BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe — JSC Russian Helicopters says it will supply the Egyptian Navy with 46 Ka-52K (Kamov-52 "Katran") naval attack helicopters to equip the two Mistraal-class helicopter carrier amphibious assaults ships acquired from France last year.

In a statement marking the end of the 2015 trading year, JSC Russian Helicopters Director-General Alexander Mikheyev said that despite the difficult business circumstances created by sanctions against Russian since March, the company managed to clinch multi-million dollar deals: "In this knotty [global business] situation, we have managed to keep up the financial parameters reached previously and to broaden the presence of Russian helicopter technologies in the world market. In the outgoing year, new contracts were signed between Russia and foreign helicopter users.

"For instance, a large agreement for delivery of 46 Ka-52 Alligator helicopters has been signed with Egypt through state-owned weapons trading company Rosoboronexport," Mikheyev said in a statement published on the company's corporate magazine.

Deliveries are expected to be completed before the end of 2017. The Ka-52K (NATO reporting name Hokum-B) is a naval attack variant of the Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopter. Its distinguishing features include a folding rotor head, folding stub-wings and reinforced landing gear intended to support ship-borne attacks. Its weapons pods are capable of holding and launching Kh-38 and Kh-35 cruise missiles.

Egypt acquired the two Mistraal-class helicopter carriers last October after France canceled the initial sale agreement with the Russian Navy in line with European Union sanctions imposed on Moscow following its annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.

The sanctions also relate to Russia's alleged support for separatist armies, which have successfully established two pro-Russian breakaway republics in Eastern Ukraine.

The removal of Russian radio-electronic systems installed in the two vessels was completed in November. The ships, each designed to carry up to 16 Ka-27/29 Helix anti submarine/assault or Ka-52 (Hokum B) strike helicopters, are due for delivery to Egypt by mid-year.

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