France’s Mistral-Class Deal
With Russia Under Contract
By AMI INTERNATIONAL INC.
After nearly two years of dis- cussion, much international
speculation and protests by some
NATO members and neighboring
countries, the Russian Navy’s purchase of Mistral-class amphibious
assault ships (LHDs) from France
has been made official with the
signing of a deal for two LHDs
worth more than $1.6 billion with
Paris shipbuilder DCNS.
The two Mistrals will be built in
France, with the possibility of
another two being built later in
Russia under separate contract. Both
DCNS units are scheduled for delivery to the Russian Navy by 2015.
Mistral is capable of transporting and deploying 16 helicopters,
four landing craft, 70 vehicles, 13
U.S. MARINE CORPS
The French Mistral-class amphibious
assault ship Tonnerre sails off the
coast of North Carolina, Feb. 9,
2009, during a Composite Training
Unit Exercise with the 22nd Marine
main battle tanks and 450 troops,
and is equipped with a 69-bed hospital and command ship capabilities. The French Navy maintains a
force of three Mistral-class ships.
The ships’ characteristics, however, have concerned nations along
the Black Sea, especially Georgia,
who expressed their objection to
the deal. Russia maintains the
ships primarily will be used as
command and control and humanitarian relief vessels.
Although the transfer of technology, notably the SENIT- 9 combat
management system (CMS), had
been a longstanding sticking point
in the negotiations, a spokesman for
Russia’s Rosoboronexport stated
that the CMS will indeed be part of
the technology transfer.
Some of the construction of
components for the ships will take
place in Russian shipyards and
equipment/system houses, providing the Russians with needed work
as well as expertise required for the
two additional, indigenously built
units. Admiralty Shipyard in St.
Petersburg will build the stern
modules for both LHDs, with construction beginning in December.
South Korea’s STX Offshore and
Shipbuilding signed an agreement
with Russia’s United Shipbuilding
Corp. on the same day the Mistral
deal was signed, June 17, to help
build a new Admiralty Shipyard in
St. Petersburg, on Kronstadt Island.
More Delays for
The schedule for Canada’s Arctic
Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) pro-
gram continues to slip. Project
approval now is expected in June at
the earliest, instead of this year. The
first unit will now be delivered in
2015, instead of 2014.
New Turkish Submarine
Program Is Under Way
The Turkish Navy Type 214 submarine program is officially under way
as Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Ma-