Russia is going to build its own helicopter carriers, equivalent to the French Mistrals, using obtained French know-hows.
Though Russia did not receive two Mistral amphibious assault ships, also known as helicopter carriers, from France, the country is preparing to build its own ships of this type, using obtained French know-hows, the BFM TV informational website reported.
In 2015, France decided not to deliver Russia two previously ordered Mistral amphibious assault ships, and it seems that Moscow got all possible benefits from this decision. At least, an article, published in the Le Canard enchaîné newspaper, makes us to think in this way.
At the end of December 2016, President of the United Shipbuilding Corporation Alexei Rakhmanov said that Russia got French know-hows. If to take into account that France returned money, paid for construction of the ships, “this knowledge cost us for free,” Rakhmanov joked.
As a result, the United Shipbuilding Corporation is going to start construction of helicopter carriers upon its own project. The amphibious assault ships should be similar to the Mistral-type ships as two peas.
BFM TV reminded that the both ships, ordered in 2010, were built at a shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, in collaboration with colleagues from the United Shipbuilding Corporation. The Ukrainian conflict, during which Paris took the anti-Russian position, forced French President Francois Hollande to freeze and then cancel the supply of the both ships to Moscow.
According to Le Canard enchaîné, this decision should have allowed to sell a batch of the Airbus Helicopters Caracal worth €3 billion to Poland, which also had strained relations with Russia. However, to the great surprise of all, the new conservative Polish government decided to break off the negotiations with the Airbus, dropping the handkerchief to the US Lockheed-Martin and the Italian-British Agusta-Westland companies. Subsequently, this incident led to the appearance of a mini-crisis in relations between Warsaw and Paris.
Though France eventually found a buyer for the both Mistral ships in the face of Egypt, the government wants to quickly forget about this story, which seems a major defeat.