Russia to define Mistral purchase scheme - Navy

© RIA Novosti . Danichev Alexey / Go to the photo bankA Mistral-class ship
A Mistral-class ship - Sputnik International
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Russia is likely to buy two and build another two Mistral class helicopter carriers, a high-ranking Russian Navy official said Friday.

Russia is likely to buy two and build another two Mistral class helicopter carriers, a high-ranking Russian Navy official said Friday.

"Russia will buy or build four Mistral class ships. Delegations in Paris are discussing the 2+2 scheme," the admiral said.

Originally Russia was negotiating the purchase of one French-built Mistral class amphibious assault ship and planned to build three more vessels of the same class in partnership with the French naval shipbuilder DCNS.

But earlier this year, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said talks are underway on the 2+2 scheme, which envisions two ships will be bought and two built in Russia.

The admiral said that even if the second ship is built in France, Russian experts will learn how to construct the vessel at French shipyards.

The Mistral class ship is capable of transporting and deploying 16 helicopters, four landing barges, up to 70 armored vehicles including 13 battle tanks, and 450 personnel.

The Russian military has said it plans to use Mistral ships in its Northern and Pacific fleets.

Many Russian military and industry experts have questioned the financial and military sense of the purchase, and some believe that Russia simply wants to gain access to advanced naval technology that could be used in the future in potential conflicts with NATO and its allies.

In April, the head of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, Mikhail Dmitriyev, said the Mistral deal would be concluded by the end of the year.

MOSCOW, July 23 (RIA Novosti)

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