First helicopter-carrier in the pipeline
Russia has started construction of the first of two Mistral class helicopter-carriers which are to be built under a Russian-French contract signed last year.
The keel of first amphibious assault ship - which will be called “Vladivostok”, was laid down at the Baltic Shipyard outside St. Petersburg on October 1. Baltic Shipyard will put together 24 hull units before the vessel is transported to the STX France shipyard in Saint-Nazare for completion, Fontanka reports.
The first vessel is planned to be taken into service in the Russian Navy in 2015. At least one of the four vessels that are to be built will be based in the Northern Fleet, as BarentsObserver reported.
In accordance with the contract, the French party will transfer shipbuilding technology to Russia as well as the tactical data system SENIT-9, that is used on French sips. Later on, that technology will be used in construction of two other Mistral-class ships by Russian shipyards.
The two next vessels will probably be built in at Sevmash Shipyard in Severodvinsk, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said in December 2011.
A Mistral-class ship is capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing vessels, 70 armored vehicles and 450 personnel. Each of the two first ships will have air wings consisting of 30 Ka-52K Alligator attack helicopters and Ka-29 helicopters, according to Izvestia. Prototypes of a naval version of the Ka-52K are now under construction and flight tests are expected to start in 2014.
Baltic Shipyard will start construction of the second ship, which will be called “Sevastopol”, in May 2013, Fontanka reports.