The Russian Navy will receive its first Mistral-class helicopter carrier from France on November 1, 2014, a high-ranking defense industry official told RIA Novosti.The Vladivostok, which is being built at the DCNS shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, is scheduled to be floated out on October 15.
“Over the course of a year, the ship will be further equipped and undergo sea trials in order to be handed over to the Russian Navy on November 1, 2014,” the official said.
Russia and France signed a 1.2 billion euro ($1.6 billion) contract for two French-built Mistral-class helicopter carriers in June 2011.
The Mistral class is a class of three amphibious assault ships, also known as a helicopter carrier, of the French Navy. Referred to as “Projection and Command Ships” (Bâtiments de Projection et de Commandement or BPC), a Mistral-class ship is capable of transporting and deploying 16 NH90 or Tiger helicopters, four landing barges, up to 70 vehicles including 13 AMX-56 Leclerc tanks, or a 40-strong Leclerc tank regiment, and 450 soldiers. The ships are equipped with a 69-bed hospital, and are capable of serving as part of a NATO Response Force, or with United Nations or European Union peace-keeping forces.
Three ships of the class are in service in the French Navy: Mistral, Tonnerre and Dixmude.
A 1.2 billion euro ($1.6 billion) deal for 2 ships for the Russian Navy was announced by French President Nicolas Sarkozy on 24 December 2010, and signed by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin and French Defense Minister Alain Juppé in the presence of Sarkozy on 25 January 2011.
Source: RIA Novosti