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The Gamal Abdel Nasser a helicopter carrier of the French Mistral class. It was originally built for the Russian Navy, subsequently the contract was cancelled by France and agreement on compensation reached with the Russian government.

Egypt and France concluded the deal to acquire the two former Russian Mistral for roughly 950 million euros.

In August 2015, a French diplomatic source confirmed that President Hollande discussed the matter with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi during his visit to Egypt during the inauguration of the New Suez Canal in Ismailia. Subsequently, Egypt and France concluded the deal to acquire the two former Russian Mistral for roughly 950 million euros, including the costs of training Egyptian crews.

DCNS chairman and CEO Hervé Guillou said:
“The delivery of the Landing Helo Dock (LHD) Gamal Abdel Nasser consolidates our relationship with the Arab Republic of Egypt which can count on the total commitment of DCNS and its partners to successfully conduct all of the programmes entrusted to us.

I would also like to thank the French Government authorities who constantly supported us on this contract.

Furthermore, this delivery once again demonstrates our ability to efficiently cooperate with our partner STX France in order to meet the expectations of our client, within strict respects of budgets and deadlines.”

Speaking on RMC Radio at the time, Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Defence Minister, said that Egypt had already paid the whole price for the helicopter carriers.

At the start of June DCNS delivered the first of two helicopter carriers acquired by Egypt, the Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Before sailing to its home port of Alexandria, the helicopter carrier Gamal Abdel Nasser will participate in a joint exercise between the Egyptian and French Navies.

14 COMMENTS

  1. A missed opportunity for RN? These would have made fabulous replacements for HMS Ocean & RFA Argus without needing to do PoW mods to take over the Ocean role which it might be somewhat uncomfortable for PoW to do in many cases anyway because it might put such a key asset too close to shore.

    I’m sure the Mistrals would have cost us more than 950 million Euros (about £750 million) once RN systems and weapons had been fitted although some stuff like radar and CIWS could probably have been cross-decked at least from Ocean (not as much from Argus I suspect but still some). As ever there would have been issues with crewing the vessels but in terms of size and capability they would have been pretty much perfect, at a pretty reasonable price and at very low risk given they were already built and had sister ships already in service with the French.

    • I did read somewhere that Russia was lending Egypt the money to buy these. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Egyptians miss a repayment and the ships then being legally Russian owned.

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