Russia Needs Port Facilities for Mistral Ships

8 April 2010 (Last Updated April 8th, 2010 18:30)

Russia will have to build port facilities for the French Mistral helicopter carrier if its navy decides to buy the vessel, according to the country's defence minister Vladimir Popovkin. Talks are underway between the countries for the acquisition of at least one Mistral-class amphibious

Russia will have to build port facilities for the French Mistral helicopter carrier if its navy decides to buy the vessel, according to the country's defence minister Vladimir Popovkin.

Talks are underway between the countries for the acquisition of at least one Mistral-class amphibious assault ship worth €400-500m ($530-660m).

Russia is intending to purchase only one ship and build three more under French license in Russian shipyards in collaboration with the French naval shipbuilder DCNS, while France has plans to sell two vessels and license the construction of the remaining two.

Popovkin said Russia would do everything to reach an agreement for the ships, including the construction of port infrastructure, reports Ria Novosti.

The Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST) director Ruslan Pukhov said France would never sell the Mistral with its naval tactical data system SENIT 9 because it provides links to NATO data exchange formats.

"This system could not be sold because it contains software that allows the control of NATO military forces," Pukhov said.

Russia would most likely have to install its own electronic equipment on the Mistral ships, Pukhov added.