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Mitrofan Moskalenko helicopter carrier to become Russian Black Sea Fleet flagship — source

Necessary insfrastructure is being prepared in Sevastopol for the warship, currently being built at the Zaliv shipyard

SEVASTOPOL, October 8. /TASS/. Russia’s advanced universal amphibious assault ship, the Mitrofan Moskalenko, will become the flagship of the Russian Black Sea fleet once it is ready, a navy source has told TASS.

In his words, the warship "will become the flagship of the Russian Black Sea fleet after arriving to Sevastopol" from a shipyard in the Crimean city of Kerch.

"Necessary insfrastructure is being prepared in Sevastopol for the Mitrofan Moskalenko helicopter carrier currently being built at the Zaliv shipyard. The process proceeds on schedule," the source said on the sidelines of the 9th international naval business forum, which took place in Sevastopol.

"Work is under way in the Bay of Sevastopol, where it will be moored. Everything should be ready when the warship arrives to its home port," he added.

According to the source, the warship will assume the role of a Mistral-class helicopter carrier that Russia was to receive from France.

TASS has no official information on the issue at the time of the publication.

The Zaliv Shipyard in Kerch laid two Russian universal amphibious assault ships in 2020 - the Ivan Rogov and the Mitrofan Moskalenko of project 23900 designed by Zelenodolsk Bureau. They can transport a group of heavy helicopters and up to 1,000 marines. They are expected to enter service with the Russian Navy within the next few years.

In 2011, France started building two Mistral helicopter carriers on order from the Russian Navy. The first ship was named Vladivostok and the second got the name of Sevastopol. However, in November 2014, then French President Francois Hollande suspended the contract over developments in Ukraine and sanctions imposed on Russia.

The contract was cancelled in the summer of 2015. As a result, Paris paid Moscow 949.7 million euro in compensation and the helicopter carriers were subsequently sold to Egypt.