SHAH ALAM: Egypt and UAE look set to acquire the Russian’s Mistrals. Defense News is reporting that an UAE official confirming their interests in the amphibious ships although he stopped short from saying that the deal was final.
The Defense News article backed the story by quoting a Russian newspaper which stated that France had been given permission to sell the two LHDs to Egypt and UAE. The deal between France and Russia over the non-delivery of the two ships apparently gave Russia the right of first refusal over the eventual buyer.
According to the report ” A United Arab Emirates government official has confirmed to Defense News the government’s interest in acquiring one of two French Mistral-class amphibious assault ships originally ordered by Russia in 2011.
The contract for the two ships was terminated after Russia halted payments for the ships following the European sanctions imposed on the country for its involvement in the Ukraine crisis. France paid Russia more than US $1 billion in compensation for the non-delivery.
“Our interest in purchasing the ship is real, it fulfils the capability requirements for our forces,” the government source said. “The Mistral ships are in line with our equipment and capabilities.”
A report published Wednesday by Russian-language newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets quoted Russian military sources stating that Russia has given France the green light to sell the two helicopter carriers to Egypt and the UAE.”
According to unnamed Russian sources close to the deal quoted by Moskovsky Komsomolets, Egypt will purchase the ship with direct Russian financial support and would also have to commit to the purchase of a number of Russian Ka-52 helicopters.
“If this deal goes through, for Russia it is very advantageous, since the loan is in fact a trademark: a large consignment of helicopters will be based at our Russian defense industry, taxes will go into our budget, and the borrower does not receive the money but the product — helicopters made in Russia,” the source was quoted.
To read the story go Here
Will this latest development on the Mistral saga stopped all the wild speculation “on the Malaysian purchase”. Of course not. Its too juicy even if they were completely wrong.
I doubt it will topped even when Egypt and UAE signed the contracts for both ships. God knows what will come out if both countries backed out from the deal!
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