Egypt Receives First of Two Mistral Aircraft Carrier

ARABIAN DEFENSE -- Egypt on Thursday received the first of two French Mistral helicopter carriers and said the second would arrive in September as part of a deal signed last year.

France agreed last year to sell two Mistral helicopter carriers to Egypt for 950 million euros ($1 billion) after their sale to Russia was canceled last August.

"We now have advanced capabilities in confronting terrorism within our borders and on our shores," Minister of Defence Sedky Sobhi said at a handover ceremony at Saint-Nazaire, Western France.

"It 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.

Cairo has sought to boost its military power in the face of a two-year insurgency in northern Sinai and fears that the conflict in neighboring Libya could spill over.
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