In April, Russia’s state-owned arms corporation Rosoboronexport plans to sign a contract to purchase Mistral amphibious assault ships from the French shipbuilder DCNS, the Defense Ministry announced on Thursday.
According to the ministry’s press service, in February a delegation from the corporation will go to France to further negotiate the contract with DCNS.
In December 2010, a source at Rosoboronexport told RIA Novosti that DCNS s expected to build its first ship for the Russian Navy between 2013 and 2014, and the second one between 2014 and 2015. Another two ships will be built in Russia under a French license.
The multi-purpose Mistral helicopter carrier is 21,000 metric tons and 210 meters long with a cruising range of 20,000 miles and a maximum speed of over 18 knots. It can accommodate a crew of 160 and take another 450 people aboard. Its airborne unit includes 16 helicopters, of which six can be deployed on the deck at any given time.