MOSCOW, June 19 (Itar-Tass) - The United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) said the Baltic Shipyard (St Petersburg) would launch the first Russian Mistral helicopter carrier in time.
Thus, the Corporation has denied the statement by Russian Deputy Defence Minister Yuri Borisov saying the first Mistral helicopter carrier would be built in France due to Russian shipwrights’ sluggishness.
“In strict compliance with the contract the Corporation is completing the manufacture of the stern for the first Mistral helicopter carrier due to be supplied to Russia’s Navy,” the USC press service told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
“The Baltic Shipyard will launch the first Mistral helicopter carrier in time - on June 26,” the press service said.
“To this end, the USC notes that information on building the Mistral stern in France does not correspond to reality,” the press service said.
Earlier, Borisov told journalists during the Paris Air Show that the first Mistral helicopter carrier would be fully built in France.
“The stern of the first Mistral helicopter carrier will be built in France and not in Russia as it was scheduled earlier.”
“This is conditioned by the sluggishness of Russian shipwrights who should have to manufacture the after end of the first Mistral helicopter carrier. They run out of time,” the deputy minister said.
At the same time, he did not rule out that the stern of the second Mistral helicopter carrier would be built in Russia. “Maybe, the second Mistral will be manufactured in Russia,” he added.
Borisov recalled that Russia and France signed the contract on the two Mistral. In addition, he said, “The Defence Ministry will meet the first Mistral helicopter carrier and move it to the Russian shipyard for re-equipment in the middle of October. This will be done in advance in schedule.”
According to Borisov, the contract gives the opportunity to make the Mistral both in Russia and France or jointly. “We’ll build the helicopters by ourselves or with France’s participation. Or, sorry, we’ll give up and say the two vessels will be enough for us. The choice is in our favour,” the deputy minister said.
He named as speculations reports saying the Mistral helicopter carrier was unable to operate in cold waters.
The sections for the stern of the first Mistral helicopter carrier had been built at the Baltic Shipyard (St Petersburg). The launch is planning to be held at the end of June.