DATELINE: MOSCOW Feb 26
Former commander of the Russian Navy Adm. of the Fleet Vladimir Masorin, today an adviser to the Russian defense minister, on Thursday dismissed media reports that France might sell Russia a Mistral-class multirole helicopter carrier without the sophisticated equipment that is normally installed on it.
“We wouldn’t be satisfied with a Mistral without its state-of-the- art equipment. Our shipbuilders would be able to weld an empty hull together by themselves,” Masorin told Interfax-AVN.
“It’s hard to imagine a situation where the French make the hull and we install our equipment on it,” he said.
“It is very difficult to fit Russian armaments, electric equipment and other technological components into a hull that is part of an absolutely different project. To make this possible, at the very least French designers and our shipbuilders must build the ship together,” the admiral said.
The Mistral multifunctional helicopter carrier has a standard displacement of 16,500 tonnes, a length of 199 meters, a beam of 32 meters and a draft of 6.2 meters. The maximum speed is 18.8 knots, and the voyage range is 19,800 miles.
The ship carries 16 helicopters (including eight landing helicopters and eight assault helicopters). Six helicopters can be placed on the ship’s deck simultaneously. Also the ship carries four light landing cutters or two air-cushion landing cutters.
The cargo deck with a length of 122 meters and a width of 13.5 meters can carry up to 1,100 tonnes of cargo, up to 470 marines (900 on short distances), 40 tanks or 70 vehicles. The ship is armed with two Simbad air defense launchers, two 30-millimeter Breda-Mauser artillery systems and four 2.7-millimeter machine guns.
The ship has a hospital with 69 beds and carries up to 150 staff officers. The crew size is 160, including 20 officers.
The French Navy has two Mistral helicopter carriers and is building a third one.
According to unofficial sources, the ship costs about 600 million euros.