MOSCOW, September 29. /TASS/. France will send the Russian equipment from the Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia before the end of November. The equipment cost exceeds 700 million roubles ($10.57 million), a source in the military-technical cooperation system told TASS on Tuesday.
"We have agreed with the French that before the end of November they will dismantle under our control and send to Russia all the Russian equipment installed on the two Mistrals," the source said.
According to the source, the hardware includes command, control and communications systems, action information systems and a helicopter control module," he added.
The equipment will be shipped to Russia by rail or sea, with the shipping costs to be paid by France, the source said. The equipment will be returned to the manufacturers, he added.
Last week, it was reported that Egypt, seen as a potential buyer for the Mistral helicopter carriers built by France for the Russian Navy, may get the Russian equipment installed on the vessels.
Russia’s United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation (UIMC) that develops and manufactures telecommunications equipment and automated control systems is ready to adapt the equipment it made for the Mistrals helicopter carriers to the needs of any foreign customer including Egypt, an official spokesman for the UIMC told TASS.
A Russian weaponry trading source has told TASS that Egypt has so far shown no interest in the Russian equipment installed on Mistral ships.
"We can speak only about a hypothetical possibility right not but any handovers (of the equipment) will be considered only when we get the appropriate applications," the source said. "We haven’t received any requests yet."
News came last Wednesday that France and Egypt had co-ordinated purchase terms for the two warships.
Media reports said Paris would seek €950 million for the vessels, approximately the amount of compensation paid to Russia after the planned sale was halted late in 2014 over conflict in Ukraine.
Russia and France signed a contract worth €1.12 billion in 2011 to build two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships for Russian service.
The first ship, named Vladivostok, was made waterborne in October 2013, scheduled for handover to Russia in November 2014.
Sister ship Sevastopol was to be turned over to Russia in the first half of 2015. But Paris took an 11th-hour decision to suspend transition of the carriers under the pretext of events in Ukraine. After a long wait, the two parties announced in August that the contract had been severed.