Egypt, other countries interested in French Mistral warships

By REUTERS
August 7, 2015 21:07

 
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About 10 countries, including Egypt, are interested in buying two French helicopter carriers whose planned sale to Russia has been cancelled due to the Ukraine crisis, a source familiar with the situation said.

A second source, a French diplomatic source, said that other countries interested include Brazil, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and Canada, which could be the most suitable candidate for the ships because they were designed for cold waters.

France, whose navy already operates three of the Mistral helicopter carrier warships, has no use for the two ships and will have to pay Russia nearly 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) for cancelling the contract.

The first source also said that Egypt is negotiating the possible exercise of its option to buy two Gowind corvettes. Last year Egypt bought four of the small warships, built by DCNS, which is 64 percent owned by the French state and 35 percent by defence group Thales.

The source added that in the future Egypt might also be interested in buying a second Fremm frigate, also built by DCNS. Egypt acquired a first Fremm as part of a 5.2 billion euro contract for 24 Rafale warplanes earlier this year.

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