Egypt’s first Mistral class landing helicopter dock (LHD) has gone to sea for the first time for training with its Egyptian crew.
The Gamal Abdel Nasser (L1010) set sail from St Nazaire, France, on 6 May with around 180 Egyptian sailors on board. Two training voyages are planned this month.
The vessel is expected to arrive in Egypt in June this year and the country’s second LHD, Anwar al-Sadat (L1020), will start sea trials and training from St Nazaire in August prior to delivery in September.
The Mistral class vessels, originally destined for Russia as the Vladivostok and Sevastopol, are capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing craft, 70 armoured vehicles and 450 soldiers.
They will be equipped with amphibious catamarans and landing craft. On 17 April the first of two L-CAT amphibious catamarans was transferred from shipbuilder Socarenam to St Nazaire where Egyptian crew will train on it. The second will follow at the end of May, reports Mer et Marine. The L-CATs are aluminium catamarans 30 metres long and 12.6 metres wide and can reach speeds of up to 30 knots. They allow for roll-on, roll-off operations and can carry 80 tons of cargo.
The Egyptian Navy will also receive four new-generation landing craft (CTM NG) for the Mistral ships. These are built by STX France. The CTM NGs are 26.5 metres long and 6.5 metres wide and can carry 65 tonnes of cargo. The steel vessels have a speed of 12 knots. They have front and rear ramps allowing roll-on, roll-off operations.