French shipyard starts building second Mistral helicopter carrier for Russia

The construction of the second Mistral helicopter ship for the Russian Navy, the Sevastopol, started at the French Saint-Nazaire shipyards on Tuesday, a military diplomat told Interfax-AVN.

Mistral helicopter carrier
Mistral helicopter carrier

Mistral helicopter carrier

"The keel laying ceremony has taken place at the French Saint- Nazaire shipyards. The second Mistral helicopter carrier will be built for the Russian Defense Ministry," he said.

It was planned initially that four Mistral helicopter carriers would be built for the Russian Navy - two of them in France and two in Russia. Contracts on the construction of the first two hulls were signed and the construction works started at DCNS shipyards. No decisions have been made on the third and fourth hulls so far.

A Russian Defense Ministry representative told Interfax-AVN earlier that the second Mistral helicopter carrier built in France would join the Russian Black Sea Fleet in four years.

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 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 Defence Minister Alain Juppé in the presence of Sarkozy on 25 January 2011.

The voice of Russia


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