MOSCOW, December 21 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation said on Friday the contract to build two Mistral class amphibious assault ships remains ‘in force,’ dismissing media reports that the country’s Defense Ministry has dropped the construction plans.
“We have not been informed of any such decision by the Russian Defense Ministry. Currently, the contract remains in force, as before,” a spokesman for Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation said.
The spokesman also confirmed that the construction of the first two Mistral ships in France will be continued.
Russian business daily Vedomosti on Friday cited a government source saying that the Russian Defense Ministry has decided to abandon plans to build two Mistral class amphibious assault ships under French license in Russia.
France’s Mistral amphibious assault ship
Russia and France signed a $1.2-billion contract for two French-built Mistral class ships, including the transfer of sensitive technology, in June 2011.
The first ship, the Vladivostok, is being built at a DCNS shipyard in Saint-Nazaire and should be delivered in 2014, while the second, the Sevastopol, is scheduled for delivery in 2015.
Two more ships were expected to be 80% built in Russia, 20% in France.
A Mistral-class ship is capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing vessels, 70 armored vehicles, and 450 personnel.
The French-built ships are expected to be assigned to Russia’s Pacific Fleet.