The Russian Navy’s first Mistral-class helicopter carrier, Vladivostok, has successfully completed a series of tests.
The vessel, which was carrying a crew of 200 Russian sailors, is now set to commence sea trials with its second crew, RIA Novosti reported.
Vladivostok was built by DCNS as part of a $1.52bn deal signed by Russia in June 2011 for the procurement of two Mistral-class aircraft carriers from France.
The intergovernmental agreement, which involves the transfer of technology, enables Russia to procure two more Mistral-class vessels, which will be built 80% in Russia and 20% in France.
However, in the midst of the ongoing unrest in eastern Ukraine, France reportedly withdrew its plans to deliver two warships to the Russian Navy.
A French Government spokesperson told RIA Novosti that the delivery of the vessels has not been deferred officially and that French President Francois Hollande had just outlined his political stance.
The 199m-long, 22,000t Mistral-class vessels are equipped with MRR-3D NG surveillance radar and an advanced communications suite for humanitarian operations and a range of other missions.
Capable of cruising at a maximum speed of 18k, they are also armed with two Breda Mauser 30mm naval guns and four 12.7mm machine guns.
The vessels can accommodate a crew of 450 and 16 helicopters, and house eight Ka-52K and eight Ka-29/31 Helix assault transport helicopters, as well as four landing vessels and 70 armoured vehicles.
Image: The French Navy’s amphibious assault ship Mistral. Photo: courtesy of Rama.