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01:41 PM, June 2, 2016
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Mistral Helicopter carrier scale model at DCNS stand during DefExpo-2016 (Image: Vishwanath Patil for defenseworld.net)

DCNS delivered the first of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers christened ‘Gamal Abdel Nasser' to the Egyptian Navy today.

The two helicopter carriers were acquired by Egypt in October 2015. The LHD (Landing Helicopter Dock) Gamal Abdel Nasser was delivered to Egypt Thursday. By 2020, DCNS will have supplied at least seven combat vessels to Egypt, thus contributing to the modernisation of the Arab Republic of Egypt’s defence system, the company said in a statement Thursday.

On October 10 last year, DCNS signed a contract with the Egyptian MoD for the supply of two Mistral-class Landing Helo Docks (LHDs).The flag transfer of the first of the two helicopter carriers, the LHD Gamal Abdel Nasser, was initiated in July 2014 by a contract for the sale of four Gowind corvettes, and in August 2015 by the delivery of the FREMM multi-mission frigate Tahya Misr to the Egyptian Navy.

In addition, DCNS is supporting the Egyptian Navy as per the multi-annual maintenance contracts for the Egyptian vessels as well as through technologies transfer allowing the Alexandria Shipyards to build three of the four Gowind corvettes ordered in 2014. Other projects are currently under consideration to accelerate full operational capability of the Egyptian Navy.

The LHD Gamal Abdel Nasser will leave Saint-Nazaire in the next few days with the associated support vessels: two new-generation landing craft (CTM NG) and one EDAR fast amphibious landing craft. Before sailing to its home port of Alexandria, the helicopter carrier Gamal Abdel Nasser will participate in a joint exercise between the Egyptian and French Navies.

The Mistral-class LHD allows a wide spectrum of civil and military missions. With a length of 199 metres and a speed exceeding 18 knots, the Mistral-class LHD vessel is characterised by its capacity for the transportation of troops, equipment, heavy helicopters and landing craft, which the LHD is capable of projecting around the world. It is equipped with an electric propulsion system that uses pods. It also has an on-board hospital, and can carry out large-scale humanitarian missions. Its highly capable communication system makes it the ideal command vessel within a naval force.

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