France has agreed to fully equip Russia’s Mistral Class helicopter carriers with a complete set of communication and control systems, a senior official in the Russian Defence Ministry has said.

“Russia has reached an agreement with France that meets the Defense Ministry’s demand to provide Mistral with the communications and other systems that would satisfy the requirements of the navy,” the source added.

According to the Russian-French intergovernmental agreement, signed in January, the two Mistral helicopter carriers will be equipped with Zenith 9 communication and control system, spare parts and technical documentation.

The countries will jointly build the two estimated €980m-€1.15bn Mistral Class helicopter carriers at the STX shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, and the other two at the Admiralty Shipyards in St Petersburg, Russia.

The French Mistral Class amphibious assault ship is capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing vessels, 70 armoured vehicles and 450 personnel.

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