mohamed Morsi.


Military analysts also point out that Egypt also bought 24 high-end Rafale fighter jets from France back in February $6 billion, as it wanted to beef up its capabilities to fight against the Islamic State jihadists.

France sells 2 disputed Mistral warships to Egypt after Russia deal derailed