ST. PETERSBURG, March 13, /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Baltic Shipyard will float the stern of the second Russian helicopter carrier Mistral, called Sevastopol, this summer for its further transportation to France where its bow is now under construction.
The stern is to be transported to France on July 8, a source in the United Shipbuilding Corporation said on Thursday, March 13. The bow is being built in Saint-Nazaire, France.
The Baltic Shipyard is building the stern in cooperation with the French company DCNS.
In the summer of 2013, the shipyard floated the stern of the first Mistral ship called Vladivostok. It was then shipped to Saint-Nazaire where it was put together with the bow made in France.
The first Mistral ship is to join the Russian Navy before the end of 2014.
The Sevastopol will join the Pacific Fleet in 2016, the Fleet’s press service told ITAR-TASS.
“They will go on combat duty in different parts of the world ocean, mainly in the Pacific, including the South Kurile Islands,” the spokesperson said.
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 at the Pacific Fleet.
The second ship, the Sevastopol, will arrive in St. Petersburg in November 2015 to make a voyage to the Pacific Fleet and join it in the second half of 2016.
The crews for the two ships (each consisting of 177 members) and 60 instructors, who will subsequently help the sailors operate the ships, are being trained by French specialists. “The first stage of training began in February of this year … and will continue until the end of May. The second stage will take place from June until October in Saint-Nazaire both onshore and onboard the Vladivostok. The cost of training is included in the contract,” the spokesperson said.
Apart from these two ships, Russia has also purchased French technology for the combat information control and communications systems.
Infrastructure for the Vladivostok and the Sevastopol will be built by the end of September 2015. Their base will be completed in the Far Eastern city of Vladivostok by the end of December 2017.
Two Mistral-type ships are now under construction at Saint-Nazaire, France, and St. Petersburg, Russia. A possible purchase by Russia of two more ships from France will be considered based on the performance results of the first two.
The 1.1 billion euro contract for building two Mistral-type ships was signed by the defence exporting company Rosoboronexport and French DCNS in June 2011. The second ship will be named Sevastopol.
The shipyard is building two such ships for the Russian Navy under a subcontract obtained from the main contract under the project awarded to DCNS. The shipyard is to build 90 percent of each of the ships and then they will be floated off to be taken to Toulon for completion.
Russian enterprises are also involved in the project. The Baltic Shipyard laid down the keel of one of the two Mistral ships, named Vladivostok, in strict compliance with the approved schedule. A similar ceremony for the second ship named Sevastopol took place in May 2013.
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.
France will transfer a number of sensitive technologies to Russia along with Mistral ships to be purchased by Russia, including the SENIT-9 tactical combat information system installed on the helicopter carriers.
In the future, these technologies will be used in the construction of two other Mistral ships in Russia, Rosoboronexport CEO Anatoly Isaikin said.