18:50 GMT +314 October 2019
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    Sevastopol mistral warship on its way for its first sea trials off Saint-Nazaire, northwestern France

    No Slouch: Crimean Shipyard Can Build Mistrals

    © AFP 2019 / GEORGES GOBET
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    A shipbuilding plant in Crimea is capable of building large Mistral-class helicopter carriers, the region’s Industry Minister Andrei Vasyuta told RIA Novosti news agency.

    “The Zaliv plant in Kerch is a one-of-a-kind facility with slipways and a dry dock you won’t find anywhere else in Russia. The whole issue of Mistral orders would have never come up if we had a plant like this five years ago,” Vasyuta said.

    The 360mx60m dry dock is big enough to build several ships all at the same time. The plant can also construct large ships like Mistrals.

    “All we need is the knowhow and concrete projects to work on,” the Minister added.

    Andrei Vasyuta said that the local shipyards had suffered from neglect when Crimea was part of Ukraine, and needed a serious upgrade.

    “There’s been a great deal of wear and tear during the 23 years the peninsula remained part of Ukraine. These enterprises suffered from technological degradation, falling orders and a dangerous brain drain as many qualified specialists had left looking for better-paid jobs elsewhere and started getting back only after Crimea reunited with Russia in 2014,” Vasyuta added.

    A traditional builder of naval frigates, the Zaliv plant has in the past two decades switched to the construction of bulk carriers, offshore oil rigs and engaged in repair work.

    The plant is currently fulfilling construction orders for two rescue ships and as many oil tankers. Work on two aluminum-hull passenger ship is slated to start shortly.


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