A Russian delegation has left for Egypt to negotiate delivering communications and control equipment for the Mistal-class helicopter carriers France sold to Cairo after it cancelled their sale to Moscow.
"Negotiations continue, the Russian delegation has left for Egypt to discuss with the Egyptian side the parameters of the potential deal with the available technical proposals on the communications and control equipment," Tass quoted an unnamed source as saying Tuesday.
Tass couldn’t confirm the information. "It is likely that since the deal [on the Mistral delivery] between Egypt and France has been signed and the warship delivery is ongoing, with one [warship] already there and the other one arriving a little bit later, the decision [on the supply of Russian equipment] will be made, the equipment must work," Rosoboronexport Deputy Director General Igor Sevastyanov had said in June last year after the first Mistral was delivered to Egypt.
Russia and Egypt had started consultations on the purchase and management of a $1 billion worth communication system and Ka-52K helicopters for Mistral-type warships in November 2015.
In November 2014, France had suspended the contract, citing Moscow's alleged participation in the Ukrainian conflict as a reason to terminate the deal.
In August 2015, Paris and Moscow formally terminated the 1.2-billion-euro (some $1.3 billion at current exchange rates) deal on the construction and delivery of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers.
Egypt emerged as France’s replacement customer for the Mistrals in September, following the Paris and Moscow’s termination of a 2011 deal on construction and delivery of the two ships.
In October 2015, Egypt and France signed a contract to buy two Mistral-class helicopter carriers originally built for Russia.
Egypt received the first of two French-made Mistral warships, named Gamal Abdel Nasser in June last year. Egypt took delivery of a second French Mistral helicopter carrier in September 2016.