SAINT-NAZAIRE, France, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- The Egyptian Navy has received a second Mistral-class Landing Helicopter Dock, or LHD, ship from French naval shipbuilder DCNS.
The change of flag ceremony for the helicopter carrier took place on Friday in France and was attended by the chiefs of staff of the Egyptian and French Navies.
The Anwar El Sadat, with its Egyptian crew, will now take part in an exercise with the French Navy before sailing to its homeport of Alexandria.
"The delivery of the Landing Helicopter Dock vessel Anwar El Sadat is a demonstration of trust that we have established with the Arab Republic of Egypt to support the expansion of its navy," said Herve Guillou, chairman and chief executive officer of DCNS. "We are very proud to see, being brought under the Egyptian flag, a ship which is the result of the French industrial excellence."
The assault vessel displaces 23,479 tons when fully loaded. It is 653 feet long, 105 feet in the beam and has a top speed of 18.8 knots.
The first Mistral-class LHD, the Gamal Abdel Nasser, was delivered to Egypt in June under a 2015 contract.
The two ships had originally been contracted by Russia but the deal was canceled by France in response to Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region.