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French Shipbuilder Left Out of Pocket for Mistrals Unsold to Russia

© AFP 2023 / Georges GobetThis file photo taken on March 16, 2015 off Saint-Nazaire, northwestern France, shows the Sevastopol mistral warship on its way for its first sea trials.
This file photo taken on March 16, 2015 off Saint-Nazaire, northwestern France, shows the Sevastopol mistral warship on its way for its first sea trials. - Sputnik International
State-backed French naval shipbuilder DCNS is still waiting for reimbursement from the French government for two undelivered Mistral helicopter carriers which were initially destined to be sold to Russia in a deal, which was later reversed.

"The issue is not settled,” the French media quotes DCNS Chief Executive Herve Guillou as saying. He added that the French president promised that the reversal of the deal would not cost the manufacturer any money, but “it is not the case.”

"We still have ongoing discussions with the Department of Finance to make them pay to the last euro they owe us," said Hervé Guillou.

The Sevastopol amphibious assault ship of the Mistral class at the STX Europe shipyard in Saint-Nazaire - Sputnik International
Removal of Russian Equipment From Mistrals Completed
DCNS is entitled to receive about 200 million euros from the government, according to several anonymous sources familiar with the matter quoted by French media.

The sale of two Mistral class amphibious assault ships was cancelled by France because of Russia’s alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.

In June 2011, Rosoboronexport and the French DCNS naval defense company signed a contract for two Mistral amphibious assault ships and related services, including logistics, personnel training and technology transfers.

Under the 1.2-billion euro contract ($1.35 billion at the current exchange rate), Russia was to receive the first of the ships in 2014 followed by a second in 2015.

After Russia and France terminated their contract in August, Moscow received around $1 billion (949.8 million euros) in compensation.

Vladivostok amphibious assault ship of the French Mistral class in the docks of SNX France - Sputnik International
Russia State Arms Exporter Profits From Mistral Ship Contract Cancellation
France has since made an agreement with Egypt, which bought the two vessels for about 950 million euros.

DCNS has decommissioned the Russian radio-electronic systems from the two ships, still based in Saint-Nazaire (Loire-Atlantique) and is in the process of transcribing Cyrillic lettering into Arabic onboard the vessels.

The formation of the first Egyptian crew will start in February / March 2016. The two ships to reach Egypt next summer.

Meanwhile, the French naval shipbuilder is spending at least 1 million euros ($1.1 million) a month on keeping the warships in good condition.

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