Egypt has taken delivery of the first of two French Mistral warships as part of a military deal between Paris and Cairo in 2015. France agreed last year to sell two Mistral helicopter carriers to Egypt for $1 billion, which were originally intended for sale to Russia.
The first warship, named Gamal Abdel Nasser after Egypt’s late president, is reportedly headed toward Alexandria where it is expected to arrive within weeks. During a handover ceremony in the western French port of Saint-Nazaire on Thursday, Egyptian Defense Minister Sedky Sobhi said the second warship would arrive in September.
“It [the warship] increases our combat capabilities and our ability to carry out long-term missions at sea…and we are awaiting on the arrival of the second in September,” he said.