Moscow Is Likely to Provide Equipment for Egypt’s Mistral

Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport Deputy Director General Igor Sevastyanov stated that Russia will most probably provide equipment for Egypt’s Mistral-class helicopter carriers delivered from France.

Sevastyanov said, “It is likely that since the deal on the Mistral delivery between Egypt and France has been signed and the warship delivery is ongoing, with one warship already there and the other one arriving a little bit later, the decision on the supply of Russian equipment will be made, the equipment must work,” Sevastyanov said the Eurosatory exhibition.

The Eurosatory 2016 is an international land and air-land defense and security exhibition taking place on June 13-17 in Paris. Russia’s arms companies will be presented in the exhibition as Russia’s largest small arms maker Kalashnikov Concern, optical electronics Shvabe Holding and other manufacturers are presenting the Russian defense industry at the exhibition along with Rosoboronexport.

In the same context, the Kremlin chief of staff said at an earlier time said that Russia is expected to provide Egypt with more than $1 billion in equipment and helicopters for the two Mistral carriers.

The two ships, currently known as the Sevastopol and the Vladivostok, were originally built for Russia, but the final handover from France did not happen. In August 2015, Paris and Moscow formally canceled the 1.2-billion-euro (some $1.3 billion at current exchange rates) deal on the construction and delivery of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers because of Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine that began in March 2014.  After a short time, French President Francois Hollande confirmed that a deal had been reached with Egypt on the delivery of two Mistrals.

In fact, the French deal with Egypt means that Russia will be able to win at all the circumstances as Moscow is able to sell the specialized equipment onboard the two ships and the helicopters to an ally. Moreover, the ships have not gone to a NATO member or a country with close ties to the European Union, or else Russia would have removed the equipment to prevent it from getting into the hands of its rivals.

The Kremlin’s chief of staff said, “Russia will be if you want, a subcontractor, who will supply the missing equipment without which the Mistral warships are just a tin can. And of course, all the helicopters.”