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At present there are several units of Russian equipment on board, “which will help Mistral find its way to our ports.”
“But it is yet to be fully equipped either with French technology or the Russian one. Otherwise it will be able to find its way only by the stars,” Riznyk said.
Asked what Mistral would be able to do without Russian equipment, the specialist was brief: “Nothing.”“Without Russian means of communication and control the Mistrals are utterly incapable. It will be just an iron box with poor sea worthiness that sees and hears nothing. The ship that should be delivered to Russia is very limited in terms of its combat capabilities as far as armaments and radio-electronic means are concerned,” Riznyk said.
Russia concluded a contract with France for two Mistral class ships in the summer of 2011. The first one, the Vladivostok, was expected to be delivered in the autumn of 2014, but events in Ukraine stalled the process. The other Mistral, The Sevastopol, was launched in November.
At the beginning of this year the United Shipbuilding Corporation declared it would need about a year to adjust The Vladivostok to the rules and requirements of the Russian Defence Ministry and install Russian equipment.