CAIRO, April 11 (UPI) -- France plans to deliver two new Mistral helicopter carriers to the Egyptian navy by this summer, according to officials in Cairo.
Deliveries of the new ships are slated to begin sometime in June, with the first of the two helicopter carriers expected to arrive into the fleet no later than September, French Ambassador to Egypt Andre Parant said at a press conference in Cairo.
The ships were originally built for the Russian navy as part of a $1.3 billion weapons acquisition deal with Moscow. However, the deal was terminated last August, with France paying roughly $1 billion in compensation for the cancellation of the contract.
French officials reached a deal to sell the carriers to Cairo late last year.
As designed, Mistral-class amphibious carriers can carry a combined mix of 16 Ka-27 Kamov and Ka-29 Kamov Helix anti submarine helicopters and Ka-52 Alligator strike helicopters.