Russia’s state arms exporter, Rosoboronexport, has opened talks with France over the purchase of a French-built Mistral Class ship.

Rosoboronexport general director Anatoly Isaikin said the Russian Defense Ministry had appointed the company to implement the Mistral contract, according to RIA Novosti.

“The implementation of the contract includes a number of stages including the assessment of technical parameters and the negotiation process involving the Defence Ministry,” he said.

“All the work on this ship is being carried out in close collaboration with the Defense Ministry.”

A number of expert groups have been set up within the company to negotiate the deal with France, the director said.

Russia intends to buy at least one French-built Mistral Class ship and plans to build three other Mistrals in collaboration with French naval shipbuilder DCNS.

The Mistral Class ship can transport and deploy 16 helicopters, four landing barges, up to 70 armoured vehicles including 13 battle tanks, and 450 personnel.

The Russian Navy will use the Mistral ships in its Northern and Pacific fleets.