ENS Anwar El Sadat
ENS Anwar El Sadat (L1020) is an Egyptian Navy amphibious assault ship, a type of helicopter carrier, of the French Mistral class. It was originally built in France for the Russian Navy as part of a contract for two of these warships and underwent sea trials. The contract with Russia was subsequently cancelled by France and an agreement on compensation was reached with the Russian government. Egypt and France eventually concluded a deal to acquire the two warships for roughly 950 million euros. Egypt is considered the first and only country in Africa and the Middle East to possess a helicopter carrier of such type.
ENS Anwar El Sadat heading to Alexandria after a joint naval exercise with the French Navy, October 2016
|Laid down:||18 June 2013|
|Launched:||20 November 2014|
|Name:||Anwar El Sadat|
|Acquired:||16 September 2016|
|Class and type:||Mistral-class amphibious assault ship|
|Length:||199 m (653 ft)|
|Beam:||32 m (105 ft)|
|Draught:||6.3 m (21 ft)|
|Installed power:||3 × Wärtsilä 16V32 (3 × 6,200 kW (8,300 hp))|
|Speed:||18.8 knots (34.8 km/h; 21.6 mph)|
|Armament:||4 × AN/TWQ-1 Avenger mobile SAM (32 FIM-92 Stinger missiles)|
|Aviation facilities:||Helicopter deck and hangar|
The Russian government placed an order for this and another warship in 2011. The construction of these ships would be shared between both countries, with France building about 60 percent and Russia 40 percent. Work started in Saint-Nazaire, France, on 18 June 2013, and in the Russian Baltiysky Zavod shipyard in St. Petersburg on 4 July 2013. Russia would send its parts to France for final assembly. The ship was originally expected to join the Russian Navy in 2015. After final assembly of the main structures in France the ship was then scheduled to go to St. Petersburg, Russia, for the outfitting of additional Russian-specific weapons and subsystems.
In 2014, as criticism of Russian intervention in Ukraine grew, France came under increasing pressure to cancel or suspend the delivery of the two Mistral-class hulls, tentatively named Vladivostok and Sevastopol. Some commentators suggested France try to find alternative customers for the two vessels. In August, 2015, the two governments reached agreement on terms for cancelling the contract; France would keep the ships and fully reimburse Russia.
On 7 August 2015, a French diplomatic source confirmed that President Hollande had discussed the matter with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi during his visit to Egypt for the inauguration of the New Suez Canal in Ismailia. Subsequently, in October 2015, Egypt and France concluded a deal to acquire the two formerly Russian-bound warships for roughly 950 million euros, which included the costs of training Egyptian crews. Speaking on RMC Radio, Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Defence Minister, said that Egypt had already paid the whole price for the helicopter carriers.
Beginning in February 2016, 180 Egyptian sailors began training in Saint-Nazaire, France, on the newly renamed landing helicopter dock Gamal Abdel Nasser, with the support of the DCNS (Direction des Constructions Navales Services) and STX France instructors and Défense Conseil International.
On 2 June 2016, DCNS delivered the first of these two helicopter carriers acquired by the Arab Republic of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser. The flag transfer ceremony took place in the presence of Egyptian and French Navies' Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Rabie and Admiral Rogel, Hervé Guillou, chairman and chief executive officer of DCNS, Laurent Castaing, chairman and chief executive officer of STX France, and senior Egyptian and French officials. Gamal Abdel Nasser left Saint-Nazaire after a few days with associated support vessels. Before sailing to the vessel's home port of Alexandria, Egypt, the warship participated in a joint exercise between the Egyptian and French Navies. On 16 September 2016, DCNS delivered the second of the two helicopter carriers, Anwar El Sadat, which also participated in a joint exercise with the French Navy before arriving at its home port of Alexandria on 6 October 2016, coinciding with the country's celebrations of the 43rd anniversary of the 1973 October War against Israel.
Since receiving its two Mistral-class carriers, Egypt had issued an international tender for the procurement of new maritime helicopters. The Egyptian Navy and Air Force studied several offers for helicopters to use on both carriers. European and Russian manufacturers entered the bidding procedure; NHIndustries and Airbus Helicopters were reported to have offered their NH90 and Tiger helicopters, while Russian Helicopters offered its Ka-52K helicopter. By May 2017, the tender had reached its final stage, Russian Helicopters stated that it would intermediary enter into pricing negotiations if the company won the tender. In June 2017, Russia announced it had won the tender for providing deck helicopters Ka-52K for the Egyptian Mistral carriers. The head of the FSVTS, Dmitry Shugayev, said that pre-contract work was underway, including final agreement on the helicopter's technical concept and other financial conditions. Egypt is likely to buy the same package intended for the Russian Navy, which includes Ka-52K attack helicopters and Ka-29/31 utility helicopters, before the contract was cancelled by France.
In October 2016, Anwar El Sadat took part in military exercises jointly conducted by the Egyptian and French navies in the Mediterranean Sea. The drills were held under the code name Cleopatra 2016/2, they were the first for the ship after being delivered to Egypt the previous month. The exercises included a number of activities such as both forces planning and managing naval combat missions.
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- Второй вертолетоносец типа "Мистраль" спущен на воду во Франции
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The September 2014 decision by France to withhold delivery of two Mistral class Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD), being built for Russia, represents a tremendous opportunity for the NATO alliance, for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), and even for a French shipbuilding industry and economy that might otherwise lose out.
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Then there is the possibility of poking Vladimir Putin in the eye by taking over ownership of the Sevastopol.
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