The Egyptian Navy on Thursday welcomed the Mistral-class Landing Helicopter Dock – named after late president Anwar El-Sadat - which arrived in the coastal city of Alexandria coinciding with the country’s celebrations of the 43rd anniversary of 1973 war victory against Israel.
Naval ships blared sirens and flapped flags while national songs were chanted to celebrate the arrival of the amphibious assault ship to Alexandria.
Egypt’s naval commander Osama Rabei climbed aboard and delivered greetings of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Defense Minister Sedki Sobhi to the crew.
This is the second carrier that Egypt has officially received this year in the period of approximately three months.
In June, Egypt received the first Mistral helicopter dock -- named after late President Gamal Abdel-Nasser -- in Alexandria, coming from the French city of Toulouse.
The Mistral deal is part of several defense contracts Egypt has signed with France. The European country is now topping the list of countries to have signed military supply agreements with Egypt during the term of President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi.
In September, Egyptian and French naval forces held joint naval exercises using the Mistral helicopter carriers.
The exercises, dubbed Cleopatra 2016, went on for several days and included a number of activities such as both forces planning and carrying out naval offenses.
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.