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France to Sell Mistral Amphibs to Egypt

The two Mistrals built for Russia. Reuters Photo

The two Mistrals built for Russia. Reuters Photo

The French government is planning to sell two Mistral-class amphibious warships — built for Russia — to Egypt, according to a Wednesday morning statement from Élysée Palace.

The brief statement said French president François Hollande and Eypgtian president Abdel Fattah Sisi had reached an accord on the sale of the two 21,000-ton amphibs to Egypt.

“President of the Republic spoke with President Sisi. They agreed on the principle and terms of the purchase of two Mistral-class projection and command ships by Egypt,” read a translation of the statement.

French officials did neither disclose the sales price of the ships to Egypt nor reveal timelines.

The potential sale to Egypt ends more than a year of angst over the disposition of the two Mistrals after Hollande elected not to deliver to Russia over Kremlin support for separatists in the ongoing civil war in Ukraine in September of 2014.

Russia agreed to the terms of the cancelation in August with France paying Russia $1.3 billion in refunds and cancelation fees for the ships Vladivostok and Sevastopol.

One source told the Russian state-controlled wire RIA Novosti, that a Moscow would likely not object to a sale of the Mistrals to Egypt.

“Egypt is a friendly state for Russia, so if Paris and Cairo did reach an agreement on the acquisition of these ships, Moscow is unlikely to voice any opposition to this agreement,” the source told RIA Novosti.

The 21,000-ton ships can field 20 helicopters and has a well deck to deploy landing craft. The ship can carry up to 450 troops for extended journeys and 900 for short trips and were built for Arctic operations.

  • Rob C.

    Lovely, they sold it to a military-ran democracy.

    • Ctrot

      That kills islamic radicals by the bushel, good deal.

  • Bush+Obama=Satans love child

    With all the business Egypt was forced to conduct with Russia as of late due to our Commander & Chiefs short sighted ignorance I wouldn’t be surprised if Egypt turns around & sells them to Russia for some S-400, t-90, SU-30 hardware. RUSSIA says WINNING!

    • NavySubNuke

      Commander IN Chief —- not commander and chief. And not providing an unstable regime to have access to advanced weapons systems is hardly short sighted. Besides most of the opposition to the weapons transfers was from congress not from our weak willed and arrogant Commander in Chief.

      • Bush+Obama=Satans love child

        Thank you for the correction (CIC) but you must have misunderstood my slight on Obama & pluralizing on his idiotic Joint Chiefs.Congress controlled by Republicans had NOTHING to do with stopping the already approved FMS which criticized the president for stopping the transfer & pushing Egypt back into the Russian sphere. President Sisi has Egypt well in hand due to his financial support from the Saudis & hardware from Russia but it could/should have been American hardware sales. On the bright side it should save taxpayers around $2 billion a year in foreign welfare for our military industry BUT it could cost Israel a lot more in the long run.

        • gro

          Really NOT being picky but CIC is(was) a Department aboard ship…the pResident is CinC and Joint Chiefs is correct. the JCS (Joint Chiefs of Staff) are the reps from each service.
          CINC ‘goes along’ with CINCPACFLT which is Commander in Chief, US Pacific Flt.
          No big deal etc etc.

          • Bush+Obama=Satans love child

            I’m ignorant to most of the correction you gave me so thank you for the education. I really liked the use of “pResident”.

          • Secundius

            @ gro.

            Just exactly WHEN did the CIC acquire Purchasing Power for the Navy. I thought that fell under the Domain of Congress…

          • gro

            I don’t recall saying or even thinking that. However, if you are referring to the pResident, he doesn’t consider or consult Congress on much of anything – at least that is their story..

          • Secundius

            @ gro.

            If Congress actually Did Their Jobs, he Wouldn’t have too…

    • Michael Nunez

      One has to believe your right , what else…..?

      • Bush+Obama=Satans love child

        Are you asking me “what else?” on Egypt or Russia or pResident & his Joint Chiefs? Don’t know how to answer your question without you being a little more specific.

        • Michael Nunez

          Your point of Bartering the Mistral’s to Russia has to be looked at real good . There is no good reason Egypt can use them. My ” what else ” is really saying your right on where they will end up.

          • Bush+Obama=Satans love child

            Got ya. I’ve been known to ride the short bus on the internet. I think you’re right about Egypt not needing them & Russia expended a lot of training time for their soldiers/sailors & Egypt needs hardware like planes, attack helicopters, modern battle tanks, & artillery. I’m Kinda surprised the Saudis didn’t purchase them seeing as they are on a $20 billion Navy shopping spree.

          • Michael Nunez

            Could not have said it better . Looks like Russia might be pulling an End-A-Round on the West . Sadly our Leader-less-ship is in full Bloom .

  • Zinchuk

    Canada was considering them. But apparently the early election call got in the way. Dammit. We could have really used those.

    • Secundius

      @ Zinchuk.

      Canada, cancelled the Purchase for the Simple Reason. Take their 2015 Defense Budget wouldn’t cover the Cost and Maintenance of the Two Ship’s…

      • Headspaced

        Canada could afford them. just no one wanted to stick their budgetary neck out.

        • Secundius

          @ Headspaced.

          And they EVEN had a Class Name, too. The “Vimy Ridge” class…

        • Secundius

          @ Headspaced.

          Canada, is also Dropping Out of the F-35 JSF Program, too. Using money on Space Research instead…

  • KC135TopBoom

    Why is there even a question of Russia (Putin) objecting to the sale of the two Mistrals to anyone? Why are they still referred to as Vladivostok and Sevastopol? The two Mistrals were never commissioned into the Russian Navy. France paid Russia for these two LHDs.
    All France was ever concerned with was selling them to anyone. Like always, the French want the money back.
    Canada should have gotten them. What will Egypt do with warships built to operate in the Arctic regions? The Egyptian Navy is a warm water navy.

    • On Dre

      Egypt will tie them up and watch them rust slowly over the course of decades.

    • John B. Morgen

      The Russians don’t trust the French……

  • Pingback: Egyptians to pick up the embargoed Russian Mistrals | laststandonzombieisland()

  • Michael Nunez

    Weird…. .

  • John B. Morgen

    Selling these two warships is a bad proposition. The United States should have step in and bought them, then lease them out to whomever we want. Egypt has no need for such warships. unless Egypt is acting as a [holding company] for some other nation-state. Maybe?

  • publius_maximus_III

    Good deal. I hope their first official use is to be loaded with Egyptian marines for an assault on an ISIS target in Syria.

    Je suis Charlie.

  • Frank Langham

    I am happy for the French, who got burned with the Russian cancellation, but I have a hard time seeing how Egypt can put such platforms to good and efficient use. … And, Egypt is far from “stable” (IMO) … No telling who will be in power, some years from now. … In any event, these ships are easy enough for Western forces to scuttle, if they ever go “rogue”.

  • PD MacGuire

    The Egyptians bought two warships from France in 1864. After taking delivery the Egyptians turned around and sold both ships to the original purchaser, the Confederate Navy. So it’s not like they havent pulled that before.