MOSCOW, August 20. /TASS/. Russia’s shipbuilding program envisages the construction of universal amphibious assault ships while the construction of helicopter carriers ‘in their pure form’ is not planned, Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov told TASS on Monday.
"The construction of helicopter carriers in their pure form for the Russian Navy is not planned. Let me note that the shipbuilding program stipulates the construction of universal amphibious assault ships whose amphibious landing craft (the helicopter wing, landing boats and the amphibious armor) is planned to be accommodated inside the ship’s hull and on its deck," he said.
Media outlets reported earlier on Monday that Russia had decided against building helicopter carriers.
Universal amphibious assault ships differ from helicopter carriers by their multirole capabilities. They combine the characteristics of a helicopter carrier, a command and control ship and a large amphibious assault ship for transporting the armor and marine infantry. A universal amphibious assault ship features both a hangar for helicopters and a large-capacity amphibious dock housing landing craft, high-speed assault and tank-landing craft, amphibious vehicles, amphibious armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, tanks and the assault force.
The French Mistral universal amphibious assault ships are a classical example of such warships. Russia ordered two such warships from France in 2011 but the delivery was cancelled due to sanctions. The Mistrals that had been built were bought by Egypt.