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MOSCOW, January 31. /ITAR-TASS/. It will take about a year to adjust the first Russian Mistral-class helicopter carrier Vladivostok to the Russian Defense Ministry’s requirements, the Vice-President of the United Shipbuilding Corporation Igor Ponomaryov told reporters.
For this purpose, the Vladivostok most likely will be placed at the Kronshtadt shipyard where it will have possibilities to leave for sea at the same time. France gives a year's guarantee, and it should not be lost. So, the ship must set out for sea, Ponomaryov noted. Adjustment work will be done during breaks. Specialists from the Northern Shipyard and the entire northern region will participate in the work.
A Russian Navy Staff source told Itar-Tass the construction of the ship would be finished in France according to schedule in the fall of 2014. Then, the Vladivostok will arrive in Russia in late October or early November for the installation of Russian weapons.
The €1.15-billion-cost contract to build two Mistral-class helicopter carriers for the Russian Navy was signed in June 2011 in St. Petersburg. Under the contract, the ships will be built at the STX shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. The first, Vladivostok, has been launched and will be handed over to the Russian Navy in late 2014, the second, Sevastopol, in 2015.
The Mistral-class 21,000-ton ships are 210 meters long, reach a speed of 18 knots and their cruising range is up to 20,000 miles. The crew numbers 170 people. The ship can take aboard 450 people more. In the air group are 16 helicopters, six of which may be on the takeoff deck at the same time. Its cargo deck has a capacity for more than 40 tanks and 70 vehicles. The Mistral is capable to carry out four tasks — to receive helicopters, to land troops onto the ground, to operate as a command centre and it may be used as a floating hospital.