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First Mistral helicopter carrier may set out for Russia on November 15 to 20 — source

October 28, 2014, 15:04 UTC+3
According to France's defense minister, if the political situation does not improve, the French president will not permit delivery of helicopter carriers
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© AP Photo/David Vincent

PARIS, October 28. /TASS/. First Mistral-type helicopter carrier for Russian Navy may set out to the country between November 15 and 20, a source in French delegation told TASS at the international naval show Euronavale-2014 on Tuesday.

“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.

Mistral contract

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.

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