MOSCOW, July 3 (RIA Novosti) – Russian shipbuilders are capable of servicing Mistral-class helicopter carriers, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said Thursday.
“I believe shipbuilders and engineers will be able to organize the full servicing and maintenance of these docking-ships,” Borisov said.
According to the deputy minister, guaranteed maintenance should be provided under the warship supply contracts, and all construction documentation should be handed over to Russia.
“Moreover, about 30 percent of the future Mistrals are produced at Russian plants – deck and armaments,” Borisov said.
The US has opposed the sale of Mistral warships to Russia, saying it would boost Russia’s military power, and has repeatedly urged France to back out of the deal.
In June, however, the French authorities confirmed France would meet its obligations under the contract with Russia despite pressure from the US and other EU countries.
Following the announcement US President Barack Obama expressed concern about France’s decision.
Russia and France signed a contract for two Mistral-class helicopter carriers for $1.6 billion in June 2011.
Under the contract, the first French Mistral-class amphibious assault ship, the Vladivostok, is to be delivered to Russia by the end of the year, while the second ship, the Sevastopol, is due to arrive next year.
The ships are capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing craft, 70 armored vehicles and 450 soldiers, and are expected to be deployed with Russia’s Pacific Fleet.