Russian delegation travels to Egypt to discuss Mistral equipment deal: TASS

A Russian delegation left for Egypt to participate in the next stage of negotiations on delivering communications and control equipment for the Mistral-class helicopter carriers, a source in the military-technical cooperation system between Russia and other countries said to the Russian news agency, TASS, on Tuesday.

"Negotiations continue. The Russian delegation has left for Egypt to discuss with the Egyptian side the parameters of the potential deal with the available technical proposals on the communications and control equipment," the source said.

TASS, however, mentioned that it has no official confirmation of this information.

Earlier media reports said that Moscow and Cairo were discussing the delivery of communications and control systems for the Mistral amphibious assault ships. In October 2015, then-Kremlin-chief-of-staff Sergei Ivanov said that Egypt might buy Russian helicopters and military equipment worth over $1 billion for its new warships.

The French mistrals, which Egypt received last year, were initially intended for Russia. The Russian Defense Ministry ordered them in the summer of 2011 but in 2014 Paris froze the delivery of the helicopter carriers to Russia over Moscow’s stance on Ukraine developments. In 2015, Russia and France agreed on cancelling the contract and soon after that, the Mistral amphibious assault ships were bought by Egypt, TASS said.

The Mistral-type helicopter carriers have the displacement capacity of 21 tons, the maximum body length of 210 meters, the speed of 18 knots and the range of up to 20,000 miles.

The helicopter carrier can accommodate 450 people in addition to its crew of 180. It carries 16 helicopters, of which six can be simultaneously stored on the flight-deck.

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