The Russian Navy is in talks concerning the acquisition of a French-made helicopter carrier Mistral. The agreement is expected to be signed by the end of 2009.

The buyout deal also includes a Russian licence on the construction of the vessels while the helicopter carrier is currently in use by the French Navy.

The Russian Navy is likely to enter the Mistral vessel into the Northern Fleet, and will condition the ship to be sailed in Arctic waters.

The vessel will be the first acquired from overseas for the Russian Navy.