What could have been a costly miss for Russia in the end became:
- Free research and development
- an Egypt helicopter sale
- negative PR for France as a reliable weapons supplier - a direct boon to Russia which competes with it for foreign markets
Originally appeared at The Unz Review
Egypt rubs in the salt in Hollande’s wounds by ordering 50 Alligator helicopters from Russia to outfit the Mistrals, which France is now going to sell to Egypt.
So to sum up this whole sorry affair:
(1) Russia originally ordered French Mistrals under Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov. His foreign aquisitions were ostensibly aimed to pressure Russian producers to lower costs, but more cynical observers suspected it may have had more to do with foreign arms manufacturers providing kickbacks to him and his female posse which had effectively seized the Defense Ministry under the Medvedev Presidency.
(2) Rumors which gained credence when he was dismissed for corruption on a scale that raised eyebrows even in a country as corrupt as Russia.
(3) After about a year of delays following those little triffling incidents in Crimea and the Donbass, France made a definitive decision, under US pressure, to avoid selling the Mistrals to Russia, making it liable for about $1 billion worth of fines. (To his credit, Hollande’s government accepted the legitimacy of these penalties, so as to avoid completely discrediting France’s commercial reputation in the international arms market). As an added bonus, Russia got most of the technical blueprints on the Mistral anyway (saving $$$ in R&D costs).
(4) Now Russia, or at least Kamov, is receiving a further $1 billion in orders.
Ironically enough, what began as a very expensive and questionable way of pressuring Russian arms manufacturers at best, and yet another of Serdyukov’s corruption schemes at worst, actually ended up working out quite nicely for Russia. France got cucked by hamburger, Russia got out ahead.