DCNS delivers first Mistral-class helicopter carrier to Egypt

French shipbuilder DCNS delivered ‘Gamal Abdel Nasser’, the first of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers, to the Egyptian Navy on June 2.

The LHD (Landing Helo Dock) ships were acquired by the Arab Republic of Egypt on October 10, 2015.

Built by STX France in Saint-Nazaire the two Mistral-class vessels were originally meant for Russia. France, however, suspended the delivery of ships due to Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine crisis.

The original Mistral sale contract was worth €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) while the reported price Egypt paid for the ships was around €950 million.

The flag transfer ceremony for the ‘Gamal Abdel Nasser’ took place in the presence of Egyptian and French Navies’ Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Rabie and Admiral Rogel, Hervé Guillou, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DCNS, Laurent Castaing, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of STX France, and senior Egyptian and French officials.

The second ship is expected to be handed over to the Egyptian Navy in September.

The LHD Gamal Abdel Nasser will leave Saint-Nazaire in the next few days with the associated support vessels: two new-generation landing craft (CTM NG) and one EDAR fast amphibious landing craft.

Before sailing to its home port of Alexandria, the helicopter carrier Gamal Abdel Nasser will participate in a joint exercise between the Egyptian and French Navies. Since February, 180 Egyptian sailors have been trained in Saint-Nazaire on the LHD Nasser.

By 2020, DCNS will have supplied at least seven combat vessels to Egypt. FREMM frigates and Gowind corvettes are the other vessels the French shipbuilder will deliver to the Egyptian Navy.

Hervé Guillou, Chairman and CEO of DCNS announced that: “The delivery of the LHD (Landing Helo Dock) Gamal Abdel Nasser consolidates our relationship with the Arab Republic of Egypt which can count on the total commitment of DCNS and its partners to successfully conduct all of the programmes entrusted to us.”