02:05 GMT17 May 2021
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    Various threats in the Middle East region urged Egypt to buy two Mistral-class helicopter carriers constructed in France initially for Russia, Egyptian Navy Commander Adm. Osama Rabie said on Friday.

    CAIRO (Sputnik) – He added that boosting defense capability would provide Egypt with an opportunity to reaffirm its leadership in different spheres, MENA news agency reported.

    Rabie made these remarks at the ceremony marking the official handover to Egypt of the second Mistral helicopter carrier currently stationed in the French port of Saint-Nazaire.

    The first Mistral ship, named after the second Egyptian president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, reached Egypt's port of Alexandria in June after a 14-day journey from Saint-Nazaire. The second Mistral was earlier reported to be named after former Egypt's President Anwar Sadat assassinated by Islamists in 1981.

    In August 2015, Paris and Moscow formally terminated the 1.2-billion-euro ($1.35 billion at the current exchange rate) deal on the construction and delivery of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers as France had refused to transfer them to Russia over its alleged role in the Ukrainian conflict. Shortly after, French President Francois Hollande confirmed that a deal had been reached with Egypt on the delivery of the two Mistrals to the Arab country.

    Russia and Egypt are currently in talks on deliveries of the Russian Ka-52K helicopters developed for Mistral-class carriers. The two countries also agreed on a training scheme to help Egyptian pilots familiarize themselves with the aircraft.


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    aircraft carrier, ship, mistral, Egypt
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