Russian Shipbuilders Spar over Mistral Deal

9 February 2011 (Last Updated February 9th, 2011 18:30)

Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) has been ousted from the ongoing contractual talks on the purchase of Mistral class amphibious assault ships with France. The Kommersant newspaper reported that Rosoboronexport, state-run arms exporter will represent Russia in direct talks

Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) has been ousted from the ongoing contractual talks on the purchase of Mistral class amphibious assault ships with France.

The Kommersant newspaper reported that Rosoboronexport, state-run arms exporter will represent Russia in direct talks with France's DCNS.

Rosoboronexport's share in arms sales profits in 2010 totaled to $10bn, according to RIA Novosti.

Russia and France had signed an intergovernmental agreement to jointly build four Mistral-class helicopter carriers for the Russian Navy.

The talks on the actual contract to build Mistral ships are still underway and the contract could be signed by April 2011.

The first two Mistral class ships are likely join Russia's Pacific Fleet to protect the disputed Kuril Islands.