Russia is planning to equip French-built Mistral Class amphibious assault ships with Russian Ka-52 Alligator helicopters, according to Russian Air Force commander Colonel General Alexander Zelin.

The Ka-52, a modified version of the Ka-50 Hokum model, is equipped with a 30mm cannon, Vikhr (Whirlwind) laser-guided missiles, rockets, S-24s and bombs.

The helicopter is also armed with two radars for ground and aerial targets, and a Samshite night / daytime thermal sighting system.

The purchase of the Mistral Class ship is under negotiation with French Naval shipbuilder DCNS, and Russia plans to use the ships in its Northern and Pacific fleets.

The ship is capable of transporting and deploying 16 helicopters, four landing barges, up to 70 armoured vehicles, 13 battle tanks and 450 personnel.

Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation head Mikhail Dmitriev said the Mistral deal would be concluded by the end of the year, according to RIA Novosti.