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Vladivostok Amphibious Assault Ship

kaiserbill

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_Del_

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http://news.yahoo.com/paris-suspends-delivery-warship-russia-over-ukraine-162258553.html

"France said Wednesday "conditions" were not in place to deliver the first of two Mistral-class warships to Russia, ..."

Well, at least it's a bargaining chip now.
 

Grey Havoc

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France Wrestles With Legal Issues Ahead of Mistral Decision (DefenseNews)

PARIS — France is expected to decide within the coming month whether to deliver a Mistral-class helicopter carrier to Russia, and the letter of the law looms large with officials examining the sale contract as they weigh the government’s options, legal and defense specialists said.

Key to those determinations is whether the force majeure clause allows France to suspend and cancel the controversial contract, which calls for a hand over of the warship at the end of October or early November.

But one thing has become clear: President François Hollande’s Sept. 6 statement on the eve of the NATO summit was widely misinterpreted as suspending the contract.

Hollande carefully avoided saying it was suspended, as that would have “called into question the contract,” Jean-Pierre Maulny, deputy director of think tank Institut des Relations Internationales et Stratégique. “It was a sensitive statement” aimed at keeping the contract intact and avoiding a claim for financial penalty, he said.

“It’s not in suspension,” a legal expert said. “The statement was pure politics.”

Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian corrected the record, saying on Sept. 9 at the Summer Defense University that there was no suspension and a decision would be made “at the end of October,” daily Le Parisian reported.

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also said there was no suspension, and that delivering the Vladivostok — the first of two Mistral-class carriers purchased by Russia — hung on two conditions: The ceasefire in Ukraine be observed, and Kiev and Moscow reach a political settlement.

[snip]
 

Grey Havoc

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http://news.yahoo.com/moscow-gives-france-until-end-november-deliver-warship-083805793.html
 

UpForce

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The German government revoked Rheinmetall's field simulator export licence in August, "in the light of the EU sanctions". The situation has actually worsened since then, Russian government and military continuing to breach some of their most fundamental international (and bilateral vis-à-vis Ukraine) agreements and obligations - to put the state of things, mounting casualties and all, mildly to an absurd degree. Sure, Putin's behavior has been erratic by post WW2 standards. The practical consideration before the French though, is not whether they can somehow allay this unpredictability but only perhaps have an effect on its potential types of manifestation. Hollande's government shouldn't take advantage of the relative rationality of its closest allies at the cost of our mutual capacity to confront the now inevitable future challenges. For reasons far more significant than the mere military implications of these ships it is beyond obvious that the Mistrals should not be delivered to Russia.
 

Grey Havoc

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http://news.yahoo.com/russia-may-claim-damages-france-doesnt-deliver-mistral-100436834.html
 

Jemiba

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The theme of the delivery is closely related to the current political tensions between western
countries and Russia, of course, nevertheless I would strongly recommend not to enter too
political a discussion here.
 

muttbutt

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Odd occurrence, but apparently some of the Russian sailors training in France got a wee bit drunk last Friday and took down the tricolour and raised the Russian flag.
So this Monday the French gov has banned them from boarding and confined them to the quarters and posted police at the ship.
 

Grey Havoc

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http://aviationweek.com/blog/mistral-blows-cold-russia
 

Grey Havoc

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http://aviationweek.com/blog/russias-missing-mistrals
 

GTX

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Russia Sends France Formal Inquiry on Non-Delivery of Mistral Warship

(Source: Sputnik; published January 13, 2015)

MOSCOW --- Moscow has sent Paris an official inquiry for an explanation of why a Mistral helicopter carrier was not delivered to Russia according to an earlier signed agreement, a high-ranking official from the Russian Defense Ministry’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) said Tuesday.

“The FSMTC has sent an inquiry to the DGA [Direction Generale de l’Armement] in order to receive an official response to the issue,” the official told RIA Novosti.

The official said that Russia could not accept oral explanations from individual French politicians of why the warship was not delivered on time, even if that politician is the country’s president.

"In order to take further actions, turning to the court or giving France more time [to comply], Russia needs to have a written explanation of the situation," the official said.

According to the terms of the $1.5-billion contract signed in June 2011, Paris was due to deliver the first of the two Mistral-class helicopter carriers, the Vladivostok, to the Russian Navy by November 14. However, French President Francois Hollande put the transfer on hold, citing Russia's alleged role in the ongoing Ukrainian crisis.

Moscow has repeatedly denied its involvement in the Ukrainian conflict and warned Paris that it would face large penalties should it fail to deliver on its contractual obligations.

-ends-
 

Triton

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Report: France to Keep Russian Mistrals In Planned $1.20 Billion Deal
By: Sam LaGrone
April 27, 2015 1:51 PM

Source:
http://news.usni.org/2015/04/27/report-france-to-keep-russian-mistrals-in-planned-1-20-billion-deal

France is set to pay Russia $1.20 billion to settle the lingering dispute over two amphibious warships in a deal that went sour over the ongoing conflict in the Ukraine, according to French and Russian media reports.

The deal — yet to be official — would have France keep the two 21,000 ton amphibs and retain the right to sell the ships to a country of their choosing, reported Le Journal du Dimanche.

“Legally, this decision has not yet been formalized, but it is known that the Russian and French sides agreed within one month to determine the exact condition of cancellation of the contract for the supply of RF class ships Mistral, read a translation via the TASS Russian wire service.
Russia has already paid $811 million as part of the $1.5 billion 2011 deal for the Mistrals — modified to operate in Arctic conditions and accommodate Russia’s heavier helicopters — and will reportedly not seek additional penalties or legal action.

France will use proceeds from a planned $2 billion sale of Airbus EC 725 Caracal helicopters to Poland to fund the deal, reported the French paper.

France and Russia have a month to negotiate particulars before the agreement is settled.

The planned delivery schedule of the ships was halted following an announcement from French President François Hollande citing Russian involvement in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine as the reason.

The move from France is unexpected. European military defense experts had expected France to eventually deliver the ships to Russia once the situation in Eastern Ukraine had stabilized.

As for new buyers of the Mistrals, there are a few obvious candidates. NATO has expressed some interest in purchasing the ships to ferry its emerging rapid reaction force. The ships could also revive the Canadian Navy’s joint support ship concept that would create multi-purpose fleet oilers.
 

Grey Havoc

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http://rt.com/news/255997-mistral-france-sink-russia/
 

covert_shores

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From that article
Russia says it is not opposed to France selling the vessels to a third party. Le Figaro says that potential clients include,“Canada, a northern country and Egypt.”
any speculation on the northern country?

Poland?
Germany?
Iceland? ;)
 

hs1216

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The Vladivostok is a pretty offensive minded weapon, so that rules out Scandinavian countries. Maybe Poland, doubt it. What about the middle east? Saudia Arabia could use an Amphibious Assault Ship.
 

GTX

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Yildirim said:
The Vladivostok is a pretty offensive minded weapon, so that rules out Scandinavian countries. Maybe Poland, doubt it. What about the middle east? Saudia Arabia could use an Amphibious Assault Ship.


The fact that it is an 'offensive' weapon would in no way preclude someone like Sweden. That said, any country that accepts one of these ships will have to deal with the political baggage that comes with it.
 

GTX

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Yildirim said:
How would the Swed's justify the purchase?

If you have a good read of the Swedish Armed Forces website (http://www.forsvarsmakten.se/sv/), you will see that it is quite easily justifiable especially if one considers peacekeeping and peace enforcing missions around the world.
 

JFC Fuller

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The problem with selling these vessels is there are few countries accessible to France with requirements for such ships.
 

muttbutt

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JFC Fuller said:
The problem with selling these vessels is there are few countries accessible to France with requirements for such ships.
NATO/EU might give them a good home... ;D
 

Moose

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JFC Fuller said:
The problem with selling these vessels is there are few countries accessible to France with requirements for such ships.
I'm going to disagree with you slightly. A number of nations which would happily do business with France have, or would be interested in adopting, requirements for those ships. But there are few willing to put up the money to acquire them in normal circumstances. Who steps up now partially depends on how much France will "list" these for, and what assistance in finding new homes is forthcoming.


The NATO/EU haven't discussed it much officially/in public to date, partially I assume to avoid ruffling feathers with France while the fate of the deal was not settled. I suspect there are a number of options that NATO at least has looked at internally, though, including the Alliance purchasing them outright as well as leasing/joint arrangements.


Since Canada was named, I'll speculate on them a little. They are in the midst of trying to completely modernize their navy, but have run up against a number of problems. While the Conservatives have been trying to keep the new construction in Canada's shipyards, the unique circumstances of these 2 ships might make the purchase of one or both politically palatable. The RCN has looked at the Mistral class before and has what is essentially an unfunded requirement for 1-2 amphibious assault ships. The question becomes what effect would purchasing 1-2 now have on their other plans, which are not in wonderful shape themselves? What gets delayed or cut back in their favor?
 

GTX

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France Submits Proposals to Terminate Deal on Mistral Ships with Russia
(Source: Sputnik news; published May 15, 2015)

MOSCOW --- Paris handed over its proposals to Russia on possible ways to terminate the contract for the delivery of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Russian Navy, Kommersant newspaper reported Friday.

The offers imply the return to the Russian side about 785 million euros ($865 million), which it can obtain only after the written consent of its government on the sale of the ships to any third party without any reservations, Kommersant said, citing sources in the sphere of military and technical cooperation.

Moscow disapproves the motion since the costs and losses of Russia due to the breach of the contract are estimated at about 1.163 billion euros ($1.32 billion). Moreover, Russia does not intend to issue any re-export permit before the money is returned, according to Kommersant.

Russia and France sealed a $1.5-billion deal for two Mistral-class ships in 2011. The handover of the first ship was slated for November 2014, but the ceremony did not take place. French President Francois Hollande put the delivery on hold, citing alleged interference by Moscow in the Ukrainian crisis.

Russia has repeatedly denied its involvement in the Ukrainian conflict, and has condemned France's failure to deliver on its contractual obligations.

On April 22, Hollande said Paris would return Moscow's payment for the warships if the contract is terminated.

-ends-
 

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RUSSIA TO BUILD HELICOPTER CARRIER “SIMILAR TO MISTRAL”

The forum “Army 2015″ representatives of the Ministry of Defence has shown the layout of the ship – analogue French Mistral. Amphibious assault ship of the “Surf” (Priboy) is available in the form layout on the stand of the main command of the Russian Navy.


On board will be placed up to eight anti-submarine and amphibious helicopter Ka-27 and Ka-52K.
Link: http://defence-blog.com/?p=6214


Edit 1:
More links in Russian:
http://sandrermakoff.livejournal.com/818962.html
http://sandrermakoff.livejournal.com/819232.html
http://sandrermakoff.livejournal.com/821525.html
 

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Grey Havoc

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http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/naval/ships/2015/07/28/hollande-russia-resolution-mistral-sale-soon/30779879/
 

GTX

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Canceling Deal for 2 Warships, France Agrees to Repay Russia

Key part of story:

"... France has reimbursed Russia for two warships that were never delivered ...President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia spoke with his French counterpart, François Hollande, by phone and they later released statements acknowledging that the deal had collapsed and that Russia had been fully reimbursed. They did not say how much money Russia received. Previous reports in the Russian news media put the sum at about $1.3 billion."
 

Triton

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"France Russia Mistral Ships Update: NATO, Saudi Arabia or Egypt Could Solve Costly French Military Crisis"
By Christopher Harress @Charress c.harress@ibtimes.com on August 08 2015 10:21 AM EDT

Source:
http://www.ibtimes.com/france-russia-mistral-ships-update-nato-saudi-arabia-or-egypt-could-solve-costly-2044573

Inside the sprawling dockyard in the ancient town of St. Nazaire in southwestern France sits $1.2 billion worth of unsold naval hardware. Despite having never left the dock, the two Mistral helicopter landing ships, originally built by France for use in the Russian navy, inadvertently have become involved in the growing international dispute between Russia and the West over the annexation of Crimea and the war in eastern Ukraine.

Now they are causing problems in France.

Two days after managing to negotiate a way out of the deal with Moscow that had become a divisive, ethical and political dilemma in Europe, France faces the fresh challenge of looking for a new buyer that has both the military need and the hard cash for the two 21,000 ton warships.

“I think this will be a difficult product to sell,” said Dakota Wood, senior research fellow of defense programs at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington think tank. “Military ships are highly specialized and designed for a specific purpose that accounts for all the weapons systems and unique specifications that the navy in questions needs. In this case, the spacing and logistics to accommodate the unique aircraft that Russia was going to use. What other country shares those exact specifications?”

When Europe passed strict economic sanctions on Russia last year over the fighting in Ukraine, the bans did not include the deal for the two Mistral ships. But French President Francois Holland was put under extreme pressure by his European allies to delay the deal until Russia observed a ceasefire in the contested region of Donbas. As the June 2015 delivery date drew near, little had changed on the ground in Ukraine and France was forced to default on the contract. In addition to paying Russia $1.3 billion in compensation, the French taxpayer is ponying up around $5.5 million a month to keep the ships in the privately run dock in St. Nazaire.

The burden of paying for both ships and storing them has come at a economically difficult time for France. Slow economic growth at an average of around 0.3 percent under the strict austerity measures of Hollande's government have done little to pay down the country's enormous debt of 98.43 percent of GDP, or $2.2 trillion. A program of high taxes on the wealthy has not helped either, only helping money and business flood out of the country. And with fewer jobs, unemployment has shot up along with welfare payments. That means less public cash to spend on defense items like helicopter landing ships.

To that end, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told RTL radio Wednesday it was “desirable that we sell them as quickly as possible" and that the government had “several” interested parties. Hollande added to Le Drian’s comments, saying during the opening of the newly expanded Suez Canal in Egypt the country would have “no difficulty in finding a buyer.”

The ships are unlikely to stay in Europe. At the beginning of 2015, Estonia was the only county in Europe that had met NATO's mandate requiring its members to devote 2 percent of GDP to defense spending. Of all other NATO partners, only the United States continues to spend above the threshold, but the Pentagon is working aggressively to curtail its huge defense budget and would be unlikely to emerge as a potential buyer. This leaves France with few credible and responsible options, if any.

Keeping the ships at home isn't an option. Not only does France not want the ships, it doesn't need them and cannot afford to introduce them into its own shrinking navy. Because both ships, known as the Vladivostok and the Sevastopol, are fitted out to accommodate Russia’s Kamov Ka-52K ship-born helicopters, there would be added costs to refit the ships based on the specifications of the new buyer

Early predictions suggest Egypt and Saudi Arabia could be interested in putting in bids for the ships, according to French media. But there are problems with those potentials deals, as well.

Saudi Arabia, which can easily afford the ships and is going through a period of serious defense acquisition because of the imminent lifting of the Iran sanctions, could use both vessels to help continue attacking the Houthis in Yemen and the Islamic State in Syria. While the low flying helicopters that would be launched from the ships are at greater risk of being shot down than jet fighters, they do offer more accurate targeting of the enemy and make it easier to avoid civilian casualties. However, Saudi Arabia is still ranked as one of the worst human right offenders in the world, according to multiple Human Rights Watch reports, and may even be a less desirable destination for the warships for France.

Meanwhile, Egypt is hardly synonymous with having an advanced Navy, but the recent expansion of the Suez Canal and the country’s proximity to the increasingly militarized Mediterranean Sea does make it a compelling prospect.

“While I don’t predict France will ever get its money back on this deal, Egypt could represent somewhat of a solution,” said John Louth, a senior research fellow and director of defense studies at Royal United Services Institute, an independent military think tank in London. “With the stuff we’ve seen today about the Suez Canal expansion and promises of large capital programs and projects to help regenerate the Egyptian economy, you could see how Egypt might be able to afford the ships and make good use of them across the Mediterranean.”

For France, selling the ships to one country may not be the only option. Faced with the prospect of possibly off-loading them to an undesirable country, France could look toward a large organization instead.

“This could be a collective purchase,” Wood said. “NATO, a European response force or the U.N. could use these ships. They could be useful for providing humanitarian relief, peace keeping or disaster response if, say, a typhoon or hurricane came through an area.”

However, selling the ships to any of these organizations will still come with potential issues. If NATO or a joint European force wanted them, there would be questions raised about how much each country would have to pay, how often they would get to use them, what the common language on board would be and what systems would be used. Similarly, the U.N. would also face tough questions about how it would pay for and operate the ships. While it could be argued, Wood said, the U.N. option would be the easiest and most noble for France, the cost of $1.2 billion would eliminate around a fifth of the organization's annual budget.
 

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"Egypt, Saudi Arabia ‘desperate’ to purchase Mistral warships"

Source:
http://www.france24.com/en/20150807-france-mistral-warship-egypt-saudi-arabia-repurchase

gypt and Saudi Arabia are interested in buying two French Mistral warships that had been sold to Russia before Paris scrapped the deal, French media reported Friday, citing an official French source.

"Egypt and Saudi Arabia are desperate to buy two Mistrals," an unnamed official French source told France’s leading daily, Le Monde. “King Salman of Saudi Arabia wants to build a fleet in Egypt which could project regional power in the Red Sea and Mediterranean," said the source. "Some countries in the region have displayed a marked interest in the Mistrals with the aim of establishing a [regional] maritime force.”

The report of Egyptian and Saudi interest in acquiring the two French-made warships came a day after French President François Hollande attended a ceremony marking the inauguration of a major Suez Canal extension in the Egyptian port city of Ismailia Thursday.

Speaking to reporters in Ismailia, Hollande said France would have “no difficulty” finding buyers for the Mistrals originally bound for Russia.

Two of the 200-metre (650-foot) amphibious helicopter carriers were due for delivery to Russia by the end of this year in a deal worth an estimated €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion).

But Paris delayed, and eventually refused, to deliver the warships to Moscow over Russia's suspected backing of separatists in east Ukraine.

Hollande's office announced late Wednesday that a deal had been reached with President Vladimir Putin to pay Russia compensation for cancelling the delivery of the two Mistrals. Russia will be "fully reimbursed" for the warships, the Elysée Palace said in a statement.

A joint Arab force

Egypt and Saudi Arabia’s reported interest in the French warships comes as the two Sunni powers have been pushing for a joint Arab force to counter the threat of Islamist militancy on the heels of an Iran nuclear deal that has rattled several Sunni Arab regimes.

On July 30, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Saudi Defence Minister and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman signed a “Cairo Declaration” aimed at boosting military ties and economic cooperation between the two countries.

In a statement announcing the signing of the Cairo Declaration, the Egyptian presidential office noted that, “The two sides stressed the need to exert all efforts to boost security and stability in the region, and to work together to protect Arab national security,” in what was widely viewed as a reference to Shiite Iran’s growing influence in the region.

Saudi Arabia has been instrumental in keeping the Egyptian economy afloat following Sisi’s ouster of the democratically elected former Egyptian leader Mohammed Morsi. Despite international condemnation over Morsi’s ouster, oil-rich Saudi Arabia gave Egypt a financial assistance package of more than €3.7 billion (4 billion USD).

France, Egypt cooperation in fight against Islamist violence

Military ties between France and Egypt, the world’s most populous Arab nation, have also strengthened two years after Morsi’s ouster.

In November 2014, during a state visit to France, Sisi reached an agreement in principle on the sale of 24 French-made Rafale fighter jets and a FREMM multipurpose frigate. The deal was finalised in February.

During his latest visit to Egypt, Hollande reiterated France’s will to "give Egypt the means to act” in the fighter against Islamist violence in the region. "Today, relations between France and Egypt are based on common interests: the fight against terrorism and security," said Hollande, recalling the increased terrorist threat in Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Egypt.

Sisi has been at the forefront of calling for the Arab force to fight insurgents in the region after the Islamic State (IS) group in February executed 21 Coptic Christians, all but one of them Egyptian, in Libya.
 

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About 10 countries, including Egypt, are interested in buying two French helicopter carriers whose planned sale to Russia has been cancelled due to the Ukraine crisis, a source familiar with the situation said.

A second source, a French diplomatic source, said that other countries interested include Brazil, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and Canada, which could be the most suitable candidate for the ships because they were designed for cold waters.

Source:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/07/france-egypt-mistral-idUSL5N10I3PA20150807
 

fightingirish

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Notice the hangers also in the island.
Source: Show ARMY 2016 @Twitter
Link: https://twitter.com/Missilito/status/776160522538512388
 

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Grey Havoc

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https://gcaptain.com/egypt-takes-delivery-second-mistral-warship/
 

Grey Havoc

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http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php/news/defence-news/2017/april-2017-navy-naval-forces-defense-industry-technology-maritime-security-global-news/5123-russian-delegation-to-arrive-in-egypt-to-discuss-delivery-of-equipment-for-mistral-class-lhds.html
 

Grey Havoc

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And a few more recent posts from the Egypt Obtains MiG-35 & Ka-52 thread:
Are they meant for operation on the Gamal Abdul Nassr and Anwar Saadat Mistral-class BPC ships?

I suppose so :

According to the link posted by Galgot, it's not yet done: "negotiations are underway with Egypt on the sale of a batch of ship-borne Ka-52K helicopters to be based on two Egyptian Mistral UDCs".
So these appear to be land-based. Sat photos spotted them at Al Khatamia AB, too.

If I recall correctly, the air force's Ka-52s have done some flying off the Egyptian Mistrals (Gamal Abdel Nasser sub-class).
 
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