ARSENYEV (Primorsky Territory), March 23. /TASS/. Construction of Ka-52K shipborne helicopters in Russia is not connected with the situation around France’s delivery of Mistral helicopter carriers, Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov said on Monday.
"First of all, our own amphibious assault ships are under construction. A helicopter like Ka-25K will be in demand at ships of our surface fleet. So, it is incorrect to make links between completion of development work of this helicopter and delivery of Mistrals," Borisov said.
The Russian Defense Ministry expects that Ka-52K helicopter project will be a success, the deputy minister noted. In 2015, the ministry will receive 16 Ka-52 multi-purpose attack helicopters, Borisov added.
Earlier, director of the Progress Arsenyev Aviation Company Yury Derisenko told the media that the company’s long-term contract with Russia’s Defense Ministry envisages the delivery of 146 Ka-52 helicopters to the Armed Forces by 2020.
The €1.12-billion contract for building two Mistral class ships for the Russian Navy was concluded with France in June 2011. The first ship, the Vladivostok, launched in October 2013, was to be delivered to Russia back in November 2014. At the last moment Paris suspended the handover indefinitely saying the crisis in Ukraine was the reason. The Vladivostok has since remained moored in Saint-Nazaire.
It was originally planned that the Sevastopol was to be handed over to the Russian side in the second half of 2015. However, like in the case with the first ship, the decision on its supply has been yet frozen.
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told the National Assembly in mid-February: "France’s priority is stabilization and security in Ukraine, which directly depends on the observance of ceasefire by all parties, and also the implementation of a political project that would pave the way out of the crisis."