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Ideal Partners: Russia Most Likely Candidate to Arm Egypt's Mistral Warships

© REUTERS / Stephane MaheThe Mistral-class helicopter carrier Gamal Abdel Nasser (ex-Vladivostok) leaves the STX Les Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard site in Saint-Nazaire, western France, May 6, 2016
The Mistral-class helicopter carrier Gamal Abdel Nasser (ex-Vladivostok) leaves the STX Les Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard site in Saint-Nazaire, western France, May 6, 2016 - Sputnik International
In an interview with Sputnik, Russian military expert Dmitry Drozdenko remained optimistic about a planned deal between Moscow and Cairo on Russia supplying equipment to Egypt's Mistral-class helicopter carriers.

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
Mission Cleopatra: Egypt's Mistral Taking Part in Joint Drills With France
Earlier this week, media reports said that a delegation of Russian specialists arrived in Egypt to negotiate delivering Russian equipment to the Mistral-class assault ships earlier purchased by Egypt from France.

Under the planned deal, Russia offers armament, communication and electronic warfare systems for the Egyptian navy's Mistral warships which may also be equipped with Russia's Ka-52K Katran helicopters.

Russian representatives said in early April that that everything is almost ready for the equipment's transportation, and that the parties only expect the signing of the contract.

© Photo : Russian Defense MinistryThe Ka-52K helicopter
The Ka-52K helicopter - Sputnik International
The Ka-52K helicopter

Initially, the two Mistrals were built by France for the Russian navy but in August 2015, French President Francois Hollande decided to suspend the contract   due to the events in eastern Ukraine.

Moscow and Paris breaking up the agreement was followed by Cairo's decision to buy the helicopter carriers for its navy.

Speaking to Sputnik, Dmitry Drozdenko, who is also deputy editor-in-chief of the Russian military magazine Arsenal Otechestva, expressed confidence that the parties will agree on the supply of Russian equipment for the Egyptian Mistrals.

He recalled that the helicopter carriers were built precisely in line with the Russian Armed Forces' requirements, which is why they are adapted to our radio electronic and arms equipment.

"In principle, Egypt has no choice regarding what equipment to install. Rather, it is the matter of price and delivery date. I am sure that the parties will finally reach a consensus and sign the contract," Drozdenko said, referring to Russia and Egypt.

An RT correspondent stepped on board the Mistral assault ship, shortly after it was reported that the first helicopter carrier of two purchased by Egypt from France had arrived in Alexandria - Sputnik International
Sail Like an Egyptian: Reporting From the Deck of a French Mistral
According to him, the Egyptians will also agree on buying Ka-52K Katran deck helicopters, which he said are a modified version of the Ka-52.

"They were successfully tested in Syria during the deployment of our aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov. The Ka-52 is a superb helicopter with unique attack capabilities, that is, for the first time the helicopter poses a real danger to modern combat ships," Drozdenko said. 

"Given that the Mistral amphibious ships were specifically created for carrying Ka-52K helicopters, this contract will most likely be signed and the helicopters will already be delivered to the Egyptian expeditionary helicopter carriers," he concluded

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