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Second helicopter carrier sold to Egypt leaves French port

September 21, 2016, 12:46 UTC+3 PARIS

The two helicopter carriers of the Mistral-class that Egypt purchased from France were originally built for the Russian Navy

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PARIS, September 21. /TASS/. The Anwar El-Sadat helicopter carrier sold to Egypt by France, on Wednesday has set off to its future home base of Alexandria from the French port of Saint-Nazaire’s shipyard, the French news agency France-Presse reported.

On September 16, the French shipbuilder, DCNS, officially delivered the second Mistral-class amphibious assault ship to Egypt’s Ministry of Defense, in accordance with the agreement reached by the parties last autumn. The first ship was delivered to Egypt in June.

The two helicopter carriers of the Mistral-class were originally built for the Russian Navy. However, in the summer 2015 the French authorities cancelled the deal citing the situation in Ukraine. Paris’ refusal to deliver the ships to Russia sparked criticism in certain circles.

Former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon called this decision "an economic and political mistake." According to the conditions of the contract’s cancellation, France refunded Russia around €950 million.

Infographics Mistral helicopter carrier

Mistral helicopter carrier

Russia will purchase Mistral-class helicopter carriers from France. Infographics by TASS

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