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That was his comment on the information that a group of the US congressmen had addressed NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen asking to persuade Paris to refuse from the deal with Moscow on the Mistral ships and to buy the helicopter carriers for the alliance.
“We have not received any notifications of the kind from the French party,” Davidenko said. “All works continue as planned, and no changes have been made to the contract.”
He continued saying Russia had been observing fully the payment schedule.
“Moreover, on June 18 Russian crews of both helicopter carriers will head on board the Smolny for France’s Saint-Nazaire,” he said adding the Mistrals’ crews had finalised training at the Kuznetsov Naval Academy.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 €1.12 billion contract for building two Mistral-type ships was signed by the defense 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% of each of the ships and then they will be floated off to be taken to Toulon for completion.
Mistral landing helicopter carriers will perform four tasks at the same time: receive helicopters, land troops, and act as a command post and a floating hospital.
The Mistral-type helicopter carriers have a displacement of 21 tons, maximum body lengths — 210 meters, speed — 18 knots, range — up to 20 thousand miles. The crew is 170 members, and in addition it can take on board 450 people. 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.