“The Vladivostok helicopter carrier may leave Saint-Nazaire and go to Russia between November 15 and 20,” the source said.
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in the French capital on Tuesday that France will decide on delivery of Mistral-type helicopter carriers for Russia in November.
“The French president has stated earlier that if the political situation does not improve he will not permit delivery of helicopter carriers,” Le Drian recalled.
He denied specifying whether French leadership found current political situation inappropriate to permit the supply. “The president will make a decision within November,” the defense minister said.
The €1.12 billion contract for building two Mistral-type ships was signed by the Russian defense exporting company Rosoboronexport and French DCNS in June 2011.
Under the contract, Russia is to receive the first of the two warships, the Vladivostok, in October this year. The second Mistral-class helicopter carrier, the Sevastopol, is expected to be handed over to Russia next year.
The Mistral-type helicopter carriers have a displacement of 21 tons, the maximum body length of 210 meters, the speed of 18 knots and the range of up to 20,000 miles.
The helicopter carrier can accommodate 450 people in addition to its crew of 180. It carries 16 helicopters, of which six can be simultaneously stored on the flight-deck, and can carry several dozen armored vehicles.
France will have to pay Russia a penalty, if it fails to fulfill the contract.