Russia will build new shipyards specifically to construct the French Mistral Class helicopter carriers on Kotlin Island near St Petersburg in the Baltic Sea.

An official said the new shipyards would be part of the Admiralty Shipyards company.

“The new shipyards will be built specifically for Mistral construction, but they will be used later to construct commercial bulk ships and large combat ships,” the official added.

Construction on the two helicopter carriers could start after 2014 and they will be built jointly by France and Russia, according to RIA Novosti.

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A Mistral Class ship can carry and deploy 16 helicopters, four landing vessels, 70 armoured vehicles – including 13 battle tanks, and 450 personnel.