As you could hear, the famous soap opera «Mistral and Putin» continues with a new intriguing accompaniment.
On November 25, the Reuters reported, France suspended INDEFINITELY on Tuesday delivery of the first of two Mistral helicopter carrier warships to Russia, citing conflict in eastern Ukraine where the West accuses Moscow of fomenting separatism.
«The President of the French Republic considers that the situation in the east of Ukraine still does not permit the delivery of the first LHD (helicopter carrying and command vessel)», said a statement from President Francois Hollande’s office.
«He has therefore decided that it is appropriate to suspend, until further notice [when Hell freezes over], examination of the request for the necessary authorization to export the first LHD to the Russian Federation».
«Le président de la République considère que la situation actuelle dans l’est de l’Ukraine ne permet toujours pas la livraison du premier BPC (bâtiment de projection et de commandement). Il a donc estimé qu’il convenait de surseoir, jusqu’à nouvel ordre, à l’examen de la demande d’autorisation nécessaire à l’exportation du premier BPC à la Fédération de Russie». (Le Monde)
Russia will not receive the first Mistral (Russian sailors named him «Vladivostok») in the nearest future, I mean, in December of this year.
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS (STX France, shipyards – Saint-Nazaire and Lorient)
Length overall 199 m
Breadth 32 m at the helicopter deck level
Maximum speed 19 knots
Full load displacement 21,500 t
Complement 160 crew, 450 troops
Range 11,000 NM at 15 knots
Carrying capacities 16 helicopters
What was the purpose of this deal? Why Russia wants to spend more than €1.2 billion for the purchase of ships, which she would never be able to use? Because Russia has a common land border with all «enemies», such as China or Ukraine. This is the billion-dollar question.
By the way, if you are interested in comparison Mistral with the American amphibious assault ships, you could see general technical specifications of some LHA and LHD in my navy blog (http://navyarm.blogspot.ru/). I suppose, Russia has no chance to prevail in this direct comparison with the US Navy.
Thank DCNS Group for the photos