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Russia orders more warships constructed - Mistral Class Amphibious Assault ships

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01/04/2011 06:45 PM
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Russia orders more warships constructed - Mistral Class Amphibious Assault ships
the Russian Defence Ministry decided to order two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships. The purchase of these French-built ships by Russia has been negotiated since Russia expressed interest in August 2009. As defpro.com reported in September 2010, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov indicated that negotiations were becoming increasingly specific.

To meet the requirements of Russian law, and answering protests from the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), Russia had to open a formal tender for the procurement of amphibious assault ships. However, no political side wanted to leave the impression that this would compromise the “exclusive negotiations.” According to a Kommersant report last year, the USC offered to build the ship for $500 to $700 million, which is higher than France’s price of some $430 to $580 million. The French offer was submitted by the French naval defence company DCNS, which has already built and launched three Mistral-class vessels. The final agreement for the construction of the ships now brings together DCNS and its temporary rival USC, forming a consortium which also includes the French STX shipyard.

The Mistral-class amphibious ships (Bâtiment de Projection et de Commandement, BPC) can rapidly deploy a large number of troops, vehicles and helicopters to any coastal area in the world. Thereby, it is a powerful asset for operations abroad. In numbers, it can transport 16 helicopters, four landing barges, up to 70 vehicles including 13 main battle tanks, and 450 soldiers. In parallel, the 200 metre-long vessel can accommodate an entire operational headquarters for joint operations, as well as a medical centre. Russia plans to deploy the ships with its Northern and Pacific fleets.


[link to www.defpro.com]
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01/04/2011 06:56 PM
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Re: Russia orders more warships constructed - Mistral Class Amphibious Assault ships
Sale of French warships to Russia raises alarm in NATO

Eastern European countries fear the deal, worth at least $1.3 billion, will let Moscow exert greater control over coastal regions.

December 29, 2010|By Kim Willsher, Los Angeles

TimesReporting from Paris — France is selling at least two warships to Russia in an unprecedented military deal that has angered the United States and other NATO countries.

The French reaction to the sale was jubilation, with the presidential palace's website declaring, "France's naval industry has won."

However, the deal also has provoked disquiet in some of Russia's Eastern European neighbors.

Lithuanian Defense Minister Rasa Jukneviciene criticized the decision to sell "extremely complex offensive weaponry to a third party, a country where the level of democracy is not one we can feel safe about."

"It's a big mistake," she said.

The amphibious assault ships being sold to Russia — it may buy as many as four — can hold 16 helicopters, dozens of tanks, 70 armored vehicles and 450 troops for up to six months. For shorter periods, the number of troops rises to 700.

The vessels can also carry landing barges and hovercraft, allowing for the rapid deployment of vehicles, tanks and soldiers from ship to shore, enhancing Russia's control over coastal regions and striking power in conflicts like the one with Georgia in 2008.

[link to articles.latimes.com]