United Shipbuilding Corporation’s subsidiary Baltic Shipyard has kicked off steel cutting for the first Mistral class amphibious assault ship. Agreement on Mistral ships is one of the largest contracts in the history of Russian-French military cooperation.
Recall that the EUR 1.2-bln contract for two Mistral-class assault landing ships was tied with French company DCNS on June 17 in St. Petersburg in the presence of Russian president Dmitry Medvedev.
In accordance with the contract, the French party will transfer shipbuilding technology to Russia as well as tactical data system SENIT-9 mounted on French ships. Later on, that technology will be used in construction of other two Mistral-class ships by Russian shipyards, while the first and second Mistral-class amphibious transport docks, to be named Sevastopol and Vladivostok, will be built by the STX France shipyard in Saint-Nazaire out of prefabricated block produced in Russia.
Displacement of Mistral-class assault landing ship is 21,000 tons; length overall is 210 meters; speed is over 18 knots; operating range is up to 20,000 miles; crew is 160 men plus 450 marines. Air wing comprises 16 helicopters including six placed on the flight deck. Russian Mistrals will be armed with eight Ka-52K and eight Ka-29 helicopters.
World Maritime News Staff, August 2, 2012