SOCHI --- Russia’s Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation hopes that the agreements on re-equipment of Egypt's Mistral-class helicopter carriers and on supplies of Ka-52 helicopters to Egypt will be reached in the near future.
"We are negotiating. It is such a serious topic, now we have an active stage of talks," he said, answering the question when it is expected to reach agreements on the supply of communication equipment and helicopters for the Egyptian Mistral helicopter carriers. "We hope to reach an agreement soon," he said without mentioning specific dates.
In late August Alexander Mikheyev, head of Russia’s state arms seller Rosoboronexport said that the company will start talks on Kamov Ka-52K helicopters for Egypt after the completion of the consultations on the delivery of equipment for Mistral helicopter carriers.
The Mistral helicopter carriers, which Egypt bought in 2016, were initially intended for Russia. In 2011, France started building two Mistral helicopter carriers on order from the Russian Navy. The first ship was named Vladivostok and the second got the name of Sevastopol. However, in November 2014, French President Francois Hollande suspended the contract over developments in Ukraine and sanctions imposed on Russia.
The contract was cancelled in the summer of 2015. As a result, Paris paid Moscow 949.7 million euros in compensation and the helicopter carriers were subsequently sold to Egypt. Cairo earlier declined the offer to furnish the Mistral helicopter carriers with European or American helicopters. Russia later offered Egypt modern armament, electronic warfare and communications systems for installing them on the Mistrals.
The Ka-52K Katran attack helicopter is a ship-based version of the baseline Ka-52. Unlike the baseline model, the Ka-52K has folding main rotor blades and folding stub wings. The helicopter has reinforced landing gear and can fire anti-ship missiles and a wide range of other guided and unguided air-launched weapons.