Russia will construct new shipyards near St. Petersburg designed specifically for the building of Mistral class amphibious assault ships under a French license, a defense industry source said Wednesday.
Moscow announced in December last year that two Mistral class helicopter carriers will be built jointly by France and Russia at the STX shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, and another two will be constructed later in Russia.
"A decision has been adopted to build Mistral class ships on the Kotlin Island near St. Petersburg," the source said, adding that the new shipyards would be part of the Admiralty Shipyards company.
The Kotlin Island is located 20 miles west of St. Petersburg in the Baltic Sea.
"The new shipyards will be built specifically for Mistral construction, but they will be used later to construct commercial bulk ships and large combat ships," the official said.
Russia could start building Mistrals after 2014, while the first Mistral class ship, worth over 700 mln euros, is expected to be built within 36 months after Russia makes an advance payment scheduled for January 2011.
A Mistral class ship is capable of transporting and deploying 16 helicopters, four landing vessels, up to 70 armored vehicles including 13 battle tanks, and 450 personnel.
MOSCOW, January 12 (RIA Novosti)