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Building warships of this kind in Russia would not be difficult, said Denis Manturov. “We acted in co-operation and the under-the-hood part of the control systems will be Russian-made, which are the essentials,” the minister added in comments reflecting on the 1.12 billion-euro, two-vessel contract .
“As far as I know, this won’t affect the military doctrine, but it is a pity that the infrastructure was being built for that,” Manturov said, adding to other comments from Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, in charge of the defense-industrial sector, that Russia was capable of building its own helicopter carrier and a warning from President Vladimir Putin in June that if France refused to deliver, it would have to return the money.
The second ship, Sevastopol, was laid down in June 2013 in Russia’s St. Petersburg, where the stern was built. It was towed to Saint-Nazaire last week for completion. Under initial plans, Sevastopol was to be handed over to Russia at the end of 2015.
Mistral-class ships have a displacement of 21,000 tonnes. Maximum hull length is 210 metres and the ship can develop a speed of up to 18 knots with a cruising endurance of up to 20,000 miles.
The helicopter can accommodate 450 people in addition to its crew of 180. It carries 16 helicopters, of which six can be simultaneously stored on the flight-deck, and can carry several dozen armoured vehicles.