Tuesday, July 6, 2010

DTN News: Russia's Purchase Of French Mistral-Class Warship

Defense News: DTN News: Russia's Purchase Of French Mistral-Class Warship
Source: DTN News / RIA Novosti
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - July 6, 2010: Russia will buy French Mistral class helicopter carriers with the complete set of navigational equipment and technical documentation, but equip the ships with its own weaponry and helicopters, a defense industry source said Monday.Russia is negotiating the purchase of at least one French-built Mistral class amphibious assault ship and plans to build two or three more vessels of the same class in partnership with the French naval shipbuilder DCNS.
"I would like to stress the point that we are buying the Mistral with all proper navigational and technological equipment, including the fire control systems," a source close to the negotiations said.
"We will use our own helicopters on the Mistral, but we will have to raise the deck for that purpose," he said.
According to other defense industry sources, the Russian Air Force plans to buy up to 100 Ka-class helicopters, including some 70 Ka-27Ms, to equip the Mistral ships.
The Mistral class ship is capable of transporting and deploying 16 helicopters, four landing barges, up to 70 armored vehicles including 13 battle tanks, and 450 personnel.
"We are also planning to use this helicopter carrier in northern latitudes, in ice floe. For that we will need to reinforce the hull of the ship, but it will not seriously change its structure or technical equipment," the source said.
The Russian military has said it plans to use Mistral ships in its Northern and Pacific fleets.
Many Russian military and industry experts have questioned the financial and military sense of the purchase, and some believe that Russia simply wants to gain access to advanced naval technology that could be used in the future in potential conflicts with NATO and its allies.
In April, the head of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, Mikhail Dmitriev, said the Mistral deal would be concluded by the end of the year.

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