Egypt’s navy commander: new Mistral carrier can be used to protect offshore oil fields

Egypt’s naval forces commander Osama Rabie stated on Friday that the new Mistral-class carrier “Anwar El-Sadat” can be used in a range of missions, from confronting militancy in the North Sinai to protecting oil fields at sea.

Responding to a question from reporters about the role of the ship – newly acquired from France to combat terrorism in North Sinai – Rabie said it can be used to transfer land troops and armored vehicles.

The vice admiral also said that the carrier, named after late President Sadat, would play a role in securing Egypt’s oil and gas fields off shore, which he says include 99 rigs in total.

The new Mistral-class helicopter carrier arrived in Alexandria on Thursday from France.

This is the second Mistral that Egypt has officially received this year in a period of approximately three months. The first, named after late president Gamal Abdel-Nasser, arrived in June in Alexandria from the French city of Toulouse.

In the statements released on Friday, Vice Admiral Rabie said that the new carriers raise the Egyptian armed forces’ ranking in the Middle East – the only country in the region to include them in its arsenal.

The Mistral deal is part of several defence contracts Egypt has signed with France – now topping the list of countries to have signed military supply agreements with Egypt during the term of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.