Two French-built helicopter carriers are attracting interest from multiple nations following that country’s cancellation of a sale to Russia. The Canadian Press reported today that the Canadian government had been discussing with France a purchase of the two Mistral-class helicopter carriers, but that those talks have reportedly “ground to a halt” thanks to upcoming federal election campaigns combined with uncertainty over the carriers’ long-term financial and operational burden. Reuters reported on Sept. 18 that France had garnered interest from several nations and had been in talks with Egypt following cancellation of the Russian sale. The roughly 1.2 billion euro deal was made in 2011, and France would have had to deliver the first carrier to Russia in fall 2014 and the second later this year. But political pressure from NATO allies over Russia’s annexation of Crimea and involvement in the Ukrainian conflict caused France to stall and ultimately cancel the process.
Photo courtesy of Yannick Le Bris, CC BY-SA 3.0