"The question is very simple. When the Defense Ministry makes decision, includes that in its program, we will make all that," Rakhmanov told RIA Novosti.
The Russian Krylov State Research Center developed an alternative to the Mistral helicopter carrier called the Lavina with a water displacement of 24,000 tons. The ship will have capabilities to sail 5,000 miles at 18 knots without service calls and a maximum speed of 22 knots. The vessel will carry 320 crew members and can take on an additional 500 troops or 50 armored vehicles.
Under the $1.5 billion warship contract, signed in 2011, France agreed to sell two Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Russia but the handover was suspended as Paris expressed disapproval of Moscow's alleged interference in the Ukrainian crisis. Russia has repeatedly denied its involvement in the Ukrainian conflict.