October 27, 2010

France to sell Mistrals to Russia without technological limits

(By Rusnavy)  Builder of Mistral class amphibious assault ships – French state-led company DCNS – is not limited in technology transfer to Russia, reported RIA Novosti citing Pierre Legros, DCNS director.

Some Russian and foreign sources previously reported that Mistral class ships would be sold to Russia without newest control systems.

Mr. Legros said those vessels are going to have the same systems as the French ships have and there are no restrictions.

On the other hand he pointed out that the ships would differ from their French analogs.

In particular, Russian party has already requested to thicken the flight deck for Russian heavy helicopters and provide ice protection by hardening of the ship's hull, said the DCNS director.

French Navy spokesman Hugues d'Argentre said in his turn to RIA Novosti that all systems installed onboard Mistral class ships are made by France but not by the U.S. or other NATO countries.

Russia is about to purchase four Mistral class carriers from France providing that two ships will be constructed in France, and other two – in Russia.

Multirole helicopter carrier Mistral has displacement of 21,000 tons; extreme hull length is 210 meters; max speed is over 18 knots; fuel range is up to 20,000 nautical miles; crew is 160. In addition, the ship is capable to carry up to 450 men.

Air group includes 16 helicopters; six of them can be simultaneously placed on the flight deck. Cargo deck accommodates over 40 tanks or 70 wheeled trucks.

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