Egyptians to pick up the embargoed Russian Mistrals

France was long a warship provider to old Imperial Russia– producing a number of the Tsar’s pre-dreadnoughts. They even gave back the old White Russian fleet to the Soviets, exiled in Tunisia after the Russian Civil War in 1924. Even with these historical ties, it came as a mild shock when NATO-ish France agreed to sell new Imperial Russia a pair of Russified Mistral LPDs a couple years ago.

At 21,000-tons, the Mistrals are among the most capable amphibious warfare ships in the world, and the Russians bought two

At 21,000-tons, the Mistrals are among the most capable amphibious warfare ships in the world, and the Russians bought two

Then came the whole Ukrainian thing and, under pressure from the rest of Europe, France pulled the plug and refunded Moscow’s money (about a billion dollars worth), leaving the Russians pissed and the French with two brand new ships on their hands with everything written in Russian (and loaded with some Warsaw Pact commo, radar, close in weapons systems and other and misc systems).

The Russians pushed to have the French either complete the deal or scuttle the ships, saying they couldn’t be sold with Putin’s toys installed. This eschewed plans to sell them to India and Singapore, both of which are looking to expand their navies on the cheap.

Except that Egypt now wants them and, with the Russians longing for a return to the Sadat-era where they sold billions of rubles of military gear to North Africa’s most together military force, Moscow is cool with that.

As noted by Defense News, Egypt will take the Russian ships as-is in a $1 billion deal (with Saudi financing).

“It was my preferred buyer because we already have military cooperation with Egypt,” French President Francois Hollande said of the deal he struck with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. “Egypt plays an important role in the Middle East and wants to move towards a democratic transition, which is not easy, and we should support their efforts.”

Of course, the prospect of leaving the door open for more weapons deals between Egypt and both France and Russia is likely part of the goulash as well.

More over at USNI

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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