France is ready to build the first Mistral Class helicopter carriers for Russia from 2013, according to Jacques Hardelay, president for operations at French shipbuilder STX Europe.

“If Russia and France sign the deal, the first Mistral Class vessel may be built in the shipyards of Saint-Nazaire late 2013-early 2014,” he said.

“If the contract is signed, one year later, namely in 2015, Russia would get a second Mistral Class warship. Therefore, by 2016 the Russian Navy would have two Mistral Class warships,” he added.

The Saint-Nazaire shipyard will be the most likely winner of the tender to build amphibious assault warships for the Russian Navy, according to RIA Novosti.

Russia will build its first domestically produced Mistral Class amphibious assault ships in late 2016 or early 2017.