Russia has conveyed to France that Russian telecommunications and missile control systems installed on-board may not be removed, if Egypt or India buys the Mistral helicopter carriers.
Russian officials had "let it be known" that Moscow “could accept India and Egypt receiving the equipment" if either of the two nations will buy them, a French official cited by defense news website Defense One said today.
The official also suggested that if the equipment were to remain onboard the ships, it would help Russia to keep close links with Egypt.
About €56.7 million of the refund amount had gone toward covering the Russian-made equipment on board the ship, as well as training.
Earlier this month, Russian officials announced that Moscow and Paris would hold talks on September 21 over the dismantling of Russian equipment aboard the warships, noting that the Russian-made components would be dismantled and returned to Russia by late November.
A Russian source told defenseworld.net that while removing the electronic equipment will be expensive and time-consuming, replacing it with Western electronics will require twice the effort and money.
Moreover, several other countries, including Brazil, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates had shown their interest in the amphibious assault ships. The buyer would also be offered to purchase the Russian-made Kamov Ka-52K helicopters tailored specifically for the ships.