Russia: Mistral-Class Amphibious Landing Ships to Obtain Home-Made Arms


French Mistral-class amphibious landing ships built for Russian Navy will be equipped with weapon systems made in Russia, reported Interfax referring to Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief ADM Vladimir Vysotsky.

“We’re going to mount close-in missile systems with the view to improve the ship’s protection by air defense means. The helicopter component will be strengthened by antisubmarine capabilities. Mistrals built for Russian Navy can be equipped with special-purpose warheads made in Russia”, said the admiral.

“Basically, it will be Russian weapon systems. Torpedo tubes are non-critical for such ships”, reports ITAR-TASS citing Vysotsky.

Addressing a press conference, he told reporters that after commissioning into Russian Navy, the new landing ships would be used not separately but within task groups. Thereby, effectiveness of Mistrals themselves and task forces in general will be improved, explained Vysotsky.

According to him, all prospective Russian warships will be constructed under maximal versatility principle. “Undoubtedly, the Black Sea, the Arctic, and the Pacific Ocean have different theaters of naval operations. Sure, task forces must be different as well but unified to the utmost“, said the commander.

As for Vysotsky, modular structure of ships and task groups is also critical for up-to-date Russian Navy. “In this situation, interchangeability would be ideal. We stand for modularity in these matters. We should get rid of huge number of ship classes and small amount of ships in each class”, explained the admiral.

In general, Russia plans to arm with four Mistral-class helicopter carriers. The first ship was laid down on Feb 1 in Saint-Nazaire, France. Reportedly, only first two Mistrals will be constructed in France; third and fourth ones are to be built by United Shipbuilding Corporation and Baltiysky Zavod shipyard.

The EUR 1.2-bln contract for construction of two Mistrals was signed in June 2011. It is planned to tie the agreement on other two ships in 2012.

Russian Navy plans to station eight multirole helicopters Ka-52K Alligator and eight transport/combat helicopters Ka-29 on each Mistral-class ship.

Naval Today Staff , February 20, 2012