France to Offer Russia Any Arms Except NATO Codes and Ballistic Missiles


France is satisfied with its contract with Russia for Mistral-class assault landing ships and ready to continue cooperation in defense area. In particular, France promises to document the contract for construction of the third and fourth Mistrals no later than in the current year.

“Following the sale of Mistral warships, our country will be ready to offer Russia the most advanced weaponry except ballistic missiles, radio-electronic warfare means, NATO codes and automated combat control systems”, reports RIA Novosti citing Arnaud Kalika, participant in the military section of the Valdai International Discussion Club.

In June 2011 at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Russia and France signed a EUR 1.2-bln contract for two Mistral-class multi-purpose amphibious assault ships. As is planned, the first ship will be delivered to Russia in 2014, and the second – in 2015. French defense shipbuilding company DCNS reported late 2011 that it had obtained advance payment and was starting construction of the first Mistral-class helicopter carrier for Russia.

In addition, it was agreed that other two ships would be constructed by Baltiysky Zavod shipyard with participation of United Shipbuilding Corporation. However, Russian defense minister Anatoly Serdiukov announced later on that hulls for the second pair of Mistral ships would be most likely built by Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk. Those ships would cost Russia EUR 2.5 bln.

Displacement of Mistral-class assault landing ship is 21,000 tons; length overall is 210 meters; speed is over 18 knots; operating range is up to 20,000 miles; crew is 160 men plus 450 marines.

Air wing comprises 16 helicopters including six placed on the flight deck. Supposedly, Russian Mistrals will be armed with eight Ka-52K and eight Ka-29 helicopters. Signing of the final contract for third and fourth Mistral-class helicopter carriers was scheduled late in 2011, although the talks still go on.

Earlier on, president Medvedev granted permission for procurement of foreign weaponry. During the scandal around frustration of state defense order, he permitted to import arms if it was more profitable. In 2012, financing of state defense order is determined at the level of RUR 1.769 trillions.

Naval Today Staff , January 10, 2012;