Egypt receives second Mistral-class helicopter-carrier

The Arab Republic of Egypt has received the second and last Mistral-class helicopter carrier it acquired from France in October 2015.

The change of flag ceremony for the amphibious assault ship which Egypt named Anwar El Sadat took place on September 16 and was attended by the two Chiefs of Staff of the Egyptian and French navies, Admiral Rabie and Admiral Prazuck, of the chairman and CEO of DCNS, Hervé Guillou, and of the president of STX France, Laurent Castaing, together with senior French and Egyptian officials.

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 delivery of the first of these two helicopter carriers, the LHD Gamal Abdel Nasser took place on June 2, 2016. DCNS also sold four Gowind® corvettes to Egypt in 2014 and a FREMM multi-mission frigate in August 2015.

Egyptian Mistral-class LHDs weigh 22,000 tonnes and measure 199 meters in length. The ships have six helicopter landing spots and are capable of carrying 16 heavy or 35 light helicopters.

The French Navy also uses three ships of the same class. Mistral, Tonnerre and Dixmude were delivered to the French Navy in 2006, 2007 and 2012.

French Navy's BPC Dixmude helicopter carrier at sea. Photo: DCNS
French Navy’s BPC Dixmude helicopter carrier at sea. Photo: DCNS