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Russia Buys a Mistral
Russia said Wednesday it plans to buy a new helicopter-carrying assault warship from NATO-member France in an unprecedented deal experts say reflects Kremlin efforts to accelerate military modernization.
The agreement for purchase of one Mistral-class naval ship also equipped with hovercraft and landing craft will be completed by the end of the year, the Russian chief of staff, General Nikolai Makarov, said.
He did not name a price, but the Russian government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported this month that the ship, which can carry 16 heavy helicopters, 470 airborne troops and other gear, costs 700 million euros (995 million dollars).
Christian at Defense Tech jokes that the Mistral would be less than useful in another war against Georgia. I'm not sure that's even true; the contribution of the Russian Navy to victory against Georgia was detailed on this blog, and the presence of a modern, effective amphibious warship would have created even more problems for the Georgians. More importantly, a Mistral gives the Russian Navy a much greater capacity to conduct operations and project power in distant parts of the globe. This isn't to say that the Russians are about to conduct an expeditionary campaign in Somalia, but a Mistral certainly gives them options they didn't previously have.
More...from a BLOG, it will be interesting to read if N. Polmar weighs in........
Thoughts on the Russian Mistral
Rob touched on the subject, but I want to weigh in on this too. The announcement that Russia intends to purchase a Mistral class amphibious ship is almost as remarkable as the announcement that part of the deal is to build more Mistral class ships in Russia. Defense Tech clearly missed the significance both in terms of industry and military strategy in regards to this development, although I imagine Norman Polmar will weigh in with some unique insights - as he often does.
From an industry perspective, a Mistral class built in Russia would immediately become the largest warship built from scratch outside the US or Europe in decades. I think that is pretty significant, in particular it suggests the Russian military has lost all confidence in its own shipbuilding industry. You also have to give DCNS a lot of credit here, Russia has historically been willing to spend money on its military even in times when their economy lags, so the Russian market holds enormous potential for the company (as well as Thales, potentially). Russia will also win big if they can produce Mistral class vessels in Russia, because Russia will be able to tap into the well educated and highly trained shipbuilding workforce of Europe to rebuild their fleet, in particular a project manager and modern skilled workforce that can replace the older and less skilled or experienced with modern tools professional workforce in Russia. It is hard to see this as anything other than a huge win for both DCNS and Russia from an industry perspective.
From a strategy perspective, this aligns the direction of the Navy with the stated national military strategy of Russia to downsize the land Army and become more expeditionary in nature. Under Putin Russia has continuously had eyes on the Black Sea, the eastern Mediterranean Sea, and the African coast as places where Russian influence holds potential with sea power. In 2000 after becoming President of Russia, one of the first things Putin did was put the Navy to sea in preparation for a Mediterranean Sea deployment. Unfortunately for his ambitions to promote Russian influence with sea power, K-141 Kursk happened during workups for that deployment, and the Russian Navy had 6 terrible years picking up the pieces of that tragedy.
I do wonder if this is in part a reaction to the conflict in Georgia. I disagree with CNO Gary Roughead in regards to some of his shipbuilding decisions, but last summer when he ordered USS McFaul (DDG 74) into the port of Batum, Georgia he pulled a modern day 'Commodore Perry Goes to Tokyo' with that gunboat diplomacy, and it had to set off alarms in Moscow. Some may not have appreciated what he did, but I thought it was a brilliant exercise in naval diplomacy. Traditionally, naval diplomacy has been a critical element in sustaining peaceful relations in times of tension, and in hindsight I think sending USS McFaul (DDG 74) had exactly that effect. Teddy Roosevelt would have been impressed.
It is important to note that even the ineffective activities of the Georgian coast guard had to get the attention of Russian naval commanders, and in a way, one can look at the desire to purchase a Mistral as the combination of the Russian Navy applying lessons learned in the Georgian War and recapturing naval tactics forgotten from the Soviet era.
Let me explain. In the cold war, Soviet Union naval tactics depended a great deal on long range bombers and submarines, but an often overlooked but critical aspect of Soviet naval tactics was the heavy utilization of helicopters. While helicopters in the cold war Soviet Navy were heavily utilized for ASW warfare or AEW, the option to put attack helicopters always existed for scenarios including North Atlantic amphibious operations from big deck Soviet helicopter carriers. Russia had problems enforcing sea control off the coast of Georgia during that conflict last year, indeed the Georgian Navy (Coast Guard) was able to get to sea, even get close enough to attack a major task force of Russian ships operating in the Black Sea, something many people probably think is unthinkable in a modern age.
Hardly, fog of war is a constant of littoral warfare. The Black Sea Fleet had numerous fast missile attack craft, but due to political concerns those missile FACs were forced to operate under restrictive rules of engagement, which as we Americans should understand by now given Iraq and Afghanistan, is a major factor in all limited and/or small wars. Russia couldn't afford to fire ASMs, because the geopolitical consequences of hitting a Turkish (or Ukrainian) ship would have been enormous for Russia. Ultimately, the Black Sea Fleet lacked the necessary asset to control the littoral seas of that conflict; that asset being helicopters.
Russia was reminded in the Georgian conflict that helicopters, not fast missile boats, are the littoral commanders of the sea in the 21st century. This is why I am less troubled by the Type 022 China is developing than some folks, because as a naval tactician, I'd rather be facing the threat of a dozen Type 022s than a dozen helicopters in the South China Seas, although the prospect of facing both at the same time is quite unappealing. In the littorals, a helicopter is an ISR platform with a limited, but reloadable strike capability, while a fast missile boat is a strike platform with a finite heavy payload and only a limited ISR capability. Without the ISR helicopters could provide in the restrictive RoE environment of the Black Sea, the Russian Navy ultimately operated at higher risk, despite the fact the Russian Navy had enormous potential for raw combat power.
In small wars in the maritime domain, ISR is king, which is why the USS Bainbridge operated ScanEagles instead of helicopters in dealing with Somali piracy, and why I believe the US Navy must emphasize as part of a distributable network the combination of UAVs, helicopters, and RHIBs as the unmanned/manned component necessary to achieve littoral dominance. Fast Missile Boats in the 21st century maritime small war is a second class option when compared to the combination of a good endurance patrol gunboat, capable boarding teams, modern naval helicopters, and UAVs.
As an amphibious platform that can support attack helicopters, the Mistral class not only would have allowed Russia to control the seas with helicopters, but would have allowed Russia to do what their current amphibious force cannot do, specifically capture a port from the sea. The inability of the Russian Navy to capture Batum from the sea was what allowed the USS McFaul (DDG 74) to sail right into Georgia under the eyes of the Russian Navy. If you recall, the USS McFaul (DDG 74) originally wanted to sail into the port of Poti, but the Russian Army raced and seized the port to keep the ship out. The US Navy didn't go into Poti until after hostilities had ceased.
The Russian military strategy makes it clear that Russia will attempt to transition from primarily a heavy land army into an expeditionary force that can be mobilized to forward places. This is hardly a questionable concept, virtually every US military strategy analysis in the 90s suggested that was what the US should do, and as we have ended up fighting terrorism globally, indeed on almost every continent, the analysis in hindsight looked wise. Given how important the role of helicopters has always been to the Russian Navy, and how helicopters are the king of 21st century littoral warfare (the record of helicopters vs FACs is something like 43-1 btw), I think the decision to buy Mistral class ships is very much in line with Russia's stated military strategy and traditional Russian maritime strategy.
Posted by Galrahn
thanks for posting that DA, very interesting and thought provoking!!
A link to Aviation Week's take on this...........
Very Interesting considering there own ship building industry is in shambals. But that would also help the ship building industry in France as well if they conclude in there study the ship needed in the Russian fleet.
22 déc. 2009
Russia Discussing Amphib Deal With 3 Nations
Russia is in talks with Western countries other than France as it seeks to purchase an advanced helicopter-carrier assault ship, the head of the Russian Navy was quoted as saying Dec. 21.
"Yes, we are holding talks, and not just with the French, but with the Netherlands and Spain, about the acquisition of a ship of this class," said Russian Navy chief Vladimir Vysotsky, quoted by Russian news agencies. Russia has been in talks with France about the purchase of a Mistral-class warship aimed at helping modernize the ageing Russian navy, despite criticism of the deal from Russia's East European neighbors and Georgia. A source close to the negotiations said earlier that Moscow was also in talks with the Damen Schelde shipyard in the Netherlands and with Spanish shipbuilder Navantia about buying amphibious assault ships.
For Russia, which has insisted for decades on producing all of its military hardware itself, any such deal with a NATO member country would be unprecedented. Moscow would make a decision on the purchase by the end of the year, Nikolai Makarov, the top commander of the Russian armed forces, said in early December. (article source: defensenews,
They forgot the chicoms and their type 071 LPD! DFO :eek:
The world is changing so rapidly!
Strange that Uncle Vlad didn't ask any shipyards in the UK for a quote - I wonder why....................................!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Do I detect just a hint of sarcasm there???? Now remember where the Czar's RURIK came from; probably the "best" armored cruiser ever built in pre WW 1 days. DFO :rolleyes:
Why is it I get the feeling (personally) that buying a helicopter carrier from France for the Russian navy isn't much of a deal. I am not as "up" on French affairs du naval, as with other navies, but haven't they had problems with both Mistral and the nuclear Dee Gawl, particularly the latter?
designerdude, hopefully you've got some perspective on that.
The De Gaulle has had quite a few, but I'm not aware of any with the Mistral. Anybody know more??
Seems to be a co$t effective design which would give czar vlad a POWER PROJECTION capability he currently lacks. Should think their neighbors might be a wee bit nervous about that? DFO :)
I thought the South Koreans were interested in selling their version.
For those who interested here is the technical data on the Mistral.
Evidemment ils ont l'intention de l'acheter, mais a mon avis ils vont toute de suite rajouter un armement de defense mer air et anti sous marin consequente.
Certainement au moins 2 à 4 KASHTANS et 2 à 4 complexes KLINOK agrementé d'au moins deux AK 630 en renfort.
Un système UDAV et plusieurs PK 16 decoy launchers en plus.
En effet l'armement de dotation est un peu léger et pas de tout en ligne avec le KOUTZNETSOV, PETER ou MOCKBA
Hi Don.The french have had problems with both Nuclear types of ships.The Rubis class Subs and the Degaul class(Proposed but as yet only one built)Perhaps they should sell all these to Brother Ivan,after all they are used to false and deadly reactors? Regards Steve.:D:D:D
66255 We come unclean oops Unseen
Bad choice. "Miss Trial" seems to be not so sufficiant to carry out her tasks. First of all we have to understand what kind of tasks she will carry out? How many units she will require to accompany during voyages in order to provide needed protection level. What kind of strategic tasks she might perform to Russian Navy? Is it worse of? But this is my point of view.
New from a Naval Blog...........
The Mistral Sale and the Russian Information War on Georgia
On December 1, 2009, the Center of Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST) in Moscow published a collection of essays about the August 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict. The report is written in Russian so it is unlikely to be widely disseminated, but for English readers, the Jamestown Foundation has a two part summary of the report up (Part 1 and Part 2). The report is well done, although any who read the original Russian report will find plenty to quibble about.
The two part series at Jamestown Foundation is a good primer for the ongoing discussions of the Mistral amphibious ship sale to Russia, because there is a new twist in the sale that is directly related to Georgia.
You have probably heard by now how France has come up with a number of reasons how they justify the deal, beginning with the need to better integrate Russia with Europe. The French ambassador to the UN will not even discuss the subject with reporters there who ask questions, and there is no sign from the government that France considers the issue subject to influence from other nations. Russia also faces internal pressure regarding the sale from those who believe the industry needs the work. It is true, but the Russian government apparently has no faith in the shipbuilding sector in Russia right now. It is still unclear how the Mistral deal will help the Russian shipbuilding sector, but improving procedures and modernizing the shipyards is considered one aspect of the Mistral deal.
Meanwhile the Mistral deal is reportedly set for March according to some Russian officials, but there is more to the deal than meets the eye and the deal is not a sure thing. As it turns out, the Mistral deal is part of a larger Russian information war against Georgia.
First Caucasian Channel began broadcasting on Eutelsat’s new W7 satellite on January 15th, and it only took 2 days for Russia to complain about the channel. The channel was created by the Public Television of Georgia earlier this year with a main objective "to bring truth to peoples in North Caucasus - to Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan as well as to Russian republics in the Caucasus that fight against the Kremlin's armed forces." The channel was taken off the air after being up for less than two weeks. The station was intended to run a few weeks as a test before a long term contract for the channel with Eutelsat would begin on January 31st. The reason the station was taken off line was originally said to be technical in nature, but Eutelsat no longer says it is a technical issue, rather claiming the trial period has now expired.
On January 27 Le Figaro ran an article suggesting the reason the channel was taken down was Russia. "Eutelsat is under strong pressure from Russia to break its contract with Georgia," asserted a diplomat in Tbilisi on Tuesday. The operator Eutelsat is about to give in to the Kremlin, "which would be very serious" and, according to the Georgian diplomat, "akin to political censorship" the Le Figaro article says.
Gia Chanturia, general director of the Georgian Public Broadcasts was in Paris this weekend seeking answers from Eutelsat and French government officials. He is unlikely to like what the French tell him, because my sources both in Washington, DC and Paris have confirmed that Moscow has made cancellation of the First Caucasian Channel by Eutelsat a condition of the Mistral sale.
While I am sure there are still negotiations ahead, it is noteworthy the French government is indeed entertaining this condition of the sale - as no contract has been signed.
And that leads me back to the CAST publication. The paper leaves an impression of political and military equilibrium between Russia and Georgia, but I either misunderstood or stand in strong disagreement with that conclusion. There is no balance between Russia and Georgia as a result of the August 2008 war, and just as the United States did nothing for Georgia when Russia had troops on Georgian soil, do not expect the United States to stand up for Georgia now. The suggestion there is some sense of balance between Russia and Georgia is a myth, whether presumed, implied, or created; and the Mistral deal with all of its conditions serves as a visible reminder of that reality.
As we watch Russia leverage their unequal national power to influence France, keep an eye on eastern European countries like Poland. This will get bigger than Russia, Georgia, and France before it is all over, and the potential for long term consequences in Eastern Europe is not trivial. It is noteworthy that foreign military sales reform is an issue in the 2010 QDR. The details of FMS will be important, because it may turn out to be the difference between our allies in Eastern Europe buying quality military equipment from the US - or seeking vast quantities of military equipment from elsewhere.
Just saying... France may trust Russia, but countries like Ukraine and Poland do not. Gee, now why would that be??? DFO :rolleyes:
And per Russian sources..the Black Sea Fleet will............
Russia's Black Sea Fleet based in Ukraine's Crimea will receive new frigate-type vessels and diesel-powered submarines by 2015, a top naval officer said Friday.
The unnamed admiral gave his reaction to RIA Novosti on some media reports that had earlier said at least two corvettes and three subs would join the Black Sea Fleet within the next five years.
"In line with the approved shipbuilding program and armaments program until 2015, the Black Sea Fleet is to receive two frigates and three diesel submarines," the admiral said, stressing that he indeed meant frigates, which are capable of traveling much longer distances than corvettes.
"We need to realize that the Black Sea Fleet's responsibility zone is the entire Mediterranean and not only the Black Sea. Besides, Russia's Navy... faces the task of fighting piracy off the Horn of Africa," he said, adding that only frigates are capable of fulfilling this task.
The Russian Navy has maintained a permanent presence off the Horn of Africa, with warships operating on a rotation basis. Russia joined international anti-piracy efforts off the Somali coast in October 2008. Pirates based in Somalia, which has been without an effective government since 1991, hijacked more than 35 vessels in 2009, and have already seized two this year.
The Black Sea Fleet uses a range of naval facilities in the Crimea, including a base in Sevastopol, as part of a 1997 lease agreement valid until 2017. Outgoing Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has led calls for Russia to pack up and pull out of Ukraine when the lease expires, although Russia hopes to extend it.
Relations between Moscow and Kiev have deteriorated markedly during Yushchenko's presidency. Russian leaders have said they hope to establish constructive cooperation with the new Ukrainian president, ruling out any rapprochement with Yushchenko.
Now wouldn't a MISTRAL or 2 be so comforting as part of their BSF??? DFO :rolleyes:
From what looks like being the result of the Ukrain elections(allowing for fraud,civil war and refusal to step down) It looks like a Pro-Russian President is on his way in.That would give the cash strapped Russians a chance to back out of buying MISTRAL ships! Steve.:rolleyes:
from another Naval Blog...............
Russia Wants 4 Amphibs From France: French Ministry
The Russian navy wants to buy four huge, modern amphibious assault ships from France rather than just the one that was already under discussion, the French defense ministry said Feb. 8.
Reports that Moscow is in the market for a Mistral-class warship, and is for the first time prepared to buy one from a NATO member, have worried Russia's nervous neighbor Georgia and France's western allies. Last year, a source close to the negotiations told AFP that Moscow is also in talks with the Damen Schelde shipyard in the Netherlands and with the Spanish shipbuilder Navantia about buying amphibious assault ships. But the Moscow daily Moskovski Komsomolets reported Feb. 8 that Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has decided to buy one Mistral-class vessel from France for between 500/600 million € (up to $820 million).
Won't that be nice for say; Georgia, Poland, Estonia and certain other countries I'm sure czar vlad would like to help.........DFO :rolleyes:
So the ruskis are after amphib ships, so what's the panic, perhaps they are thinking of landing troops in the UK!!!!! A close look at the map shows that if they really wanted to attack the Baltic States etc, and I hope to whatever God you believe in that they don't, it would be quicker and easier to charge down the motorways and all that - as they showed in Georgia!!
Apparently at least ONE has been agreed to..............
France Agrees to Sell Russia Advanced Warship
French officials say France agrees to sell Russia an advanced warship, considering 3 more
By JAMEY KEATEN Associated Press Writer
PARIS February 8, 2010 (AP) The Associated Press
France has agreed to sell Russia an advanced amphibious warship and is considering a Russian request for three more, French defense officials said Monday. It would be the first major arms deal between Russia and a NATO member.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy approved the sale of one of the Mistral-class force projection and command vessels after months of discussions. Since then, Russian naval officials requested three more, said Jacques de Lajugie, head of international development at the French arms agency DGA.
"We are in the process of examining" the request for more ships, de Lajugie told a news conference, predicting a decision in the coming weeks. He said the new request came not at the "political level" but from the Russian navy.
Mistral-class ships can anchor in coastal waters and deploy troops on land — a capacity the Russian navy now lacks. Russia's navy chief said last year that such a ship would have allowed the Russian navy to mount a much more efficient action in the Black Sea during the Georgia-Russia war. He said the French ship would take just 40 minutes to do the job that the Russian Black Sea Fleet vessels did in 26 hours.
The deal would be richly symbolic for Russia, which is seeking to modernize an aging navy reliant on Soviet-era technology and to project its power abroad more effectively — and more impressively. The sale has alarmed some of Russia's former Soviet bloc neighbors, including those now in NATO, especially after the Russia-Georgia war in 2008.
Possessing a Mistral-class ship, which can carry 16 attack helicopters and dozens of armored vehicles, would significantly increase the Russian military's ability to launch offensives. France sent the Mistral, which weighs 23,700 tons (21,500 metric tons) and is 980 feet (299 meters) long, to visit St. Petersburg last year in a clear sign of interest in a potential sale.
Mistral-class vessels are the second-largest ships in the French fleet after the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle.
Guess maybe the roads into Georgia aren't too good??? DFO ;)
Yeah- all blocked by tanks...............................!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!
It might be worth noting that these Mistral Class ships are only built to commercial cruise ship standards and they currently only carry very light defensive systems, consisting of 4 machine gun stations, a pair of 30mm guns, and a pair of manual Simbad twin-launchers for MBDA’s very short-range Mistral anti-aircraft missiles.
Deployment in zones that feature anti-ship missiles, such as for example the 2006 evacuation off of Lebanon, would therefore require protective escort ships.
A picture of the second in class Tonnerre during sea trials.
more from a UK paper, I believe:
From the economist
CHAMPAGNE and other French products may soon face declining sales in Tallinn, Tbilisi and places in between. The possible sale by France to Russia of up to four Mistral-class assault ships, at up to $750m each, is stoking fear and mistrust. The deal, agreed on “in principle” by France, could be formalised during a visit to Paris next month by Russia’s president, Dmitry Medvedev. The ships would enter service in 2015.
The deal highlights Russia’s increasing military ambitions and the decay of its own arms industry. Once one of the world’s top naval powers, Russia is now struggling to complete even the repair of an aircraft-carrier destined for India, let alone to build new ships from scratch. The Mistral is a mighty, 199-metre-long vessel that carries tanks and helicopters, and can conduct and manage amphibious landings. Kaarel Kaas, of the International Centre for Defence Studies, a think-tank in Tallinn, says that such ships would “transform the power balance” on Russia’s borders.
One region affected is the Baltic, where Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, NATO’s most vulnerable members, are still waiting to see concrete plans for the alliance to defend them in a crisis. The other is the Black Sea. The Mistrals could matter in any conflict over Crimea in Ukraine, where Russia is due to give up a naval base in 2017. Russia’s naval chief, Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky, says that with such ships Russia would have won the 2008 war against Georgia “in 40 minutes instead of 26 hours”.
But if Russia wants to attack Georgia again, it can do so without Mistrals. And to make the new ships usable, Russia will need to buy or build flotillas of escort vessels, as well as advanced (and expensive) weapons and electronic systems. Even then, the Russian navy would be no match for NATO’s navies. Those who remember the backstage help that France gave Britain in trying to counter the French-made Exocet missiles used by Argentina during the Falklands war in 1982 may wonder how effective the Mistrals would be in any war that France disapproved of.
The sale was first mooted in November when Vladimir Putin, Russia’s prime minister, visited France. Georgia has complained publicly, as have some Baltic officials. Robert Gates, the American defence secretary, had a “good and thorough exchange of views” (ie, a disagreement) this week with his French counterpart, Hervé Morin, but this may be just a blip in the improving relations between France and America. The Pentagon is planning manoeuvres in the Baltic later this year. It may now beef them up.
Some critics worry more about the political balance than the military one. Some compare the Mistral deal to Nord Stream, a controversial planned Russian-German gas pipeline. Running along the bed of the Baltic Sea, it would circumvent troublesome transit countries in eastern Europe. But its real importance is that it provides Russia with a tool to peddle influence in European countries.
The Saint-Nazaire shipyard, which builds the Mistral class, is in trouble. It has won only one order, from the French navy, in the past three years; 350 workers there are being asked to quit. The French state recently bought a third of the shipyard company to save jobs and know-how.
Haggling over the Mistral orders (one will be built in France, the others probably in Russia) could thus give the Kremlin bargaining clout in the coming years. An early sign of that, cynics say, is a decision to boot a Georgian-run Russian-language television channel off France’s Eutelsat satellite. France pooh-poohs the ex-communist countries’ protests as paranoia. Russia cannot be treated both as a NATO ally and as an enemy, France’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy said this week. Yet that is how Russia seems to see things. Its new military doctrine paints NATO, and particularly its enlargement, as the biggest threat to Russia. The ex-communist states know that protesting against a done deal will only make them look weak and paranoid. Still, they don’t like it.
Now why would those small countries feel like that? HISTORY through the centuries? oopzz....DFO :eek:
In reply to astraltrader, exactly the point I was making ealier on concerning the on board weaponry.
However it seems that these ships will be sold "nu", and russian AA and ASM systems will be mounted.
(Where will they lodge the SS 19s ?) !
Because of their standard of build,ie no armour limited water-tight integrity.These ships (If purchased or built to French plans in Russia) Will need dedicated uptodate Escorts,costing Russia even more money! I can not see both types of ship being on line by 2015.Of course that is only my opinion...Regards Steve.
Russia one step closer to buying French warship
PARIS, March 3 (UPI) -- Paris and Moscow are negotiating on the sale of four warships to Russia as Baltic and Eastern European governments remain worried about a growing military threat from their former Cold War master.
At a news conference with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev this week in Paris, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said France and Russia launched "exclusive negotiations" on the sale of four Mistral amphibious assault carriers built by France.
"This is a symbol of trust between our countries," said Medvedev, who is eager to acquire the warships to modernize the Russian navy's aging fleet. "I hope that these negotiations will be crowned by success."
France has in the past months intensely lobbied for the multibillion-dollar deal. Last November, a Mistral vessel sailed to St. Petersburg to convince the Kremlin to agree to what would be its largest arms deal signed with a Western country and the first major one with a NATO member.
The 650-foot Mistral is capable of transporting and deploying 16 helicopters, up to 70 vehicles and 450 soldiers, although troop numbers can be doubled for short-term deployment. The ship has an estimated price of $750 million and can deploy four landing barges at great speed. Russia is mulling to buy three or four Mistral carriers and a license to build more of the ships itself.
Russian navy officials began calling for the vessel earlier this year, frustrated with the time it took their Black Sea fleet to carry out amphibious landing operations in the five-day war with Georgia in 2008.
But the deal is highly controversial with Russia's neighbors.
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has lashed out at Paris, saying that a Mistral carrier would enable Russia to invade all former Soviet Republics "within hours" instead of weeks. The prospective sale is "very unusual and very, very risky," he said last month in London.
Estonia warned that Paris, with the sale, would hand Russia a considerable military advantage in the Baltic Sea.
Paris has tried to appease those concerns. The country's European Affairs chief Pierre Lellouche last month told officials in Lithuania that the Mistral would be sold to Russia as a civilian vessel without military equipment.
The typical armament for a Mistral contains of two Simbad missile launchers and four 12.7mm M2-HB Browning machine guns.
Umm...what about the ASSUALT and GUNSHIP helicopters that are the "main weapons" + the troops??? Guess the article "overlooked" those...after all they will be Russian sourced......DFO :rolleyes:
Of course they could also sell them tanks without turrets and call them bulldozers !
Mistral Procurement Disguises Weak Condition of the Black Sea Fleet
Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 7 Issue: 46March 9, 2010 03:14 PM Age: 2 daysCategory: Eurasia Daily Monitor, Military/Security, Home Page, Russia
By: Roger McDermott
Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev’s, recent trip to Paris for bilateral talks with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy, followed by receiving the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in Moscow on March 5, intensified speculation over the procurement of the amphibious helicopter landing ship, Mistral, and the future of the Black Sea Fleet base in the Crimea (Interfax, March 2-5). Also, on March 5, the Russian Defense Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov stated that Moscow wants to purchase one helicopter carrier abroad and build three identical platforms on its own territory. While reiterating that in addition to the ongoing negotiations with France, talks were also in progress with the Netherlands and Spain, he dismissed the criticism made by some analysts that the Mistral acquisition represents mere pleasure boats. Serdyukov specifically noted that the Mistral-type vessel “can perform a lot of functions, from a command ship to a hospital, a landing ship, or a helicopter carrier” (Rossiya TV, March 5).
An anonymous Russian military-diplomatic source told Interfax that the talks with Paris were progressing satisfactorily, and are expected to result in contracts being signed by the end of the year. According to the source, the first Mistral-type vessel will be built in France, the second produced jointly in Russia and an additional two ships built domestically in Russian shipyards. Moreover, the number was not coincidental, since one vessel each will be procured by the Northern, Pacific, Baltic and Black Sea Fleets (BSF), “primarily as command and control ships” (Interfax, March 3). This makes sense as the Russian armed forces in general are in the early stages of adopting network-centric warfare capabilities, on which point President Medvedev told an expanded session of the defense ministry board on March 5 to step up the work of modernization in this area, while more specifically in naval terms it would significantly enhance the capability of the Russian navy to conduct sixth generation warfare.
On February 26, NATO Secretary-General Special Representative Robert Simmons downplayed Moscow’s declarations concerning the strengthening of the BSF with frigates and submarines in response to Romania's decision to deploy US ballistic missile defense components on its territory (Interfax, March 3).
Alexander Khramchikhin, the Deputy Director of the Moscow-based Institute for Political and Military Analysis, questioned the justification for deploying Mistral-type vessels in the Black Sea, in the absence of the necessary supporting ships and infrastructure. Admiral (retired) Vladimir Solovyev, who headed the BSF intelligence for 12 years prior to his retirement, highlighted the weakened condition of the fleet: arguing that it is not capable of fulfilling its minimum number of tasks. He lamented the lack of progress on renovating existing ships, and suggested it now relies on naval aviation and infantry to carry out any offensive mission (Svobodnaya Pressa, March 3).
Apart from the guided missile cruiser Moskva and the Kerch, Ochakov has been written off and there are plans to scrap three more destroyers. There are up to 50 units of various vessels, cutters and support ships based at Sevastopol. Solovyev noted that the Moskva entered service in 1983. Yet, the Kommuna rescue ship is almost 100 years old, originally designed to aid submarines in the Imperial Russian Navy; it remains operational and is included in the constant readiness forces (Svobodnaya Pressa, March 3). According to Mikhail Babich, the Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Defense, and a known critic of the ongoing military reform, in 2000 the defense budget reached 141 billion rubles ($4.74 billion) of which 81 billion rubles ($2.72 billion) was spent on the state defense order. In 2008, the budget was 1.136 trillion rubles ($38.2 billion), while in 2009 the state defense order amounted to 365 billion rubles ($12.2 billion). Despite these figures reflecting only nominal growth, after calibrating annual inflation, and increases in production costs this did not result in any breakthrough in supplying the armed forces with new weapons and equipment (Zaftra, March 5).
Other independent experts are equally critical of the Mistral procurement as a means of addressing the current condition of the Russian navy. Ruslan Pukhov, the Director of the Moscow-based Center of Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST) summarized the venture: “When we cannot build the necessary number of corvettes and frigates, let alone destroyers, throwing away several hundred million Euros on an obvious luxury item is like living in a hovel and buying a Bentley and parking it in the yard together with old bangers. This is an obvious attempt by a pauper to buy a luxury item” (Center TV, March 7).
Although Serdyukov’s reforms have received clear political backing from President Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, insufficient attention has been paid to naval reform or modernization. The plan to relocate the Navy headquarters from Moscow to St. Petersburg was postponed last year, partly as a result of the economic crisis and fierce opposition from serving admirals. The Mistral procurement also arouses suspicion, both among the naval top brass and within the defense industry. The navy has little to boast about, and seems plagued by the weaknesses of the Bulava program and the new generation Project 885 Yesen-class nuclear powered attack submarines. The trials of the Project 677 Sankt-Peterburg submarine have now entered their fifth year, with no conclusion in sight; the construction and design of other series-built corvettes and combat-support ships have witnessed similar delays (Zaftra, March 5).
Moreover, a Kremlin spokesman reportedly disclosed to Vedomosti in early February that the Mistral issue has caused division within the Russian Security Council. It appears that while Serdyukov has actively backed foreign acquisition, the majority of security officials oppose it. Nevertheless, Medvedev has offered his backing to forging a deal, which although it serves to reveal fractures within NATO, equally exposes a divided approach toward the Alliance in Moscow (www.politkom.ru, March 5).
Indeed, in the context of the slow pace of shipbuilding and the procurement of modern types of naval armament it is unclear how the Mistral acquisition might reignite domestic production capabilities. Equally, it is telling that in June 2009, when the Chief of the General Staff, Army-General Nikolai Makarov, gave an extensive two hour and thirty minute press conference explaining the aims and motives underlying the reforms, that so little of his speech referred to the future of the navy (transcript, Kommersant, July 12, 2009).
oh my!!!! DFO :eek::D:D
And from GEORGIA....................(no, not the Peachtree State...)
Why France Sold the Mistral Warships to Russia
It is now official, France will be the first NATO country to sell Russia Mistral-class amphibious assault ships. This announcement came on March 1 after a meeting lasting just one hour between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev at the Elysee Palace near the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
The Russian tradition of treating economic transactions between two countries as primarily instruments of influence and the means to achieve political goals and only secondarily means of economic development and modernisation was upheld in Paris last week. In accepting the French offer (details of which will be negotiated in the coming weeks) Russia shunned better commercial deals from Spain, Netherlands and South Korea, countries also building Mistral-Type command ships for half the price the French have put on the table. Despite the Spanish Buque de Proyeccion Estrategica (BPE)’s competitive edge over the Mistral (it is bigger than the French vessel) and the fact that it won an international competition when the Australian Navy bought two of them instead of French Mistrals, Russia gave in to France’s political weight and privileged political, strategic and non-economic considerations with its decision.
The main issue is why France, in spite of mounting criticism from some of its North Atlantic allies, the Baltic States, Poland and Georgia, is cosying up to unlawful breaches by Russia of the August 12, 2008 ceasefire agreement. We can distinguish four general causes of France’s readiness to sell Mistral vessels to Russia, all of them having more to do with the French domestic situation than grand foreign policy schemes.
Many analysts have suggested that economic necessity drives Medvedev’s establishment of partnership with Sarkozy. They have it partly wrong. The opposite is also true: economic necessity is at the heart of France’s pursuit of deeper relations with Russia.
The French industrial sector is considered by many a shipwreck. It is seriously threatened with death. Manufacturing production and investment in that sector suffered a 13% plunge in 2009, while 196,000 jobs disappeared, representing 42% of job losses. France’s share of exports in the eurozone has dropped from 16 to 12.5% since 2000. Warning signs of decay are multiplying in the French economy and infrastructures: numerous breakdowns in the rail transport system, significant drop in the production of nuclear energy due to inadequate and ageing equipment, frequent power grid failures in the western and southern part of the country.
At the international level, trade and industrial setbacks have accumulated in the last ten years: Siemens’ pullout from a joint venture with Areva, the world's biggest nuclear reactor builder, forcing the French company to buy back shares in its nuke reactor for some 2 billion Euros (about US $3 billion), Areva’s reactor construction disaster in Finland, where the French state-owned nuclear power group had to pay billions of euros in penalties for delays and overruns and, adding to its woes, the galling loss of a contract to supply four reactors to Abu Dhabi (South Korea got the contract), which could be interpreted as a failure for President Sarkozy as he had travelled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to promote Areva’s bid, the failure to get contracts for the construction of 42 high-speed rail lines in China and Saudi Arabia (the Medina-Mecca project) and Poland’s decision in 2004 to give China the contract to build a 49 kilometre highway. Problems in the French industrial sector are so serious that the highly respected French weekly magazine Le Point published an article in its February 4 issue entitled “Why We [France] Lose Mega Projects.”
The French economy cannot do without its industrial sector as it is essential for France’s economic growth. ( Too bad the USA can't figure that one out,for our economy...DFO) Contrary to the British economy, the French economy cannot thrive strictly on the service, finance or construction sectors. The industrial sector is the driving force behind employment growth and job reallocation fluctuation. For each new job in industry, between 6 and 10 more jobs are created in the service sector. Also, an economy without factories is an economy without R & D (Research and Development) dynamism, export and productivity gains. Also, industrial development and growth is the surest vector of integration into the global economy. In France, the industrial sector has lost almost two million jobs in the last three decades and the current world crisis is only accelerating this trend which started in the early 1980s. President Sarkozy has made it a priority to turn round this trend, which Jacques Attali and Nicolas Baverez, two prominent French economists and intellectuals, have dubbed “le declinisme.” On March 4, the French President announced that the French Government would take steps to support the French industrial and manufacturing sectors. The Mistral deal with Russia is reflective of this new emphasis on helping French industrialists.
The second cause of the impending Mistral carrier sale to Russia is France’s relative economic decline (“declinism”) compared with Germany and the continual rise in the economic cooperation between Germany and Russia. France estimates it can find a niche in the arms trade with Russia since Germany is not really active on that market with its eastern neighbour.
France and Germany have entered into a divergent phase in economic and industrial development. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the reunification of the two Germanys in 1990, German industrialists have been able to raise Germany’s competitiveness and strengthen the high-tech sector, so that, compared to France, Germany is now well-positioned to take advantage of the coming growth upswing in emerging markets (47% of German exports go to emergent markets, while they absorb only 25% of total French exports). Bonn’s timely employment policy has helped contain unemployment (7.7% against 9.8% in France). Germany has also managed to eliminate its budget’s structural deficit (6.2% in France) and to control public spending as a ratio to GDP (45% of GDP, despite almost US $2 billion invested in the reunification, against 56% of GDP in France).
The German-Russian strategic partnership is also worrying Paris. In 2008 German-Russian foreign trade volume grew by 19.8% to more than 68 billion Euros. That year Russia became, for the first time, the top German trading partner in Eastern Europe, ahead of Poland. German exports to Russia reached a volume of 32.3 billion Euros, almost equal to its export volume to China (34 billion Euros), a much more populous country than Russia (population of 142 million). Russian statistics show that more than 6,000 German companies are registered in Russia, and that they had invested US $17.4 billion by the end of 2008. However, the investment volume is significantly higher in reality since many German enterprises conduct their investment transactions in third countries, such as Austria or the Netherlands. Because of the world economic downturn, economic activity between Germany and Russia slightly decreased in 2009.
L’Elysee in Paris is mindful that the long-term sustained growth of German-Russian trade stands in sharp contrast to the development of France-Germany or Germany-US business relations.
The third reason for the Mistral transaction is Sarkozy’s low popularity among French voters only two years before the next French Presidential election. Refusing to sign a contract with Russia worth hundreds of millions of euros and securing the jobs of thousands of French workers, in a grim world economic context, on the phony pretext that Russia constitutes a military threat, eminent or not, to French, European or NATO interests would surely prompt French workers to organize demonstrations and picketing throughout the country and for many days. Moreover, Sarkozy and the French Government are facing the last test before the 2012 Presidential election with regional elections to be held on March 14 and 21. In fact, Sarkozy and the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP) candidates (“la droite”) are sure to lose these elections. The main issue is what will be the magnitude of the defeat of the right. Sarkozy is currently so out of favour that he has taken a back seat in these regional elections and let Prime Minister Francois Fillon, more popular, run the electoral campaign for the right.
Finally, the growing Franco-Russian cooperation is a result of the lingering anti-Americanism in French politics and society. Anti-Americanism in France is associated with Gaullism (the UMP is a member of this political family) and “sovereignism” (primacy of national sovereignty). General de Gaulle’s foreign policy has left a lasting impression on France’s political forces, on the right as well as on the left. Almost all political parties baulk at losing control of France’s sovereignty and destiny. The result is a succession of foreign policy actions intended on quelling the excessive power of the US in world affairs. French foreign policy toward Russia, and the Mistral sale is an obvious example, is guided by a persistent desire to give France the capacity to impact on global issues and retain a role as a major international actor. France will turn a deaf ear to US (and Georgian) sabre-rattling on the Mistral affair.
Richard Rousseau, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of Georgia.
Truly gr8 to have "FRIENDS".........DFO :eek::rolleyes:
Quite right, several points here,
Isn't the Black Sea Fleet virtually condemned to be replaced by a fleet in the Med. based at TARTOUS in SYRIA ? It is common knowledge that despite and because of the Georgian crisis, Ukraine considers Russia an unwanted "visitor". Sevastopol will normally be closed as a Russian naval base in a very forseeable future.
It is reasonable to state that economic reasons as well as those of international prestige will certainly ensure the sale of this package to Russia.
It will be sold without arms, the Rusians do have very effective AA ASW weapons systems, which they will maintain. It would be unlikely that they would be intrested in buying foriegn missiles or canons, anyway.
The advantage for France is that the Mistral is not some drawing board concept, the first unit is already on the water for quite some time now.
Finally, what must Obama expect ? He has openly snobbed M.SARKOZY in the past.
France is one of the few countries with the UK which can offer coherent forces in overseas interventions. Germany and others, despite their economic strength are quite incapable of doing so.
What is certain the Russians won't be buying TARAWA...................
Cavalry Man, regarding your first point you seem to have overlooked that the Ukraine now has a pro-Moscow government which has already stated that it will be talking to Moscow about the BLack Sea fleet's current parking lot. The intention being to let it stay there past the end of the current arrangement!!
Point taken, but being a democratic country, the next elections, even in several years time, could change everything.
Thus the renewed activity at TARTOUS.
The result of the recent election was far from a landslide victory too, and she did have a very pretty hairdo the ex-presidente !
This is true, but unfortunately elections in those former USSR countries, and in Russia itself, do not exactly come out as being fairly run. There appear to be many doubters. You may recall that in the last Russian election, or before it, two anti-Putin candidates were mysteriously gunned down, so that the vote would only go one way. We will just have to wait and see if there is an election in a few years time.
In reply to Mik, sure democracy is a four letter word in many of these republics, however, there was always not only a strong anti-Soviet but anti-Russian feeling in Ukraine.
(Something that, fortunately for all, A.Hitler did not exploit to his own advantage in the early forties)
Knowing several Ukrainians, these people are not all favourable to the new régime, which as I stated, truly enough, was far from winning a landslide victory in the last election...............
Finally, our American "friends" would be better advised than to poke the "old bear's " rear end with a stick again, as they did in Georgia, it is always the innocent populations who pay the hardest..............
Well here is one US Congressperson's POV.........
Top US lawmaker slams France-Russia warship deal
(AFP) – 20 hours ago
WASHINGTON — France should abandon its proposed sale of four advanced warships to Russia, which could inflict "irreparable damage" on NATO and transatlantic ties, a top US lawmaker warned Friday.
"This sale threatens to shake the NATO alliance to its core, bolstering Russia's offensive military capabilities as it intensifies its campaign of intimidation against neighboring countries," said Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Writing in The Hill, a newspaper focused on the US Congress, the Florida lawmaker urged her colleagues to back a non-binding resolution she authored declaring "unequivocal opposition" to the transaction.
"By going through with its proposed sale of Mistral ships to Russia, France risks causing irreparable damage to the NATO alliance and the trans-Atlantic relationship," she wrote.
"Empowering Russia with such capabilities blatantly undermines the security of those NATO allies that are withstanding Russia?s policies of intimidation and outright aggression," she said.
France announced in March that it had entered into "exclusive" talks with Russia on the sale of the four Mistral-class amphibious assault ships, capable of carrying up to 16 helicopters and a 750-strong landing force.
If the deal goes through, it would be the first sale of advanced military technology by a NATO country to Russia.
France has argued that Russia must be treated like a partner and not a threat in Europe, but it has been unable to alleviate deep misgivings from the Baltic countries, Georgia and also the United States over the sale.
Concerns were heightened in December, when a Russian naval commander said a Mistral would have been useful in August 2008 when Russian forces were battling Georgia's military.
Now why should anyone be concerned, just some good ole international business...right??? Then again given the cost of the Mistral's versus our OVER budget "gator navy" USN designs...maybe we should buy them!!! :D DFO :rolleyes:
I expect the fact that the United States and other European countries disapprove of this transaction to Russia will not cause the French any feelings of dismay.
If anything at all it would fit in nicely with their foreign policy that since the days of De Gaulle has been driven by anti-Americanism....
Gee, now what would give you the FIRST clue ?? Agreed, given the French "attitude" at least since De Gaulle, if anything it will probably help push the deal through.
OTOH...what goes around, comes around.........DFO :rolleyes:
Having lived in France for over thirty years now, I'm astonished to hear talk of "anti-Americanism". Go to PARIS in any summer day and you'll find more americans there than in NEW YORK !
The Americans are held in very high esteem, and France is very proud of its' historic links with this country. Certain French Army Regiments have the American "Distinguished Unit Badge" on their uniforms to this day.
Indeed as I write, French and American (and British) troops are in operations, side by side, in Afghanistan.
However, France has since the second war, wished to maintain an independence in its international decisions, as in any many cases Great Britain
Glad to have got that off my chest ! :mad:
I am not arguing with what you say, but I was of course referring to the attitudes and policies of the various French Governments since the 1960`s. DeGaulles anti-Americanism was well known and has been well documented. Successive French governments have to a varying degree taken the same stance since then.
If you had read my previous posts you will have seen that I was referring to the ingratitude shown by De Gaulle towards those that had helped him and his Free French Army during WW2.
Yesterday while being in Moscow I heard from the radio, that the decision of buying 4 CVH of this class from France is already made. :confused:
more on this purchase................
Russia to Order French Mistral LHDs?27-May-2010 12:19 EDT
In August 2009, Russian media reported that their country was planning to take a radical step, and buy a French Mistral class amphibious assault ship (LHD) by the end of 2009. The outlet quoted the Chief of the Russian General Staff, Gen. Nikolai Makarov, who said that: “We are negotiating the purchase of one ship at present, and later planning to acquire 3-4 ships [of the same class] to be jointly built in Russia.” A Russian order would represent a sea change on several fronts – and also the extension of some trends.
France currently operates 2 Mistral class LHDs, and recently ordered a 3rd using economic stimulus funds. Unlike some other LHD designs, the Mistral class cannot operate fixed wing aircraft. Even so, it’s an important tool of power projection. Mistral class ships can carry and deploy up to 16 helicopters, including attack helicopters like France’s Tiger or Russia’s Ka-50/52. Its main punch revolves around its 4 landing barges or 2 medium hovercraft, however, which deliver armored vehicles, tanks, and soldiers to shore. The vessel is equipped with a 69-bed hospital, and could be used as an amphibious command ship…
For one thing, it would be the first major arms import deal since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The second change is that Russia’s current defense procurement program through 2015 did not envision construction or purchases of large combat ships. A new program is in development, however, and it would seem that Russian thinking is changing.
One aspect of that thinking is tactical. Control of littoral regions, which includes large stretches of Russia’s coasts and zones like the Baltic Sea and much of the Black Sea, depends heavily on helicopters and UAVs. Russian naval capabilities are limited in these areas, and during the recent war with Georgia, Russia failed to control the Georgian coast. Mistral Class LHDs would go a long way toward improving Russia’s capabilities in these areas, if coupled with the necessary training and equipment investments. The existence of Russia’s Ka-52 Alligator coaxial scout/attack helicopter would also add considerable attack punch to any Russian LHD.
The other aspect may well be industrial. Russia’s shipbuilding industry is clearly experiencing difficulties; major shipbuilders have defaulted on commercial contracts, and fiascos like the Admiral Gorshkov refit for India have blackened the global reputation of Russian defense products. Any Mistral class ship built in Russia would represent a naval project whose scale Russia hasn’t seen in well over a decade – which is why there’s a possibility that construction may even take place in France, using equipment shipped from Russia. Those industrial arrangements would be one of the matters up for negotiation, but the fact that Russia is even discussing a Mistral buy indicates a certain lack of confidence in Russian shipbuilding.
It may also be an opportunity, of course, if construction in Russia is accompanied by training in France, and imported engineering and project management expertise from France. If that project structure is accompanied by infrastructure investments within Russia, it would represent a key step forward in revitalizing the naval sector of Russia’s defense industries, following their decimation in the wake of the Cold War.
The foundations for cooperation on a program of this size have been laid on several fronts over the last few years. France’s Thales already provides components for Russia’s front line military equipment, from tank gunnery sights to avionics and targeting pods for Russian-built fighters. Recent memoranda of understanding for cooperation in naval R&D (Thales) and defense R&D more generally (EADS) build on the 2006 MoU between DCN and the Russian government to develop technical, industrial and commercial co-operations between the Mistral’s builder and Russia’s naval defence industry.
Persistent reports from Russia indicate that the Mistral is not the only option Russia has been investigating. Reports consistently cite Spain, where Navantia makes the BPE and related Canberra Class LHDs. These ships have a “ski ramp” up front that the Mistral lacks, and have the ability to operate STOL/STOVL fighters in addition to helicopters. The other country cited is the Netherlands. Royal Schelde’s Rotterdam Class is a more conventional LPD design with good helicopter capacity, but without a flattop deck.
The Mistral Class BPC/LHDs
The 21,300 ton Mistral Class “BPC” (Batiments de Projection et de Commandement) ships operate as helicopter carriers and amphibious assault transports, with secondary capabilities as command ships, and an on-board hospital. Propulsion comes from 2 electric-powered maneuverable thruster pods, similar to those used on cruise ships, with 2 more bow thrusters for added maneuverability in tight situations.
Mistral Class vessels normally carry 450 equipped troops for up to 6 months, but can raise this figure to 700 troops or evacuees for short periods. Normal hospital capacity is 69 beds, with a fully-equipped operating room. That capacity can also be expanded in emergencies, by appropriating other ship spaces. The command post section is not expandable, but has workstations for up to 150 personnel.
The Mistral Class ships are slightly smaller than contemporaries like Navantia’s BPE/ Canberra Class LHDs, or Italy’s Cavour Class aircraft carrier/LHDs, and lack the ski jump that gives their contemporaries fixed-wing aviation capability as well. Exercises off the American coast have demonstrated compatibility with heavy-lift helicopters in the front (#1) landing slot, however, and well deck compatibility with LCAC hovercraft as well as the conventional landing ships.
Mistral Class helicopter capacity is about 1,800 square meters, accommodating up to 16 machines with size “footprints” similar to the NH90 medium helicopter or Eurocopter Tiger scout/attack helicopter. Heavy helicopters like the much larger American CH-53E can use the #1 landing spot, over the bow, if “lilly pad” operations are required. Vehicle storage capacity is 2,650 square meters, accommodating an estimated 60 wheeled armored vehicles, or 13 Leclerc tanks, plus associated munitions.
Built to commercial passenger ship standards, the Mistral Class currently carries very light defensive systems, consisting of 4 machine gun stations, a pair of 30mm guns, and a pair of manual Simbad twin-launchers for MBDA’s very short-range Mistral anti-aircraft missiles. Deployment in zones that feature anti-ship missiles, such as the 2006 evacuation off of Lebanon, requires protective escort ships.
Updates and Key Events
May 26/10: A RIA Novosti report outlines the shape of the Mistral deal, while repeating past reports that Russia is also in discussions with Spain and the Netherlands. According to the Barents Observer translation, however, negotiations with the French are in their final stages.
As reported, the deal would see the first ship built entirely abroad. Russian shipbuilders would participate in manufacturing ships 2 & 3, and the 4th ship would be built entirely in Russia. Minister of Defense Anatoly Serdyukov appears to be trying to allay concerns over Georgia by saying that the first 2 ships will be deployed in the Northern and the Pacific Fleets. This will not make NATO members like the Baltic states feel any better.
Happy days are coming! Uh-huh....DFO :rolleyes:
Hi DFO.I bet Georgia and other former satalite states are really pleased about that! This deal will give Russia back her once considerable amphipious capability.
Now now, with piece loving czar vlad at the helm...what could go wrong?? DFO :rolleyes:
...what could go wrong ?
The RN is building 2 new carriers...
France may come onboard and buy an additional unit, or more maybe, but not for personal consumption you know.
...Now where was that 4th carrier, because it is not in Pompey or Toulon.
Gee, and the Russians never called us about our LHAs we have laying around for sale and/or whatever...they are very big and easily updateable. I am hurt! We were running a special on the one in reserve here in Hawaii.
Well apparently things were very much on the cards for a while.
Certain French ship builders are going to be more than happy about this, and the workers, far from demonstrating, are happy their livelihood has been assured for a few more years.
As to the rights and wrongs, would there have been such a hullabaloo if the Russians had tried to buy an ex USS ship ?;)
Looks like it is OFFICIAL now....aaaahh, that's what FRIENDS are for...right?? DFO
France to build 2 helicopter carriers Mistral for Russia
PARIS, July 23 (Itar-Tass) -- France will build two helicopter carriers Mistral for Russia, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Friday. He arrived at the naval shipyards of the company STX in Saint Nazaire on the Atlantic coast, where these warships will be built. These shipyards, which are badly in need of new contracts, employ 2,280 people and the same number of people work in the companies of subcontractors.
“Together with our Russian friends we will build these warships. The contract is still under discussion, but the decision to build them is obvious,” the president told the shipyard workers.
Mistral is a cutting-edge multi-purpose warship produced in France. Warships of this type can perform the functions of a helicopter carrier, a dockship, a troop carrier, a floating hospital, a landing ship and a command warship. The Mistral deck can deploy six helicopters, and ten more helicopters are on standby in the hangar. The Mistral can ship 60 off-road vehicles or 13 combat tanks and 450 fully equipped paratroopers and up to 900 people without weapons and outfits. The dock compartment is designed for two aircushion landing motorboats or four motorboats for the landing of tanks.
Oh NO...say it's not true!!!! :eek:
Russian deal for French Mistrals in limboPublished: July 26, 2010 at 1:43 PM
PARIS, July 26 (UPI) -- France has said that it will press ahead with the sale of two state-of-the-art amphibious ships for the Russian navy.
Still, doubts over the fate of the deal were cast over the weekend when a senior Russian admiral warned that the sale could be suspended if France refused to accompany the sale with technology transfers.
In an interview with Ekho Moskvy radio, Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky said the purchase of the Mistral-class helicopter hinged on the "transfer of key, fundamental technologies," The Moscow Times reported. Otherwise, he said, it would be pointless.
The admiral's threat came on the heels of remarks that President Nicolas Sarkozy made, saying the deal was certain.
"With our Russian friends, you are going to build the two BPCs," Sarkozy said, the BBC reported, referring to the acronym used to describe the vessel.
"We're still negotiating the contract but the decision to go ahead is certain."
The shipyard faces sweeping job losses should the deal fail to go through.
Most importantly, though, the deal has drawn concern from NATO allies apprehensive the transfer of Western naval technology to their former Cold War foe.
If clinched -- along with rights to construct several other vessels of the same class in Russia -- the deal would mark the most important transfer of military equipment to Russia by a NATO member country.
Designed to attack the shore from the sea, the Mistral class is viewed as an ideal weapon for Russia against possible uprising by nearby countries.
Details on the deal remain sketchy, but Russian officials have suggested that the price tag for each vessel was estimated at around $380 million. French officials have also indicated that the building of the ships would be a "50-50 project."
The Mistral amphibious assault ship can carry 16 heavy or 35 light helicopters, dozens of tanks and more than 900 soldiers.
Russia owns only one Soviet-built aircraft carrier, which is much smaller than its U.S. counterparts and is considered outdated.
In all, Russia was expressed interest in buying four Mistral ships with the prospect also of eventually building such vessels on Russian soil.
U.S. politicians and the governments of new NATO members on the Baltic fear the Mistral's addition to the Russian fleet would encourage the Kremlin to throw its weight around in its backyard and use it against uprisings in neighboring countries.
With its cutting edge technology, the Mistral is prided as the most powerful asset of the French fleet.
Negotiating...Russian STYLE??? DFO ;)
DISINFORMATION to put pressure on France for a better deal???
Russia: No to Mistral in favor of the South Korean Dokdo class helicopter carrier?Moscow, Russia - To Russian shipbuilding industries consortium maybe more convenient to develop future cooperative relationships Moscow-Seoul
(WAPA) - Russian consortium Osk asked (through an official letter sent by its President Roman Trotsenko to Defence Minister Anatoly Serdioukov) the ministry of Defence to consider the purchase of South Korean helicopter carrier Dokdo class instead of formalizing the since-months-spoken contract with France for Mistral. This one includes purchase of a single one and construction of three in industrial facilities in Russia. Osk would not have little to say in the business. It is a consortium that brings together the shipbuilding industries of the country, justify its proposal with the benefits that would flow from a military-economic cooperation with Seoul, reported yesterday Russian press agency "Ria Novosti" from a source inside the consortium.
The consortium source also commented as published by the Moscow daily "Kommersant" on an alternative to the Mistral, declaring that it is precisely the Dokdo, whose cost is estimated at 650 million dollars. "I confirm that letters were sent from time to defense minister Serdioukov and commander of naval forces Vladimir Vyssotski - 'Ria Novosti' reports -but we have not yet received a reply".
"The consortium - continues the source - estimated there are in the world many other alternatives to Mistral. But Dokdo is among the most profitable in terms of value for money and the prospects of mutual cooperation. This would result convenient for both Moscow and Seoul, following future those mutual cooperation". In this regard, he indicated that the two countries could join in the implementation of a yard to build tankers and cargo ships of large tonnage in Russian Far East.
The amphibious landing ship Dokdo was launched and built by South Korean Hanjin Heavy Industries & Constructions in 2005 at its plant in Busan, to improve the amphibious capability of the country in terms of aggression in military operations other than war. In 2007 was commissioned by the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy. It can embark amphibious assault vehicles (AAV), two lookouts LCAC (Landing Craft Air Cushion), and can hangar 10 UH-60 type helicopters. A diesel engine assures a cruise of 23 knots per hour.
Its armament includes system RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile and its surface flight, sprayed with urethane, can also be used by aircraft with vertical take-off capacity as the Harrier. (Avionews)
OK, but is the DODKO exactly the same type of ship as the MISTRAL ? The MISTRAL is less a helicopter carrier than an amphibious assault command ship.
As indicated in another thread, work continues on the Russian's own amphibious assault ship the IVAN GREN which is nearing completion.
More from our COMRADES in Moscow.......
French warships for Russia to be armed with Ka-52 helicopters
Topic: Russia's purchase of French Mistral-class warship
16:07 14/08/2010© RIA Novosti. Anton DenisovRelated News
Russia to define Mistral purchase scheme - Navy
Russia set to buy Mistral with transfer of French technologies
Russian Air Force to get dozens of helicopters if Mistral deal agreed
PTC seeks role in adapting Mistral for Russian Navy
He emphasized that the Ka-52 Alligator helicopters are very advanced and are equal to best foreign models.
The Ka-52 is armed with 30-mm cannon, Vikhr (Whirlwind) laser guided missiles, rockets, including S-24s, as well as bombs.
The Ka-52 is a modification of the basic Ka-50 Hokum model. The development of the Ka-52 started in 1994 in Russia, but its serial production began only in 2008.
The helicopter is also equipped with two radars, one for ground and one for aerial targets and a Samshite nighttime-daytime thermal sighting system.
Russia is negotiating the purchase of at least one French-built Mistral-class amphibious assault ship and plans to build three more vessels of the same class in partnership with the French naval shipbuilder DCNS.
A Mistral-class ship is capable of transporting and deploying 16 helicopters, four landing barges, up to 70 armored vehicles including 13 battle tanks, and 450 personnel.
The Russian military has said it plans to use Mistral ships in its Northern and Pacific fleets.
Many Russian military and industry experts have questioned the financial and military sense of the purchase, and some believe that Russia simply wants to gain access to advanced naval technology that could be used in the future in potential conflicts with NATO and its allies.
In April, the head of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, Mikhail Dmitriev, said the Mistral deal would be concluded by the end of the year.
MOSCOW, August 14 (RIA Novosti)
Yes indeed, lot's of FRIENDLY AID can be delivered by these...30 mm style..........DFO
[QUOTE=astraltrader;98302]"...these Mistral Class ships are only built to commercial cruise ship standards and they currently only carry very light defensive systems..."
I find this simply amazing. I can imagine no amphibious scenario in a war zone that would not place these ships at extreme risk, yet the French put no more effort into these ships than you would a good cruise liner? I am sure they would be fabulous in the disaster assistance role, but one would think they would at least have a better defensive capability in line with the other amphibious classes in various countries. Admittedly, battleship armour isn't the answer, but ships operating in the littoral should be able to defend themselves.
I guess this, to me, is littorally ridiculous. :D
Or perhaps it tis a bit of "disinformation" to mask their true capabilities?? Obviously not going to match BB Jean Bart, but still...one must wonder what French troops are "worth"??! If the ship gets "easily" shot out from under them before they get to land.....about as useful as a disabled cruise ship.
OTOH the RN's late WW2 CVLs were all built to "merchant standards" and most lead long, useful lives......... DFO :eek:
After reading up on this class of ship i have found that the French Naval Commanders will not sail tis ship into harms way without an upgrade to the existing self-defense weapons fit. Moreover the lost of ships capable of escorting this ship into battle have place grave doubt's as to use of these ship's in littoral or guerrilla warfare arena.
As to Ka-52 i have read nothing to indicate it maybe equal to anything the west has. Not based on weapons fit but on actual fly-off competition for overseas markets.
Russia, France locked in Mistral talks
Published: Sept. 13, 2010 at 8:42 AM
PARIS, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Russia says it is waiting for France to provide additional financial details before making a final decision on the purchase of helicopter carriers for its navy.
Talks between Paris and Moscow have been mired by disputes for months, with the Kremlin throwing open the contract to an international tender last month.
Still, recent statements made by senior Russian military officials Moscow have confirmed that France and Russia are in exclusive talks for the purchase of Mistral-class ships.
In a recent meeting with his French counterpart, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said negotiations were "proceeding intensively" and "include a number of technology transfers."
In separate remarks, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov told Moscow's ITAR-Tass news agency that the Kremlin was "expecting the detailed financial conditions" from France to push the deal to its final stages.
"We will examine them and then refer to experts, not just in Russia but also abroad," he added.
Serdyukov accompanied Lavrov during the Paris talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Designed to attack the shore from the sea, the Mistral class is viewed as an ideal weapon for Russia against possible uprising by nearby countries.
Details of the deal remain sketchy, but Russian officials have suggested that the price tag for each vessel was estimated at around $380 million. French officials have also indicated that the building of the ships would be a "50-50 project."
The Mistral amphibious assault ship can carry 16 heavy or 35 light helicopters, dozens of tanks and more than 900 soldiers.
The deal has drawn concern from NATO allies apprehensive the transfer of Western naval technology to their former Cold War foe. Still, if clinched -- along with rights to construct several other vessels of the same class in Russia -- the deal would mark the most important transfer of military equipment to Russia by a NATO member country.
Moscow's announcement last month to hold an international tender follows heated complaints raised by Russian shipbuilders claiming that it would be illegal for Moscow to seal the deal with France without a previous tender.
Defense News reported that other competitors considered for the carriers include Russia's Zvezvda shipbuilder in the Far East which has a joint venture with South Korea's Daewoo Marine Shipbuilding and Engineering.
With its cutting edge technology, the Mistral is prided as the most powerful asset of the French fleet.
Russia owns only one Soviet-built aircraft carrier, which is much smaller than its U.S. counterparts and is considered outdated.
In all, Russia has expressed interest in buying four Mistral ships with the prospect also of eventually building such vessels on Russian soil.
Shades of the refurbished Indian carrier "DEAL".......DFO :eek:
the latest update...........
France supports naval technology transfer to Russia
Topic: Russia's purchase of French Mistral-class warship
Russia and France are currently in talks on a 2+2 scheme, whereby Russia will buy two French Mistral-class amphibious assault ships and build another two at home.
France is ready to transfer warship technology to Russia, Prime Minister Francois Fillon said on Thursday.
"We see no problem in transferring technology," Fillon said at a joint news conference with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Russia and France are currently in talks on a 2+2 scheme, whereby Russia will buy two French Mistral-class amphibious assault ships and build another two at home.
Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) and France's shipbuilder DCNS in November signed an agreement to form a consortium, which is seen as the most likely winner of a Russian tender to build the two ships
Fillon said he was sure that the talks would be completed.
MOSCOW, December 9 (RIA Novosti)
only for peace loving purposes of course. As it was announced yesterday that new CVs have been dropped from their building plans until at least 2020; fallback ship?......DFO ;)
more on their REVISED plans.......from a Naval Blog:
Russian Doctrine Said to Align Defense With Economics
The Eurasia Review has an interesting read on the new defense priorities coming from Russia. It began with the not very surprising announcement that Russia was not going to buy aircraft carriers. We are starting to get additional details that reveals the general direction Russia is heading.
Russia’s new naval doctrine, as shown by its plans for shipbuilding over the next decade, is not directed against the United States and the West as was the Soviet Union’s but rather is intended in the first instance to protect its economic interests on the continental shelf and to ensure that the sea lanes for delivering oil and gas remain open.
More and more details are coming out about Russia’s new naval doctrine, one that will redirect that country’s efforts away from the geo-political challenges of the past to the geo-economic ones of the future but that sets the stage in particular places for serious naval competitions involving the rising naval power of China, Japan and India.
The editors of the military affairs site, “Voennoye obozreniye,” surveyed leading Russian military experts about how they see Russia’s naval policy developing over the next decade. The experts identified four “main directions” in a plan that calls for adding 36 submarines and 40 surface ships.
The main point here is critical to understanding what is taking place in Russia in 2010 - it really isn't about us anymore. Dmitry Gorenburg has an interesting analysis up regarding the shifting view Russia is taking as it looks at the rest of the world, and where exactly Russia fits in the 21st century. What I find interesting is how Russia looks to their West, South, and East and finds Russia to be the best opportunity for everyone - and that opportunity for everyone else is also Russia's opportunity. It is a very optimistic view, but it makes sense if one no longer believes the power in the world will reside in North America - rather Europe and Asia will dominate the 21st century.
What I find interesting is how this is driving Russia's defense choices. A few years ago Russia was proclaiming themselves to be a future rising naval power, but with the recent carrier announcement that would not appear to be the case. Well, it is very unclear actually, because the western press is stating that Russia is choosing not to buy aircraft carriers because Russia can't afford it. That does appear true, but does not appear to be the whole truth. For example, the Russian defense budget wasn't necessarily reduced, indeed the money originally intended to buy aircraft carriers never went away - instead it appears reality sunk in.
First, Russia's shipbuilding industry is still too far behind to build aircraft carriers efficiently, the deal with India has proven that. If money isn't the real reason, but industrial capability and capability is, then it follows Russia would seek a way to build up the shipbuilding industry before venturing into aircraft carrier construction. That is probably why Russia has fast tracked the Mistral deal with France, which has gone from virtually nothing to almost a full blown contract in just over a year. Money isn't an issue with Mistral, and more importantly the upgrade to the industry is a necessary first step if Russia ever does want to build aircraft carriers in the future.
What has happened though is money has been shifted back towards the Army. The Russian Army has been going through a very painful and very expensive modernization - a transition intended to make the Army more expeditionary. Clearly the Mistral deal fits in with that objective, but the cost for modernization of the Army has been very high to date. Only with the extra money can the transition stay on track, and it looks like the extra money is coming out of the budget intended for aircraft carriers.
What we still haven't heard about is the plan for surface combatants. I know it was reported in July that Russia intends to modernize and return to service the cruisers Admiral Nakhimov, Admiral Lazarev, and Admiral Ushakov, but I still say that is very unlikely and to me - even more unbelievable than new aircraft carriers in 2020. A November 2010 press report indicated there was insufficient funding for the Sevmash shipyard to modernize the Admiral Nakhimov - and from what I have seen the Navy budget seems smaller. I have not seen details regarding what Russia plans the 40 surface combatant force to look like, but I suspect any new construction will mostly be frigates for the next several years, not destroyers or cruisers.
What does seem to have budget priority is Russia's submarine force. I've seen several estimates thrown around, the most common being a force of 8 SSBNs, 8 SSNs, 4 SSGNs, and 16 SSKs for a total of 36 submarines. Of all the naval vessels discussed in detail so far, the submarine force describes seems the most realistic. The Borei class continues to get substantial priority with funding which highlights Russia's priority on rebuilding their underwater nuclear deterrent, even though to date there is no question there has been enormous cost overruns fielding an effective submarine launched nuclear ballistic missile. The first Yasen class attack submarine is expected to be turned over to the Russian Navy next year, and at least 1 more is currently under construction with at least 5 more planned after that (including one expected to begin construction next year). The Lada class SSK is another example where there appears to be good funding, with the first complete and at least 2 under construction. 8 Lada class submarines are currently planned. Also noteworthy is 3 Kilo class submarines under construction for the Black Sea Fleet.
With a well funded submarine force, a few Misteal class LPDs, and what looks like a shift towards more frigates than cruisers, destroyers, or even aircraft carriers - the question is whether or not this force really is developed with the new doctrine in mind?
The answer appears to be - yes. The submarines will undoubtably be necessary for Arctic operations, not to mention projecting power globally with nuclear attack submarines. With economics on the mind of the Russian, submarines make a good investment due to the vast resources available offshore to Russia. While at first look it may look like Russia's Navy is suffering from contraction, to me it appears more similar to consolidation towards regional logistics centers. Will Russia seek overseas bases, and if so - where? I suspect Russia will try to make deals leaving the question whether anyone will actually make a deal with Russia.
BTW, this little tidbit in the Eurasia Review article was interesting.
In the course of the ongoing discussion of Russia’s naval operations, one extremely curious detail emerged. Russian commanders are now using Tatars to communicate among naval operators to ensure that the Japanese and the Americans do not understand Russian intentions just as the US used Navaho speakers during World War II.
I do wonder how effectively this would be against China.
meanwhile TASS proudly announced this "landmark" event........
Severodvinsk shipbuilders to launch modernised Novomoskovsk sub
ARKHANGELSK, December 13 (Itar-Tass) - The ceremony of commissioning of the K-407 Novomoskovsk strategic submarine missile cruiser will be held at the Zvezdochka repair shipyard in Severodvinsk on Monday. “The nuclear submarine will be launched after an interim overhaul and modernisation, the shipyard’s press service told Itar-Tass.
The Novomoskovsk strategic nuclear submarine is the sixth missile submarine of Project 667BDRM (Delfin class, Delta-4 by NATO classification) that has been modernised at the Zvezdochka shipyard. The enterprise has already modernised similar submarines – K-51 Verkhoturye (1999), K-84 Yekaterinburg (2003), K-114 Tula (2006), K-117 Bryansk (2008) and K-18 Karelia (2010). Their service live has been extended for 10 years as a result of the overhaul. By the transfer of the Novomoskovsk submarine to the navy the Severodvinsk shipbuilders will complete modernisation of all missile submarines of this series.
The Novomoskovsk submarine was built at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk and adopted for service in the army in 1990. The Delfin class submarines are armed with 16 intercontinental ballistic missiles. The 667BDRM submarine cruisers make the basis of the Russian sea-based strategic nuclear forces.
French Deal to Sell Ships to Russians Is Criticized
By DOREEN CARVAJAL
Published: December 28, 2010
But critics — particularly among Russia’s neighbors including Georgia, Estonia and Lithuania — are raising alarms that France may have pioneered the way for other Western countries to sell Russia whatever they have to offer, from high-technology military equipment to rights for oil pipelines.
“It’s a scandal,” said André Glucksmann, a French philosopher and critic of the deal. He said in an interview on Tuesday that the announcement was timed for the busy Christmas season to bury the “dirty details.”
The boxy, 600-foot-long Mistral vessel is an advanced helicopter carrier equipped with a command center and hospital for military landing operations. It is the first major arms purchase by Russia abroad and the first sale by a NATO country, illustrating the shifting role of an alliance once conceived to counter Soviet military power.
One of the sticking points in negotiations was whether the deal would include advanced naval weapons and defense systems. In the months leading to the deal, a series of French officials softened their stand, saying that France was willing to supply the technology without restrictions.
The French have said nothing in the last few days to spell out the level of technology the Russians will gain. But Russia’s neighbors are clearly worried.
“It’s a little bit premature to take this step because it establishes a precedent,” said Rasa Jukneviciene, the Lithuanian defense minister. In the past, she said, French officials assured Lithuania that sensitive technology would not be included. “But now we are getting information that it is included,” Ms. Jukneviciene said.
The Baltic states have long raised concerns, keenly aware of the comments of Russia’s naval chief, Adm. Vladimir S. Vysotsky, who last year bluntly evaluated the potential benefits the equipment could have offered during the five-day Georgian war in 2008: “Everything that we did in the space of 26 hours at the time, this ship will do within 40 minutes.”
Nino Kalandadze, Georgia’s deputy foreign minister, says that the ships can carry up to 16 helicopters and more than 450 troops, giving Moscow much greater command of its coastlines.
“We hope that Russia will use the ships according to international law as a self-defense mechanism,” Ms. Kalandadze said. “But Russia’s current leadership is not one that can always be trusted. It’s known for its disregard for international laws.”
Urmas Paet, the Estonian foreign minister, took a more muted view of the deal. “We do not see the sale of these two or possibly four ships as a major challenge for the security environment in the Baltic Sea region,” he wrote in an e-mailed response to questions. “The possible impact is still something that we have to take into account in our long-term planning.”
Under the deal, two of the ships will be built in the French shipyards of St.-Nazaire on France’s Atlantic coast and the next two will be built in St. Petersburg, Russia. The sale underlines Russia’s rising military ambitions and the deterioration of its own arms industry. It is struggling, for example, to finish repairs to upgrade the Admiral Gorshkov, a heavy-aircraft carrier purchased by India. Some analysts predict that construction of a Mistral ship in Russia will also lag.
“In principle, Russia is capable, but it will take a lot longer because the productivity here is inferior. France is more technologically advanced and also, there is no experience building a ship like this in Russia,” said Konstantin Makienko, deputy director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, a Russian research organization that analyzes the arms trade.
Much of the geopolitical wrangling about the deal emerged in secret American diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks. In February 2010, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates raised the issue with President Nicolas Sarkozy and France’s defense minister at the time, Hervé Morin.
According to the ambassador’s report of the meeting, Mr. Gates noted that Russia failed to honor an armistice in Georgia brokered by Mr. Sarkozy. Mr. Gates also was scornful of the top deal makers: “Russian democracy has disappeared, and the government is an oligarchy run by the security services.”
Do tell...........DFO :eek:
Trojan horse for Russian defense industry03.01.2011
Russia has finally decided to purchase two Mistral helicopter carriers from France in the total amount of 1.37 billion euros. It is not the first time when Russia concludes defense deals with France. However, the Mistral deal is the largest one in Russia's recent history when Russia purchased military hardware from a foreign state.
Mistral is quite a large vessel. Its tonnage measures 21,000 tons, its length makes up 210 meters. The ship is capable of developing the speed of over 18 knots (up to 35 km/h) with the cruising endurance of 37,000 kilometers. One Mistral can carry 16 helicopters. The crew totals 390 people. In addition, the vessel can carry up to 900 commandos, up to 40 armored vehicles or up to 70 cars.
Russia's high-ranking officials did not give any clear explanation to purchasing such vessels. It was only said that Russia needed the vessels with innovative technologies, because the country could not make such ships itself. Does Russia really need French Mistrals? Pravda.Ru asked expert opinion from the first vice president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, Konstantin Sivkov.
"There are actually no tasks, which foreign vessels would be executing within the structure of the Russian navy. Any vessel must be built in the system of armed forces and navy and have one specific purpose. One may say that there is no need in Mistral from this point of view. The Mistral is first and foremost designed for long-distance expeditionary missions and landing operations. This brings up a question of where to? The answer is clear with the French. They have interests in tropical Africa, and they built such vessels to defend their colonial policies in third world countries. What kind of colonies is Russia going to conquer?
Are we going to land in Latin America? The only direction, where Mistrals could be used, is Georgia, although isn't that too much attention to the small Georgia? Even if an armed conflict with Georgia occurs, such a large and poorly equipped vessel as Mistral is not good enough, taking into consideration the size of the Black Sea. Russia already has six commando ships, classes 775 and 1171, and they cope with their tasks perfectly.
"We are being told that the biggest advantage of the French boat is the ability to carry 16 helicopters. However, Russia's Moskva and Leningrad submarine hunters could carry 25 helicopters each. In addition, Russia does not have the required infrastructure to service the Mistral, and it will have to be built from the very start, which stipulates considerable investments.
"There is another aspect. With this purchase, Russia gives a signal to its former defense partners meaning that Russia has acknowledged the predominance of its former competitor on the arms market - France. Other countries will too show interest in French defense technologies. Therefore, the Mistral is like a Trojan horse for Russia.
"As for innovative technologies, which are supposedly used in the construction of the ship, there is probably only one, which I would like to mention. The aviation fuel pipeline comes near the cook house! This is quite an innovation indeed. To put it in a nutshell, the Mistral designers created quite a flammable ship.
"Moreover, purchasing Mistral, Russia finds itself dependent on Western technologies. Take a look at Venezuela that was purchasing F-16 fighters from the United States. When the ties between the two countries ruined, Washington refused to supply spare parts to Caracas, and the planes quickly came out of order. Iraq in 1991 is also a good example. Baghdad was defeated so quickly because Iraq was trying to defend itself with the help of American and French weaponry. All of those systems were deactivated via satellite prior to the start of the operation.
"One should also say that Western experts are presumably negative in their assessments of the French Mistral. France has never sold any Mistrals to any other country, so Russia is going to be the first on the list. Australia was considering an opportunity of purchasing them, but the initiative never materialized because of low combat qualities of the ship. The air defense equipment of the vessel is very weak. The system actually consists of a couple of antiaircraft guns, which is obviously not enough for such a bulky and vulnerable ship. One or two bombs can easily destroy it. Installing Russian sea-based air defense systems on the French boat is very difficult because of the construction of the vessel. The Mistral was originally designed for navigation in warm tropical waters. In Russia, the situation is different - even the waves are different.
"If somebody tells you that Russia can not build state-of-the-art combat ships - this person is wrong. The same goes to the drones, which Russia supposedly can't build and prefers to purchase from Israel. As for the drones, Russia can build high quality products like that. As for combat vessels, Russia can build even first class vessels including heavy cruisers and aircraft carriers. For some reason, though, Russia builds such ships for China and India.
"One Mistral will cost Russia from 520 to 700 million euros. The production of a Russian helicopter carrier would cost not more than 150 million euros. Russia somehow chooses to support someone else's ship-building industry. Is there corruption involved?"
Sounds like he FORGOT about the numerous little problems the 2 Moskva helo cruisers had, per reports, Not Invented Here syndrome??....DFO :eek:
The deal is signed, one step closer to building....................
Russia, France sign warship agreement
Topic: Russia's purchase of French Mistral-class warship
Moscow and Paris on Tuesday signed an agreement to jointly build Mistral-class helicopter carriers for the Russian Navy.
The agreement was signed by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin and French Defense Minister Allain Juppe in the presence of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
In all, four warships are to be built, Sechin said.
Russia's input to the construction of the first Mistral-class warship will be 20% and 40% in the second, he said.
The third and fourth ships are to be built in Russia, whose share of labor input will subsequently rise to 80%, he added.
Anatoly Saikin, head of Russia's arms export monopoly Rosoboronexport, said the agreement is only a framework and stipulates neither deadlines, nor the cost of the future contract.
"A contract is still a long way off. Only an intergovernmental general agreement has been signed," he said.
Russia and France in December announced they would jointly build two Mistral-class helicopter carriers at the STX shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. Another two are planned to be constructed later at the Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg.
A Russian Defense Ministry source said in December the first Mistral-class ship, with a price tag of 720 million euros, is expected to be built in late 2013-early 2014 and the second in late 2014-early 2015.
A Mistral-class ship is capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing vessels, 70 armored vehicles, and 450 personnel.
A number of Russia's neighbors have expressed concern over the upcoming deal, in particular Georgia and Lithuania.
SAINT-NAZAIRE (France), January 25 (RIA Novosti)
Pic: salesmanSHIP on the Neva....:D DFO
DefenseRussian shipbuilders, military in conflict over Mistral dealTopic:
Russia to build new shipyards for Mistral construction
Russia to pay over 700 million euros for first Mistral helicopter carrier - source
Lithuanian defense minister says Russian-French warship deal 'mistake'
Analyst: Russian defense ministry and military industry part ways
Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) has been taken out of the contractual talks with France on the purchase of Mistral class amphibious assault ships, a Russian business daily said Tuesday.
The Kommersant newspaper cited anonymous defense industry sources as saying state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport will represent Russia in direct talks with France's DCNS from now on.
Kommersant speculates that the removal of the USC from the talks could be the result of the company's aspirations to acquire a status of an "independent dealer" on the lucrative arms exports market.
Rosoboronexport, backed by the Russian Defense Ministry, has almost monopolized Russia's arms exports and apparently does not want new players to bite into its share in enormous profits from growing arms sales, which totaled $10 billion in 2010.
Moscow and Paris signed on January 25 an intergovernmental agreement to jointly build four Mistral-class helicopter carriers for the Russian Navy.
Russia's input to the construction of the first Mistral-class warship will be 20% and 40% in the second.
The third and fourth ships are to be built in Russia, whose share of labor input will subsequently rise to 80%.
The talks on the actual contract to build Mistral ships are still underway. The Russian Defense Ministry earlier said the contract could be signed in April-march this year.
Under the Russian-French agreement the first Mistral-class ship, with a price tag of 720 million euros, is expected to be built in late 2013-early 2014 and the second in late 2014-early 2015.
A Mistral-class ship is capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing vessels, 70 armored vehicles, and 450 personnel.
A number of Russia's neighbors have expressed concern over the upcoming deal, in particular Georgia and Lithuania.
However, the first two Mistral class ships will most likely join Russia's Pacific Fleet with an obvious task to protect the disputed Kuril Islands.
MOSCOW, February 8 (RIA Novosti)
Power politics for MONEY? DFO :eek:
from NEWSWEEK magazine comes this..........
While much of Europe slashes spending to reduce deficits, surging oil prices are allowing Russia to splurge. The Kremlin’s choice of stimulus package is a bit of a throwback, though—among other things, a new fleet of warships to challenge China. Last week Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced a whopping $678 billion package of new defense spending for the next decade, with a quarter of the money going to revamp Russia’s Pacific fleet. On the Kremlin’s shopping list: 20 new ships, including a new class of attack submarines, plus new missile subs, frigates, and an aircraft carrier.
Ostensibly, the point of all this spending is to show China that Russia’s still in on the great power game in the Pacific. But the Kremlin also needs to funnel money into the country’s sclerotic arms industry to keep it alive. Russia’s military-industrial complex employs close to 3 million people and accounts for 20 percent of all manufacturing jobs. And though Russia is still the second-largest conventional arms exporter after the U.S., its defense industries are in serious trouble. Last year Russia sold about $10 billion worth of arms—mostly bargain-basement conventional hardware—to foreign customers. But, says analyst Alexander Golts, as many as 25 percent of Russia’s defense enterprises are facing bankruptcy and most are an inefficient “hangover from the Soviet-era military.” Even Russia’s own Defense Ministry has gone shopping abroad for the first time since World War II for equipment that Russia is incapable of making—for instance, two 20,000-ton Mistral helicopter carriers that the Kremlin has ordered from France for €1 billion apiece.
Russia’s army is in no better shape. Last month the Moscow-based Center of Analysis of Strategies and Technologies published a report estimating that though the Russian Army, in theory, fields 1.1 million men, only two brigades, or 9,000 men, are actually deployable.
Throwing money at the problem may not make the Russian military a modern fighting force, but it will keep millions of Russian soldiers, sailors, and arms manufacturers employed. Most important, it will make many bureaucrats and defense contractors very rich. President Dmitry Medvedev himself estimated that in the last year Russia’s bureaucrats stole a trillion rubles, or $33 billion, from the state budget. The Kremlin even confirmed that it splurged on a new super-yacht for Medvedev—which, according to reports, cost a cool $35 million, even secondhand. Does that count toward Russian naval power?
Well, a stressed leader does need his rest....and a nice, luxurious sea cruise...DFO :D
Referring to other posts, I think a major factor here is that although the Russians certainly have the technology to build modern ships, to avoid excessive building time, it was perhaps preferred to buy an "off the shelf" ship ready to sail (more or less).
However as previously stated there going to have to integrate an efficient SAM array and several CIWS, neither of which figure on the basic French version.;)
Well, friends and neighbours, Ivan just bought two!
Two more are to be built in Russia afterwards using 80% of local know-how.....:)
The construction of these ships, (about 200m and 20000tonnes) will provide over 6 million working hours to French shipyards.
They're not very pretty ships strange that the Russians have approached France to build ships
Thought that even they could kick start their own ship building industry again
Reports from Russia now say that the two mostly Russian built Mistrals will NOT be built; only the 2 being already built in France. Supposedly they will be deployed to their Pacific Fleet.
link: http://en.rian.ru/military_news/20121221/178305031.html DFO
Or believe this?
RussiaRussian Shipbuilders Say Mistral Contract ‘In Force’
Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation said on Friday the contract to build two Mistral class amphibious assault ships remains ‘in force,’ dismissing media reports that the country’s Defense Ministry has dropped the construction plans.
“We have not been informed of any such decision by the Russian Defense Ministry. Currently, the contract remains in force, as before,” a spokesman for Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation said.
The spokesman also confirmed that the construction of the first two Mistral ships in France will be continued.
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