A state-owned Russian military supplier offered its radar and electronic services to equip the two Mistral warships purchased by Egypt from France, Russian state Sputnik News reported Tuesday. The warships, initially intended for Russia, were sold to Egypt after French President François Hollande canceled the deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin in late 2014.
Hollande canceled the sale of the two Mistral ships, a deal made by his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, following Russia's annexation of the Crimea last year and alleged involvement arming pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine. Since the cancellation of the deal nearly a year ago, France has been losing millions of dollars in upkeep of the ships while searching for an alternative buyer.
The French also had to pay Russia approximately $1.31 billion in damages for cancellation of the deal. "We unwound the contract we had with Russia, on good terms, respectful of Russia and not suffering any penalty for France," said Hollande in September after announcing the new deal with Egypt.
Egypt purchased both ships from France in a September bid for $1.3 billion and the ships probably will be delivered in March, according to Reuters. They were designed for Russian defense systems and will need to be altered for Egypt's purposes. Morinformsystem-Agat, a state-owned Russian defense firm, has offered its services.
— Sputnik (@SputnikInt) October 2, 2015
Morinformsystem-Agat's director general and chief designer said during a defense exposition Monday that they would be open to working with Egypt. "We are open for offers," said director Georgy Antsev. "It is up to us to satisfy the needs of any nation that is in diplomatic relations with Russia and has an agreement on military-technical cooperation with it."
Anstev's firm has long equipped Russian naval ships and supplies artillery control systems, as well as radar and other electronic equipment.