France and Europe interested in Mistral contract with Russia

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Casper, May 31, 2011.

  1. Casper

    Casper Member

    Sep 6, 2010
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    French defense industry companies are interested in a solid contract with Russia to purchase Mistral-class helicopter carriers from France.

    The Mistral all-purpose helicopter carrier has a displacement of 21,000 tons and a maximum length of 210 meters and can develop a speed of over 18 knots. Its sea endurance is 20,000 miles. With a crew of 160, it can take aboard another 450 men, 13 main battle tanks or 70 trucks. Its air wing comprises 16 helicopters, with six able to be accommodated on deck. The Mistral was engaged in many operations by the French armed forces, for example, in Africa.

    The two countries have been in uneasy talks since the beginning of the year when, on January 25, they signed an intergovernmental agreement on the purchase of Mistral-class helicopter carriers. The agreement does not contain any dates or value of the contract – these will be specified in a separate agreement to be concluded between Rosoboronexport and DCNS.

    The contract is opening up new prospects for military and technical cooperation between Russia and France. All French defense firms have been looking forward to this decision because it will open new opportunities for them. Sagem, for example, is interested in trying out the outfit for an infantry soldier of the future FELIN in the Russian armed forces; Panhard is continuing talks with Russia’s Interior Ministry to conclude a similar contract on the operational testing of its VBL armored vehicles.

    This is not the first time either that Russia has bought unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Israel, a positive fact for Israel. Interestingly, Russia is not opposed to purchasing foreign systems, which is a new departure in its defense policy. Perhaps in the future Russia would like to do something together with the European Defense Agency acting for all European countries. But Russia is likely to cooperate with France, Germany, Britain and other countries bilaterally, not through the European Defense Agency.

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