Egypt buys 2 French warships intended for Russia

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How is Egypt paying for these, and what would justify the expense?
How is Egypt paying for these, and what would justify the expense?

… from  Press TV,  Tehran

A versatile platform
A versatile platform

[ Editor’s Note: Could the Mistral saga finally be over, not just for the first one, but the second to boot? I had made a mental note when France said they could not return them due to all the NATO equipment on board; that Putin said Russia wanted to “approve any buyer”, the unsaid being he did not want the ships used by an anti-Russian country.

So Egypt looks like a suitable home for these ships now, due to its growing relations with Russia. But I am curious where the money came from, plus the fact that these kinds of ships are sitting ducks in a shooting war and would be sunk on the first day. Was Sisi thinking of beach landings in Libya maybe?

If these turn out to be an expensive “static” defense expenditure, where the ships just remain in port most of the time, they are a questionable deal.  So I suspect that Putin might be subsidizing the purchase, and we will see these ships patrolling in the future in joint anti-piracy and rescue operations with the Russian boats.

I don’t have any Intel to support it. It just seems like the only sensible justification for a broke Egypt to be able to get involved with these. Maybe they were built into the nuclear power plants deal that the Russians will be building for Egypt. Russia will get to spend most of the returned money on more updated ships for better use in the ArcticJim W. Dean ]

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Putin and Sisi with flag

– First published  …   September 23,  2015

The French government says it is to sell two Mistral warships, which were originally intended for Russia, to Egypt. According to a statement released by the French presidency on Wednesday, President Francois Hollande and his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, “have agreed on the principle and terms and conditions of Egypt’s acquisition of the two Mistral-class vessels.”

The assault ships are capable of carrying 16 helicopter gunships, 700 troops and as many as 50 armored vehicles and were ordered by Russia in 2011.


However, the 1.2-billion-euro (USD 1.3-billion) deal between Paris and Moscow fell apart over the crisis in Ukraine as France along with its western allies accused Russia of having a hand in the eastern Ukraine conflict, an accusation that Kremlin categorically rejects.

France finally agreed in August to return some 950 million euros (USD 1 billion) already paid by Russia following eight months of intense negotiations.

It is not clear how much Egypt is due to pay for the warships, but French government spokesman, Stephane Le Foll, said no money would be lost in the new deal.

The Mistral warships are the second big military deal between Paris and Cairo in 2015 as the North African country has already bought 24 advanced fighter jets from France for 5.2 billion euros (USD 5.9 billion).

Amnesty International, however, condemned the decision to sell the jets to Egypt over its  “alarming” human rights abuses.

The former army chief and current president, Sisi, has been engaged in a massive crackdown on protesters over the past two years, killing hundreds of political activists, mostly affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood. Many others have died inside detention facilities while the judiciary has sentenced hundreds more to death.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Putin should have said that the money used to buy these ships must not come from an adversary country. One year from now will any Egyptian be onboard these ships??

  2. Nothing but scrap and recyclable material Jim? Artic black gold will require some precise geoengineering to keep that pesky ice cap to a well balanced size. Russia did a good deal of science ‘floating around on the Artic sea ice flows. Down under, UK is in some kind of blockade status with Argentina and Antarctica as the peninsula extends some 800 miles toward the bleak Falkland Islands. Woeful French anti ship missile sent 2 of HMS’ ships to Davy Jones’ locker, how shameful an operation was that.

  3. From the Editor’s Note:
    “Russia will get to spend most of the returned money on more updated ships for better use in the Arctic…”

    Yup, the Arctic is a tough place for sure. Lacking infrastructure, we’re are likely to see small scale military operations heavily dependent on logistics when everyone is trying to plant some national flags on suspected crude oil deposits.

    So one would need means of transportation – say helicopters, landing crafts and all terrain vehicles – to get all that stuff abroad, as well as some specialized facilities like a mobile hospital to support troops up there.

    Looking at the Mistral specs, Ockham’s Razor and the urgent need of Egypt to have such ships i’d say mission accomplished.

  4. Well they do need a better form of transport to bring all those migrants to europe.
    These two white elephant’s cost millions of dollars a month just to keep them ticking over and thats when they are berthed.
    Looks like uncle sam will be saddled with the associated costs as per usual.
    You could not make this crap up.

Comments are closed.