French Mistral warship carrier arrives in Egypt's Alexandria

Ahram Online , Thursday 23 Jun 2016

Egypt received the helicopter carrier last month as part of a deal signed with France last year

Two Mistral-class helicopter carriers Sevastopol (R) and Vladivostok are seen in this picture taken May 21, 2015 at the STX Les Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard site in Saint-Nazaire, western France (Reuters)

A French Mistral helicopter carrier that Egypt bought last year arrived in the country Thursday after taking part in a joint naval exercise in France earlier this week.

Egypt signed a $1 billion deal with France last year to acquire two Mistral helicopter carriers after their sale to Russia was canceled last August. Egypt had said the second carrier will arrive in September.

The warship, named after late President Gamal Abdel Nasser, arrived to a naval base in western Alexandria Thursday after taking part in the multi-day military drill "Cleopatra 2016" in France, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported. It also made a two-week pilot voyage from France's Saint-Nazaire, with 170 sailors and 50 French defence experts on board, according to Al-Ahram Arabic.

The Mistral deal is part of several defence contracts Egypt signed with France.

In April, Egypt signed deals worth 2 billion Euros ($2.26 billion) with France during a visit by French President Francois Hollande to Cairo that included a contract for a military telecommunications satellite expected to be built by France's Airbus Space Systems and Thales Alenia Space.

France last year agreed to sell 24 Rafale fighters plus a frigate to Egypt in a 5.2 billion Euro ($5.9 billion) deal.

Egypt received three of the combat jets in January.


Short link: