Russian Shipyard Completes Stern for First Mistral Warship

The stern of the Russian Navy's first Mistral-class helicopter carrier was floated out on Wednesday, a Russian shipyard said.

The Vladivostok is to enter service with the Russian Navy next year, Baltiisky shipyard chief Alexander Voznesensky said.

The stern will begin to be towed to France on July 8 and is expected to arrive there on July 25, said Yves Destefanis, a representative of the French contractor, DCNS.

The ship will be completed at a French shipyard and floated out on schedule, on October 15, he said.
Earlier this month, Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov said the stern might not be completed within deadline, but Dmitry Rogozin, a deputy prime minister in charge of the defense industry, days later refuted that remark, saying: “The ship will be ready on time.”

Russia and France signed a contract for two French-designed Mistral-class helicopter carriers in June 2011. The deal came under fire in January from senior Russian officials including Rogozin, following the dismissal of former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, who had actively lobbied for their purchase.


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