On June 2nd, 2016, DCNS delivered the first of two helicopter carriers acquired by the Arab Republic of Egypt in October 2015, the LHD (Landing Helo Dock) 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. By 2020, DCNS will have supplied at least seven combat vessels to Egypt, thus contributing to the modernisation of the Arab Republic of Egypt’s defence system.
Hervé Guillou, Chairman and CEO of DCNS announced that: «The delivery of the LHD Gamal Abdel Nasser consolidates our relationship with the Arab Republic of Egypt which can count on the total commitment of DCNS and its partners to successfully conduct all of the programmes entrusted to us. I would also like to thank the French government authorities who constantly supported us on this contract. Furthermore, this delivery once again demonstrates our ability to efficiently cooperate with our partner STX France in order to meet the expectations of our client, within strict respects of budgets and deadlines».
On October 10th 2015, DCNS signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence of the Arab Republic of Egypt for the supply of two Mistral-class LHDs. The flag transfers of the first of the two helicopter carriers, the LHD Gamal Abdel Nasser, contributes to the continuity of the strategic partnership with the Egyptian Defence Ministry, already initiated in July 2014 by the signature of a contract for the sale of four Gowind corvettes, and in August 2015 by the delivery of the FREMM multi-mission frigate Tahya Misr (FFG-1001) to the Egyptian Navy. In addition, DCNS is committed to supporting the Egyptian Navy over the longer term, thanks in particular to the multiannual maintenance contracts for the Egyptian vessels as well as through technologies transfer allowing the Alexandria Shipyards to build three of the four Gowind corvettes ordered in 2014. Other projects are currently under consideration to accelerate full operational capability of the Egyptian Navy.
The LHD Gamal Abdel Nasser will leave Saint-Nazaire in the next few days with the associated support vessels: two new-generation landing craft (CTM NG) and one EDAR fast amphibious landing craft. Before sailing to its home port of Alexandria, the helicopter carrier Gamal Abdel Nasser will participate in a joint exercise between the Egyptian and French Navies. Since February, 180 Egyptian sailors have been trained in Saint-Nazaire on the LHD Nasser. In line with the Egyptian Navy’s image of excellence, they completed a remarkable task in just a few months of work, with the support of the DCNS instructors and our partners STX France and Défense Conseil International.
The Mistral-class LHD is a vessel that responds to the needs of numerous navies thanks to its versatility. It allows a wide spectrum of civil and military missions. With a length of 653 feet/199 meters and a speed exceeding 18 knots/20.7 mph/33.3 km/h, the Mistral-class LHD vessel is characterised by its high capacity for the transportation of troops, equipment, heavy helicopters and landing craft, which the LHD is capable of projecting around the world. It is equipped with an electric propulsion system that uses pods. It also has an onboard hospital, and can carry out large-scale humanitarian missions. Its highly capable communication system makes it the ideal command vessel within a naval force.
Thanks to the close collaboration between DCNS and STX, the three first LHDs, Mistral, Tonnerre and Dixmude were delivered to the French Navy in 2006, 2007 and 2012.