Egypt is going to purchase Russian ship-based helicopters for the Mistrals. The news has come amid Russian-Egyptian anti-terrorism military exercises and negotiations on Russia’s lease of Egyptian military facilities.
Egypt has appealed to Russia with a request for supply of the K-52K helicopters for the Mistral helicopter carriers, the RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing Deputy Director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, Anatoly Punchuk.
“We have received an appeal from the Egyptian side for supply of the K-52 ship-based helicopters. The customer considers creating of several helicopter squadrons. The exact number of the helicopters will be agreed in the course of further negotiations,” Punchuk said.
According to sources of the news agency, the Arab Republic can buy not less than 16 Ka-52K helicopters and the similar number of the Ka-29/31 for the Mistrals. Two Mistral helicopter aircraft carriers were built by an order of Russia in France, but were not transferred for political reasons. Later, Egypt purchased the ships. Each Mistral carries 16 helicopters.
The Ka-52K Katran is a ship-based version of the Ka-52 Alligator combat helicopter. The helicopter has no equal in terms of maneuverability, protection and firepower. The naval version is equipped with guided ‘air-to-surface’ missiles and a powerful defense complex. The Ka-29 is a transport-combat deck-based helicopter. The Ka-31 is its anti-submarine modification.
The Egypt’s decision to purchase Russian helicopters has come amid Russian-Egyptian anti-terrorism military exercises on the territory of the Arab Republic and reports about ongoing negotiations on Russia’s lease of Egyptian military facilities, including a former Soviet military base in the Egyptian city of Sidi Barrani. It looks like Egypt will soon become a new Russian outpost in the Middle East.