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Mistral deal dispute can have negative impact on France’s military export — French expert

October 06, 2014, 13:40 UTC+3 PARIS

Situation with the Russia-France Mistral deal can have negative influence on France's plans to deliver Rafale fighter jets to India

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© EPA/Marcus Brandt

PARIS, October 6. /TASS/. The situation with the contract on two Mistral helicopter carriers can have a negative impact on France’s military export if the Mistral supplies to Russia are cancelled, editor-in-chief of the French military magazine Defense et Securite Internationale Joseph Henrotin said on Monday.

Information saying the implementation of the contract can be suspended arouses serious concern by those who follows India’s position in the sphere of weaponry on France because the contract on the Rafale fighter jets has not been signed yet, he said.

“The supplier who does not keep to the terms of the contract, especially in respect of Russia, which is India’s ally, has risks to get into a situation when trust starts falling every day and the reputation turns out to be mared,” Henrotin said.

Russia-France Mistral dispute

In September, French President Francois Hollande said in current conditions Paris found delivery of first Mistral helicopter carrier “impossible” due to the situation in Ukraine.

However, Hollande said France did not reject the deal as it is.

Under the contract, each Mistral ship has to be built by France within 36 months. The first of them, the Vladivostok, is to arrive in St. Petersburg from Saint-Nazaire, France, in December 2014. In St. Petersburg it will be equipped with Russian weapons, military hardware and systems. After that and the crew training, the Vladivostok will sail off to its base in the Pacific Fleet.

Apart from these two ships, Russia has also purchased French technology for the combat information control and communications systems.

Mistral landing helicopter carriers will perform four tasks at the same time: receive helicopters, land troops, act as a command post and a floating hospital.

Each ship will carry a group of 16 helicopters. Six of them can be deployed on the flight-deck at the same time. The cargo deck can accommodate more than 40 tanks or 70 motor vehicles.

Russia is buying the French helicopter carrier Mistral with French equipment, including combat navigation devices, but will arm it with its own weaponry. The Mistral ships will carry upgraded Russian Ka-32 Alligator attack helicopters.

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