Russia Begins Talks With Egypt on Helicopters, Equipment For Mistrals

The Sevastopol amphibious assault ship of the Mistral class at the STX Europe shipyard in Saint-Nazaire

 

Russia and Egypt have begun consultations on the purchase and management of a communication system and Ka-52K helicopters for Mistral-type warships, a high-ranking source in the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) said on Monday.

 Earlier in the day, Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov said Russia would supply equipment and helicopters worth over $1 billion to Egypt for their Mistral helicopter carriers.

“The negotiations with Egypt took place, consultations with the country are in process. They have expressed a desire to acquire Russian equipment, including helicopters,” the source told RIA Novosti.

According to the source, it is yet unclear how many helicopters Cairo would acquire.

Cairo and Paris signed a contract in October for the purchase of two French-made Mistral-class helicopter carriers originally built for Russia.Egypt emerged as France’s replacement customer for the Mistrals in September, after Paris and Moscow formally terminated a 2011 deal on construction and delivery of the two ships. In November 2014, France had suspended the contract, citing Moscow’s alleged participation in the Ukrainian conflict as a reason to terminate the deal.

The Russian equipment for the Mistrals is due to be returned to Moscow by November 21.

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Russia ready to supply helicopters for Mistral warships to Egypt — official

© ITAR-TASS/Vadim Zhernov

MOSCOW, October 21. /TASS/. Russia expects Egypt to begin negotiations on the deliveries of Russian equipment and helicopters for the Mistral class helicopter carriers. Moscow is ready to deliver the required amount of equipment, Russian presidential aide for military-technical cooperation Vladimir Kozhin told TASS on Wednesday.

Asked how many helicopters Moscow was ready to supply for the Mistral ships, the Kremlin official said: “As many as needed for these vessels.”

Kozhin said that negotiations could be launched after Egypt finishes the work on the contract for the purchase of the helicopter carriers from France. “The Russian side is ready to negotiate, so it depends on them [Egypt], if they are interested, we are ready. I think that they are an interested party because much had been done [on the ships] to match our equipment,” the presidential aide said.

“I think that there is a high probability that the talks will take place, but this, again, depends on the Egyptian side,” Kozhin said.

Previously, chief of the Russian presidential administration Sergei Ivanov said that the sum of the transaction for the supply to Egypt of equipment and helicopters for the French Mistral ships it intends to purchase from France might exceed $1 billion.

“Egypt plans to buy the Mistral ships from France and Russia will be, if you like, a sub-contractor, which will deliver for these Mistrals the missing equipment, without which the Mistrals, excuse me, are, to put it mildly, just ‘tin cans’ – and naturally, all the helicopters, which will amount to the total of over $1 billion for sure,” said the Kremlin representative.

Egypt signed a contract on two Mistral-class helicopter carriers on October 10. The vessels may be supplied to Egypt in summer, 2016 along with storm boats.

The €1.12 billion contract for the construction of two Mistral-type helicopter carriers for the Russian Navy was signed in June 2011. Under the contract, Russia was expected to receive the first of the two warships, the Vladivostok, in the autumn of 2014. However, Paris suspended the ship’s handover to Russia at the very last moment over Moscow’s stance on developments in neighbouring Ukraine. It was planned that the second ship dubbed the Sevastopol would be handed over to Russia in the second half of 2015. But the deal was suspended like in the case with the first Mistral ship.

After a long wait, Russia and France in early August reached an agreement to officially cancel the contract. The French government said in a release then, “the President of the Republic believed that it was not wise to increase the threat and to deliver these two ships” in connection with the situation in Ukraine. After the deal cancellation agreement, it was reported that France was selling both of the Mistrals, built for Russia, to Egypt. It paid about €950 million back to Russia for the dissolution of the contract, with the compensation including Russia’s advance payments totalling almost €900 million. “This has covered all of the costs sustained by Russia,” the source said.

Under the deal, Russia gets the money and Russian equipment installed on the vessels back, and France will then be able to use the warships at its own discretion. French media earlier reported that Paris paid Russia €949 million for the Mistral contract cancelation, and the overall sum of payment exceeded €1 billion.

Egypt may increase order of Russian Ka-52 type helicopters to 80 — source

MOSCOW, October 20. /TASS/. Russia may supply to Egypt up to 80 Kamov Ka-52 Alligator [NATO reporting name: Hokum B] attack helicopters and Ka-52K Katran (navalized derivative of Ka-52) helicopters designed for Mistral helicopter carriers, a source in the system of Russia’s military technical cooperation with other countries told TASS Tuesday.

The source said that after a contract with France for Mistrals, Egypt is assessing the number of Russian helicopters that may be supplied for these vessels.

“In addition to 50 Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopters, the contract for which has already been signed, the Egyptian side plans to acquire, in order to equip Mistrals, Ka-52K Katran naval helicopters and is now making up its mind about their number,” the source said.

“It is not ruled out that the Egyptian side will decide to deploy 16 Ka-52K helicopters at each of its ships, then the volume of the planned order will grow to 32 items, and the overall amount of Ka-52 type helicopters for Egypt will reach 70-80 items,” he said.

The source said the Russian-Egyptian contract for Ka-52K ship-based helicopters may be signed in the first quarter of 2016.

Initially, the two Mistral helicopter carriers were designed for Russia’s navy. The €1.12 billion contract to build the Mistral amphibious assault ships was signed by Russia and France in June 2011.

The first Mistral, the Vladivostok, was floated in October 2013. It was to have been handed over to Russia by the French side in November 2014, but the handover did not take place.

The second Mistral, the Sevastopol, was to be delivered to Russia in October 2015, but the deal was suspended too.

France suspended the delivery of Mistrals to Russia as part of a package of sanctions the European countries imposed on Moscow for what they claimed was its alleged role in destabilization of east Ukraine.

Russia has constantly dismissed allegations that Moscow could in any way be involved in hostilities in Ukraine’s east.

Moscow received a compensation for termination of the contract.

Paris signed a contract with Egypt to supply the helicopter carriers on October 10, 2015. The ships are due for delivery to the new customer in summer 2016 along with their assault craft.

Russia to supply equipment for Mistral helicopter carriers to be purchased by Egypt

© EPA/YOAN VALAT

NOVO-OGAREVO, October 19. /TASS/. Russia plans to supply equipment and helicopters for the Mistral type helicopter carriers which Egypt is buying from France. The transaction sum may exceed $1 billion, head the Russian presidential administration Sergey Ivanov told reporters on Monday.

“Egypt plans to buy the Mistral ships from France and Russia will be, if you like, a sub-contractor, which will deliver for these Mistrals the missing equipment, without which the Mistrals, excuse me, are, to put it mildly, just ‘tin cans’ – and naturally, all the helicopters, which will amount to the total of over $1 billion for sure,” said the Kremlin representative.

Egypt signed a contract on two Mistral-class helicopter carriers on October 10. The vessels may be supplied to Egypt in summer, 2016 along with storm boats.

The €1.12 billion contract for the construction of two Mistral-type helicopter carriers for the Russian Navy was signed in June 2011. Under the contract, Russia was expected to receive the first of the two warships, the Vladivostok, in the autumn of 2014. However, Paris suspended the ship’s handover to Russia at the very last moment over Moscow’s stance on developments in neighbouring Ukraine. It was planned that the second ship dubbed the Sevastopol would be handed over to Russia in the second half of 2015. But the deal was suspended like in the case with the first Mistral ship.

Infographics Mistral helicopter carrierMistral helicopter carrier

Russia will purchase Mistral-class helicopter carriers from France. Infographics by TASS

After a long wait, Russia and France in early August reached an agreement to officially cancel the contract. The French government said in a release then, “the President of the Republic believed that it was not wise to increase the threat and to deliver these two ships” in connection with the situation in Ukraine. After the deal cancellation agreement, it was reported that France was selling both of the Mistrals, built for Russia, to Egypt. It paid about 950 million euro back Russia for the dissolution of the contract, with the compensation including Russia’s advance payments totalling almost 900 million euro. “This has covered all of the costs sustained by Russia,” the source said.

Under the deal, Russia gets the money and Russian equipment installed on the vessels back, and France will then be able to use the warships at its own discretion. French media earlier reported that Paris paid Russia €949 million for the Mistral contract cancelation, and the overall sum of payment exceeded €1 billion.

Russia to Hold Talks With Egypt on Sales of Equipment for Mistrals

The STX Europe shipyard in Saint-Nazaire

 

Russia to hold talks with Egypt on the possible purchase by Cairo of the Russian equipment for the Mistral helicopter carriers.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia will hold talks with Egypt on the possible purchase by Cairo of the Russian equipment for the Mistral helicopter carriers on October 21-23, a source in the military-technical cooperation sphere said Saturday.”Today a deal is out of the question. There is a discussion going on of what the Egyptian side could be interested in, what we could offer them and what we could supply them with. Breakthrough should not be expected,” the source told RIA Novosti.

Cairo and Paris signed a contract earlier this month for the purchase of two French-made Mistral-class helicopter carriers originally built for Russia.

The source told the media outlet earlier that the Russian specialists would remain in France until November to uninstall the equipment from the ships, while Egypt was interested in it.

Egypt emerged as France’s replacement customer for the Mistrals in September 2015, after Paris and Moscow formally terminated a 2011 deal on the construction and delivery of the two ships. In November 2014, France suspended the contract, claiming Moscow’s alleged participation in the Ukrainian conflict.Russia and France are expected to sign the final documents on the removal of radio-electronic systems from the Mistral-class helicopter carriers in early November.

If Mistrals sold to Egypt or India, Russian equipment won’t be removed

 

Along with Egypt and India, several other countries had signaled their interest in the amphibious assault ships. The buyer would also be offered to purchase the Russian-made Kamov Ka-52K helicopters tailored specifically for the ships
France Russia Ukraine Mistral-class helicopter carriers
France is now in the process of attempting to sell the carriers to a new buyer, with Egypt said to be the leading prospective buyer. Source:Reuters
A French official cited by defense news website Defense One said that Moscow has signaled that Russian telecommunications and missile control systems installed onboard the Mistral helicopter carriers may not be removed, if Egypt or India were to purchase the warships.

The unnamed official indicated that Russian officials had “let it be known” that Moscow “could accept India and Egypt receiving the equipment” if either of the two countries were to buy the ships, originally ordered by Russia in 2011 in a botched deal which has since forced Paris to refund Russia €949.7 million over the contract’s cancellation.

The official also suggested that if the equipment were to remain onboard the ships, it would help Russia to keep close links with Cairo.

Some €56.7 million of the refund amount had gone toward covering the Russian-made equipment on board the ship, as well as training. Earlier this month, Russian officials announced that Moscow and Paris would hold talks on September 21 over the dismantling of Russian equipment aboard the warships, noting that the Russian-made components would be dismantled and returned to Russia by late November.

France is now in the process of attempting to sell the carriers to a new buyer, with Egypt said to be the leading prospective buyer. Last week, French officials announced that a deal with Egypt “is among the serious options” for the ships’ sale. As the Wall Street Journal had explained late last month, if Cairo were to purchase the ships, it would give Egypt’s navy “some of the most advanced pieces of equipment in the arsenal of a Middle Eastern military,” with the ships capable of transporting hundreds of troops, 16 helicopters, tanks and armored vehicles, and featuring a command-and-control system capable of directing these forces in battle.

Along with Egypt and India, several other countries, including Brazil, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates had signaled their interest in the amphibious assault ships. According to unconfirmed reports, the buyer would also be offered to purchase the Russian-made Kamov Ka-52K helicopters tailored specifically for the ships.

Egypt has recently signed an agreement with France to purchase $5.2 billion in military equipment, including a frigate, four Gowind corvettes and 24 Rafale fighter jets, as well as arms from missile manufacturers MBDA and Sagem. Cairo is in talks with French officials on the purchase of two more corvettes. India, meanwhile, is in talks with Paris on the purchase of 36 Rafales.

Egypt Emerges as Front-Runner in Mistral Warship Sweepstakes

Second Mistral helicopter carrier floated out in France

 

Speculation swelled surrounding potential buyers for the orphaned carriers following an announcement that Paris and Moscow had reached an agreement to terminate the contract.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Several countries have expressed interest, with Egypt leading the pack, in the purchase of two French-built Mistral-class helicopter carriers after Paris reneged on their original deal to deliver the vessels to Russia.France and Russia terminated a 2011 contract for the construction and delivery of two Mistral warships worth 1.2 billion euro ($1.35 billion) earlier in August.

Speculation swelled surrounding potential buyers for the orphaned carriers following an announcement that Paris and Moscow had reached an agreement to terminate the contract.

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the refund would not amount to the initial contract’s cost. Finance Minister Michel Sapin later assessed the compensation at below 1 billion euros.

Egypt ‘Serious Option’ 

Egypt and Saudi Arabia have expressed immediate interested in purchasing the two Mistral warships. A French diplomatic source suggested to local media that the two countries would “do anything” to purchase the vessels.

The Wall Street Journal cited French officials saying on Wednesday that Cairo was in talks with Paris to buy the ships.

One of the officials said Egypt was “among the serious options” under consideration.

Egypt agreed to buy 24 Rafale fighter aircraft from France for an estimated $5.7 billion earlier this year.

The jets and warships are thought to be the first step toward building a joint Arab military force, announced at the 26th summit of Arab leaders in March. Egypt and Saudi Arabia agreed to cooperate on defense and the economy two months ago.

One of a Handful

French Sen. Helene Conway-Mouret told Sputnik earlier this month Egypt was one of a handful of countries expressing interest in buying the helicopter carriers.

Conway-Mouret listed Canada and Singapore, along with Saudi Arabia, as interested, and said more countries could come forth.Media reports speculated earlier this week that Defense Minister Le Drian was expected to discuss the possible sale of Mistrals to Malaysia during his state visit on Sunday.

Le Drian is set to visit India, another country that has expressed interested in the helicopter carriers, on his way back from Malaysia to sign a contract for the supply of 36 Rafale fighters.

According to the Centre for Analysis of World Arms Trade (CAWAT), a Russian think tank specializing in weapon sales, France has attempted to take advantage of the canceled Mistral deal with Russia by creating an artificial hype around potential buyers for the warships.

Paris will have to make serious efforts to find a new buyer, as it will take lengthy and complex negotiations on various issues, including price and readjustment of the ships for new owners, the CAWAT spokesman told RIA Novosti.The Mistral deal was suspended by Paris in November 2014 as the crisis in Ukraine escalated.

France, among a number of Western countries, blamed Russia for fueling conflict in southeastern Ukraine, a claim Moscow has firmly denied.

French lawmakers are due to review the Mistral termination agreement, and announce the exact Russian reimbursement sum, when they return from parliamentary vacation in mid-September.