02 September 2015
Mistral class LHD (photo : wiki)
During his visit to Malaysia, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian dicussed Kuala Lumpur’s interest to buy one of the two Mistral-class helicopter carriers initially ordered by Russia, Bernama reported citing a representative of the French delegation.
On Tuesday, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak held a meeting with Le Drian and French defense industry officials.
According to Bernama, Le Drian and his Malaysian counterpart Hishammuddin Hussein will head a Franco-Malaysian defense committee.
However, Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has denied he had discussed the possibility of Mistral-class helicopter carriers purchase with his French counterpart.
Earlier, the French newspaper Tribune reported that Malaysia had expressed interest for the purchase of a Mistral-class helicopter-carrier within 10 years. Among other contenders is India which Le Drian to visit at the end of his Asian journey.
In early-August, Moscow and Paris agreed on the cancellation of a €1.2 billion contract on the delivery of two Mistral-class ships. After the Russian equipment is dismantled from the carriers France will be able to take charge of the ships.
On August 26, the administration of French President Francois Hollande announced that France paid off compensation to Russia. The sum of the compensation will be made public after a bill on the issue is submitted to the French parliament.