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Egypt may increase order of Russian Ka-52 type helicopters to 80 — source

Egypt is assessing the number of Russian helicopters that may be supplied for Mistral helicopter carriers purchased from France

MOSCOW, October 20. /TASS/. Russia may supply to Egypt up to 80 Kamov Ka-52 Alligator [NATO reporting name: Hokum B] attack helicopters and Ka-52K Katran (navalized derivative of Ka-52) helicopters designed for Mistral helicopter carriers, a source in the system of Russia’s military technical cooperation with other countries told TASS Tuesday.

The source said that after a contract with France for Mistrals, Egypt is assessing the number of Russian helicopters that may be supplied for these vessels.

"In addition to 50 Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopters, the contract for which has already been signed, the Egyptian side plans to acquire, in order to equip Mistrals, Ka-52K Katran naval helicopters and is now making up its mind about their number," the source said.

"It is not ruled out that the Egyptian side will decide to deploy 16 Ka-52K helicopters at each of its ships, then the volume of the planned order will grow to 32 items, and the overall amount of Ka-52 type helicopters for Egypt will reach 70-80 items," he said.

The source said the Russian-Egyptian contract for Ka-52K ship-based helicopters may be signed in the first quarter of 2016.

Initially, the two Mistral helicopter carriers were designed for Russia’s navy. The €1.12 billion contract to build the Mistral amphibious assault ships was signed by Russia and France in June 2011.

The first Mistral, the Vladivostok, was floated in October 2013. It was to have been handed over to Russia by the French side in November 2014, but the handover did not take place.

The second Mistral, the Sevastopol, was to be delivered to Russia in October 2015, but the deal was suspended too.

France suspended the delivery of Mistrals to Russia as part of a package of sanctions the European countries imposed on Moscow for what they claimed was its alleged role in destabilization of east Ukraine.

Russia has constantly dismissed allegations that Moscow could in any way be involved in hostilities in Ukraine’s east.

Moscow received a compensation for termination of the contract.

Paris signed a contract with Egypt to supply the helicopter carriers on October 10, 2015. The ships are due for delivery to the new customer in summer 2016 along with their assault craft.