ST. PETERSBURG, July 2. /TASS/. Russia’s universal amphibious assault ships of the future will by no means be exact replicas of France’s helicopter carriers Mistral, the chief of naval shipbuilding division at the Krylov State Research Center, Vladimir Pepelyayev, said at the international naval show in St. Petersburg. Russia’s ships will be built for different purposes.
He explained that the concept of ships of the future the Krylov Center has developed in the first place "suits the tactics of using our forces, our mentality and our approaches to amphibious operations."
"Mistral and other such foreign ships (incidentally, Mistral is not the best sample of the family of amphibious assault ships I have chanced to visit) are tailored to match the ‘Atlantic mentality’. The task of our ships is to provide assistance to frontline troops in defending our borders, in other words, landing assault groups in the rear of advancing enemy forces. Naturally, they are designed differently," Pepelyayev said.
The concept of the Russian ship has already been handed over to the Navy’s central command for consideration.
"The concept has been proposed to the Navy for scrutiny. We shall now wait for the Navy to speak its mind," Pepelyayev said.
"According to the current estimates, developing the pilot project and building the ship will require about 30 billion rubles (roughly $550 million). Possibly, less," Pepelyayev said, adding that the weapons would account for 80% of the costs, and the hull, for 20%.
"Such ships can be built either at the Severnaya Verf (Northern Shipyard) or at Sevmash," he speculated. "The conceptual design will take about twelve months to accomplish and the technical project and design documentation, another year or two. Building the ship will require another three years."
Russia signed a contract to build the helicopter carriers Mistral with France in the summer of 2011. The Russian Navy was to receive the first ship, the Vladivostok, in the autumn of 2014. Paris paused the delivery over the crisis in Ukraine. The other ship, The Sevastopol, was to be provided in the second half of 2015. Its handover is currently frozen, too.