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    Mistral News thread

    Hoof
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    Post  Hoof Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:37 am

    GarryB wrote:Well that confirms it, the Pacific fleet Mistrals are for operations in and around the Kiril Islands to deter Japanese actions, the deployment to the Northern fleet suggests they want to protect their northern areas... perhaps protect oil assets and exploration?

    @Hoof there are lots of comments and speculations about the upgrade the Kuznetsov is going to get... they mainly suggest the removal of the 12 vertical launch Granits and a hangar extension to allow for more aircraft, and also include suggestions that a change in propulsion might be considered and that this might lead to catapults being fitted. Personally I think nuclear propulsion would be beneficial and that new EM cats will allow for the development of the one aircraft the Kuznetsov really needs... a Yak-44 or at least a modern equivalent AWACS aircraft.

    Certainly a carrier like Kuznetsov with fighters (Mig-29Ks) and anti sub helos (maybe a new helo to replace the Ka-32s?) would certainly be a good way to support a Mistral but in managing a campaign where island hopping is involved then the 16 helos and armour of the Mistral would offer capabilities the Kuznetsov could not.

    Sounds good Garry... Now Russia needs to build more Full size carriers... because 1 carrier just isn't flexible enough to cover all of the Russia's seas = /
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    Post  GarryB Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:33 am

    I don't think they will make the 100,000 ton Nimitz like carriers, their main focus seems to be to have air power to extend the sight and reach of air defence for the fleet.

    WWII saw the replacement of the Battleship by the aircraft carrier as the capital ship simply because no battleship could carry firepower with the reach of an aircraft with a bomb, and no battleship could see as far as an aircraft flying out on patrol around the fleet group.
    These days the vision of the aircraft has only improved through radar and rather than flying out to look at potential threats they now fly up and look out well beyond the sea level horizon to see incoming threats including low flying missiles or aircraft.

    Nuclear propulsion would make supporting the carrier easier because the only fuel it would need to take on is aviation fuel, and a catapult makes sense because it allows aircraft to operate at heavier weights and for larger aircraft to be operated from a smaller ship. Certainly the AEW role could be performed by a UAV, perhaps a UCAV fitted with wide sail wings to fly above 20,000m and armed with AAMs that would have an increased range because of the height they are launched from... in fact a UCAV operating at that height would not be noticed by most people on the ground... especially if painted sky blue which is the colour of the sky around it looking from below because it is well above the weather or clouds. (at that altitude the sky starts to get dark but from the ground if you could see to that height it would just be blue).

    A couple of satellite guided bombs would be enough for most operations and for most countries the Russians are likely to want to bomb no enemy fighter or missile could reach it anyway.

    Would be cheaper than a stealth bomber.

    BTW when they were talking about new carriers... which will not be funded till after 2020... they were talking about buying up to 6 vessels. This makes sense because aircraft carriers go through 3 phases during their active careers. Active duty, upgrades and training. Active duty is self explanatory, Upgrades includes maintainence and repairs and the fitting of new stuff, training is preparation for active duty and to learn to use any new kit added or old kit upgraded. Having 6 carriers means that you can station three in the Pacific Fleet and 3 in the Northern Fleet and you should always have one carrier on active duty in each fleet at any one time. This means in an emergency you can get 2-4 carriers to a situation if it is urgent but that even in peacetime you have 2 at your disposal.

    For all we know they might go for a double hull vessel that looks like two large tankers wielded together with two large hangars and connecting tunnels between them with one large airstrips on each hull with one for landing and one for taking off at any one time depending on how full each hangar is or what aircraft types are in each hangar.

    We really don't know but I hope it isn't just a boring carbon copy of some European or American design as they were optimised for western needs. Russian needs are different and quite specific.
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    Mistral News thread - Page 7 Empty Re: Mistral News thread

    Post  Russian Patriot Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:01 am


    Russia, France sign warship agreement

    RIA Novosti

    16:39 25/01/2011

    In-Depth Coverage SAINT-NAZAIRE (France), January 25 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow and Paris on Tuesday signed an agreement to jointly build Mistral-class helicopter carriers for the Russian Navy.

    The agreement was signed by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin and French Defense Minister Allain Juppe in the presence of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    In all, four warships are to be built, Sechin said.

    Russia's input to the construction of the first Mistral-class warship will be 20% and 40% in the second, he said.

    The third and fourth ships are to be built in Russia, whose share of labor input will subsequently rise to 80%, he added.

    Anatoly Saikin, head of Russia's arms export monopoly Rosoboronexport, said the agreement is only a framework and stipulates neither deadlines, nor the cost of the future contract.

    "A contract is still a long way off. Only an intergovernmental general agreement has been signed," he said.

    Russia and France in December announced they would jointly build two Mistral-class helicopter carriers at the STX shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. Another two are planned to be constructed later at the Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg.

    A Russian Defense Ministry source said in December the first Mistral-class ship, with a price tag of 720 million euros, is expected to be built in late 2013-early 2014 and the second in late 2014-early 2015.

    A Mistral-class ship is capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing vessels, 70 armored vehicles, and 450 personnel.

    A number of Russia's neighbors have expressed concern over the upcoming deal, in particular Georgia and Lithuania.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/russia/2011/russia-110125-rianovosti01.htm
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    Post  GarryB Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:40 am

    http://en.rian.ru/world/20110124/162270934.html

    http://en.rian.ru/world/20110119/162207296.html

    Almost makes the deal worth it on its own really... Twisted Evil

    Of course after Russia has already stated several times these vessels would be for the Northern and Pacific fleet one wonders what Lithuania and Georgia are bleating on about.
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    Post  Hoof Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:11 am

    GarryB wrote:http://en.rian.ru/world/20110124/162270934.html

    http://en.rian.ru/world/20110119/162207296.html

    Almost makes the deal worth it on its own really... Twisted Evil

    Of course after Russia has already stated several times these vessels would be for the Northern and Pacific fleet one wonders what Lithuania and Georgia are bleating on about.

    If Russia had better oranges than Georgia, they would consider it a threat too... XD
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    Post  Austin Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:55 am

    Update on Mistral from latest AirInternational

    Russia's Mistral
    Piotr Butowski
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    Post  runaway Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:22 pm

    Hoof wrote:Wonder, what are their plan for "Kuznetsov" ??? hopefully we will see some major upgrades implemented =)

    The Carrier waits for the Indian aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya to be completed. Then Kutznetsov will undergo a thouroughly rebuilding and modernisation.

    They will remove the ssm-19 shipwreck missiles to alove bigger air wing and new antiair defences.
    Its also rumors that the engines will be replaced, perhaps with a nuclear powerplant.
    Also all electronics will be replaced with new state-of-the-art electronics.

    I dont see the need for further aircraft carriers in the russian navy. To costly and with no big value for the russian stategic plans.

    For 1 carrier battle group, you could easily buy 50-60 smaller ships, like corvettes, frigates and destroyers. And these will be in great demand for russia in the nearest future, as the old soviet ships is almost obselete.

    The Kutznetsov and the Mistrals will be a powerful tool with the Kirovs that are on their way back into the fleet.
    Then russia has the means to force its political wievs wherever on the globe.

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    Post  GarryB Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:55 pm

    Thanks for the info.

    Regarding their need for carriers I think you need to step back from western use of carriers here and consider the effect of air power on naval power.

    Very simply put whether it is on land or at sea to defend a target you need rings of protection and these can be formed at short range by small fast firing guns, then short range missiles and medium range guns and then medium range missiles and finally long range missiles. For any air defence role on land it makes sense to increase the protection of the target with air power in the form of airborne radars and fighters and interceptors to protect the airspace above the target and out to a wide area around the target. Airborne radars means low flying missiles and aircraft can be spotted at extended ranges and the earlier you detect a threat and the further away it is the easier it is to plan the defence and deal with the threat.

    The question is now, why deny your ships that long range visibility and outer ring of air defence?

    A carrier can be used in an attacking role, but it can also be used to help defend as well, and in a defensive role it can add combat air patrols and AEW as well as large numbers of anti sub warfare helos as well.

    Think of it as a way of protecting the money you invested in your blue water navy, because from an attackers point of view a group of ships is an easier target if they don't have AWACS and fighter aircraft they will need to battle their way through to get to a now alerted group of ships.

    And thanks for that article Austin.

    I remember reading in the 1990s or so, about a Ka-40 or Ka-45 or something that was a significant redesign of the Ka-32. No specs were mentioned, just a coloured line drawing showing a more streamlined nose and further enlarged cabin compared to the Ka-32.

    Would be nice to see a new Kamov, and I think a few Ka-226s would be useful on the Mistral... especially if they develop modular rear pods and store them on the ship.
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    Post  Russian Patriot Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:18 pm


    Defense Ministry confirms Mistral construction in Russia

    RIA Novosti

    15:38 09/02/2011

    MOSCOW, February 9 (RIA Novosti) - Two Mistral class amphibious assault ships will be built in Russia in addition to the first two vessels purchased in France, a high-ranking source in the Russian Defense Ministry told RIA Novosti Wednesday.

    Some media sources earlier said that Russia may not build the Mistral ships at least until 2020 mainly because the funds for the construction had not been allocated under the state armaments procurement program until 2020.

    "The rumors that Russia will not build these ships on its territory are false, considering that this clause is part of the intergovernmental agreement between Russia and France signed in January, and the talks on the actual contract between Rosoboronexport and the French DCNS corporation are still ongoing," the source said.

    The official added that any speculations with reference to anonymous sources seriously hampered the negotiation process.

    A consortium comprised of French DCNS and Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) won a tender on the construction of four Mistral class helicopter carriers for the Russian Navy in December 2010.

    Moscow and Paris signed an intergovernmental agreement to jointly build the four ships on January 25.

    Under the Russian-French agreement the first Mistral-class ship, with a price tag of 720 million euros, is expected to be built in late 2013-early 2014 and the second in late 2014-early 2015.

    Russia will construct 20% of the first warship, 40% of the second and 80% of the last two, which are to be built on Russian territory.

    Talks on the actual contract to build Mistral ships are still underway. A Rosoboronexport delegation is expected to arrive in France in February to continue the negotiations and sign the contract in April this year.

    A Mistral-class ship is capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing vessels, 70 armored vehicles, and 450 personnel.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/russia/2011/russia-110209-rianovosti03.htm
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    Post  GarryB Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:54 am

    Russia plans to send first Mistral ships to protect Kurils

    The two Mistral class amphibious assault ships
    built in France for the Russian Navy will be put in service with the
    Pacific Fleet, a Russian Defense Ministry source said Wednesday.
    "After the [first two] Mistral ships are built and enter service, they are expected to join the Pacific Fleet," the source said.
    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev earlier on Wednesday ordered naval
    and ground-based units deployed on the disputed South Kuril Islands,
    located in the Pacific, to be equipped with advanced weaponry.

    Moscow and Paris signed an intergovernmental agreement to jointly build four Mistral class ships on January 25.
    Under the Russian-French agreement the first Mistral-class ship, with
    a price tag of 720 million euros, is expected to be built in late
    2013-early 2014 and the second in late 2014-early 2015.
    A Mistral-class ship is capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing vessels, 70 armored vehicles, and 450 personnel.
    Russia will also invest heavily in the modernization of the defense
    infrastructure on the four Kuril Islands and in the upgrade of weaponry
    used by units deployed on these islands.

    The South Kuril Islands were seized from Japan by Soviet troops at
    the end of World War Two and remain a source of tension between Moscow
    and Tokyo. Russia claims that the islands are "unalienable Russian
    territory."
    MOSCOW, February 9 (RIA Novosti)
    Source: http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20110209/162525263.html

    Seems pretty clear to me that the Russian Navy sees the greatest threat as coming from Japan and potential attempts to try to take the Kuril Islands by force and the main driving force behind the purchase of the Mistral ships.

    This explains perhaps the urgency... they got caught by surprise with the Georgian invasion, and perhaps they realise how vulnerable the Kuril Islands are to something similar by the Japanese?

    I suspect the remaining two Mistrals that are built in Russia will cost rather more than 700 million but that the extra money will be spent in Russian shipyards and will lead to retooling and upgrading of the shipyards so it will be money well spent. Licence production is always more expensive than getting it made by the original makers, but the difference is that you are investing in your own workers as well as paying for a product and the tools and skills to make that product.

    I also suspect that the remaining Mistrals will be based in the Northern Fleet as the Baltic and Black Sea fleets are too small and the environments too shallow and hostile.

    Good to hear Russia is investing in its far east forces.

    Perhaps a new Naval version of the Ka-226 could be designed that replaces the four wheels with large skids that have floats for landing on water, but retain the modular capability to carry pods.

    Useful pods for naval forces would include a dipping sonar pod, a search and rescue pod with searchlights and room for rescued people with a winch directly in the centre of the pod with a manhole in the centre of the floor to raise people out of the water with seats around the centre for rescued people and rescuers to sit, a pod with dropable inflatable boats and rescue pods to drop to people in the water, or in flooded regions, a pod with an inflatable portable hospital or living shelter, a pod with a container that can be filled with weapons or equipment or ammo or medical supplies that can be landed or dropped from altitude by parachute.

    And these are just things off the top of my head and mostly oriented to disaster relief, but for every military mission you could have a military pod.

    With folding rotors the upgraded Ka-226s would take up very little space... the only issue would be their height and as the Mistrals are being redesigned for the Ka-52s height then that shouldn't be an issue.

    For a disaster relief mission you could probably carry two Ka-226s for each of the 16 western helos you could carry, so I would think 8 Mi-17 aircraft to move people and heavy payloads, plus 12 Ka-226s and maybe 2 Ka-52s for night and all weather search as well as finding survivors using their all weather sensors, and of course 4 landing craft and lots and lots of trucks with the odd BTR-82 to ensure they can keep the peace and to deal with problems like looting.

    For an anti piracy mission it could replace 2 of the landing craft with high speed patrol boats, but the helos would be the stars as their flight range and speed would make it hard for the Pirates to play their games. I would think Mi-17s with rockets and ATGMs would be very useful in running down even the fastest speed boat, or perhaps a Ka-29 with its 30 calibre 4 barrel gatling gun in its nose firing 6,000rpm might get the attention of the pirates. Otherwise the 30mm cannon and rockets and ATGMs loadout should do it.
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    Post  runaway Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:52 am

    So much for Georgia`s fear.
    Of course Mistrals are needed in the pacific, along with a Kirov, the Lazarev probable.
    When you look at a map, you can understand the Japanese claims to the Kurils they lost in -45. However, they should realize fact and try to come to terms with reality.

    Why dont they try to BUY back some of the nearest islands? Take them by force? Well, they should have done so in the -95-00. Now with the rebuilding of russian forces, that option is closing.

    Basing Mistrals in Northern fleet, i dont think is a good idea. The Mistrals cant handle the ice conditions, and where to send them, Iceland?
    No, they will be in better use in Baltic sea and the Black sea, and there is where i think they will end up.

    Even if these are small seas, the need of amphibious ships is important and urgent. And by basing them in the Black sea, the Mediterranean is very close by, and it seems to becoming a hotspot again.

    The Baltic, well, Landing in Polen or Gemany is nice, long fine beaches. And with no land border...
    Kidding aside, a good way to reinfoce Kaliningrad and keep options open.

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    Post  GarryB Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:25 am

    So much for Georgia`s fear.

    And Lithuanias...

    But I suspect Georgia's real fear is Russia doing business with NATO when Georgia wants to get between NATO and Russia... from within NATO.

    When you look at a map, you can understand the Japanese claims to the
    Kurils they lost in -45. However, they should realize fact and try to
    come to terms with reality.

    I understand at one point the Russians/Soviets offered the two southerly Kuril Islands to Japan but Japan wanted all four... mainly because it would blockade the Pacific fleet and the fishing in the area is not fished out yet... not to mention mineral and oil and gas potential.

    Why dont they try to BUY back some of the nearest islands? Take them by
    force? Well, they should have done so in the -95-00. Now with the
    rebuilding of russian forces, that option is closing.

    10-15 years ago Japan probably could have gotten away with some sort of offer along the lines of... we will spend enormous amounts of money upgrading infrastructure for ownership of all four islands with the promise that the Russian Navy access to the Pacific will not be interfered with and they might have gotten a signature on paper.

    There was some early speculation in the West at the end of the cold war that the former Soviet states would offer a high skilled well educated workforce that is prepared to work for peanuts... sort of the way they view the Chinese now but better educated and better skills. This "hope" was soon replaced with a fear that Japan might trade some of its economic wealth to buy its way back into the aerospace industry... they certainly had some of the worlds best aircraft at the end of WWII and the fear was that they might form economic alliances with Russia to "catch up" to the US and the West and that together they might form some super alliance.
    Obviously what actually happened was that a lot of that valuable talent from the former Soviet Union voted with its feet and went to the west to earn good money and as conditions in Russia improve perhaps they might return or the next generation will fill the void.
    The Island dispute kept Japan and Russia from forming any sort of partnership.

    Basing Mistrals in Northern fleet, i dont think is a good idea. The
    Mistrals cant handle the ice conditions, and where to send them,
    Iceland?
    No, they will be in better use in Baltic sea and the Black sea, and there is where i think they will end up.

    As far as I know they are getting their hulls strengthened to operate in icy waters. The purpose of sending them to the Northern Fleet is that future arctic oil and gas exploration will make it necessary for Russia to be able to defend its new assets in the region. A recent agreement with BP will allow Russia to use BPs expertise and specialist know how in exploration in difficult areas in the northern areas of Russia.

    Mistrals in the Black Sea or Baltic would be targets and the only real justification could possibly be to base it in the Baltic to defend Kaliningrad... but that hardly needs defending.

    Even if these are small seas, the need of amphibious ships is important
    and urgent. And by basing them in the Black sea, the Mediterranean is
    very close by, and it seems to becoming a hotspot again.

    I very much doubt it would be based in the Black Sea... if it was then it would more likely be based in the Syrian port of Tartus for operations in the Med, but it would not likely have a specific mission there... except possibly to support Serbia if there are more problems over Kosovo again... which I doubt.

    Kidding aside, a good way to reinfoce Kaliningrad and keep options open.

    I think asserting Russias position in the Arctic makes rather more sense than defending Kaliningrad.
    If its role is supporting Kaliningrad in case of a blockade then it might have some merit but I can't see even this happening any time soon.
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    Post  runaway Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:51 am

    GarryB wrote:[As far as I know they are getting their hulls strengthened to operate in icy waters. The purpose of sending them to the Northern Fleet is that future arctic oil and gas exploration will make it necessary for Russia to be able to defend its new assets in the region. A recent agreement with BP will allow Russia to use BPs expertise and specialist know how in exploration in difficult areas in the northern areas of Russia.

    Maybe they will have some ice capability, and yes they could fill some role in the arctic.
    In this ice world, only submarine and air assets are really useful. So the Mistrals could be used as a makeshift airfield for helos.

    I dont see however the need for them there as important as they are in the far east.
    That said, they can go there too, rather quick by the northern ship lane.

    Still i would think one would be valuable in the Black sea.
    To strenghten the capabilities there and offer projections in the Med and around the horn of Africa.

    Maybe 2 in the Pacific, 1 in Northern fleet and 1 in the Black sea?

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    Post  GarryB Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:21 pm

    Maybe they will have some ice capability, and yes they could fill some role in the arctic.
    In
    this ice world, only submarine and air assets are really useful. So the
    Mistrals could be used as a makeshift airfield for helos.

    Every year it is getting warmer up there, I think they are anticipating a period where ice coverage is not complete and the area is navigable. There is certainly a lot of talk about redirecting some trade from Europe through to Northern Russia and down between Alaska and Kamchatka... mostly for trade to Asia. Not sure how realistic it is, but material is already flowing in that general direction by rail.

    I dont see however the need for them there as important as they are in the far east.
    That said, they can go there too, rather quick by the northern ship lane.

    I think the main issue is that you can't really just tie a Mistral up at any old pier.

    A Mistral class ship would need a significant support and supply chain plus it will need what basically amounts to a carrier group to support it. Remember this is an amphibious assault ship... you need all the other bits to make it effective. I can't see that in the Black or Baltic seas.
    For a start it would mean a large contingent of Naval Infantry forces based in what is still a foreign country in Sevastopol.

    The first deployment of Mistrals will make a lot of sense in the Pacific and during operations it can visit a lot of islands in the Pacific to generate good will while practising and honing skills.
    The deployment of Mistrals to the Northern fleet will be less clear in its intent but I really do think that more patrols in their north now that oil and gas exploration are becoming more likely makes more sense than basing them in the Baltic or Black seas. It is too big for such places... especially when you consider that its capabilities would not be required for most operations in both regions.

    Maybe 2 in the Pacific, 1 in Northern fleet and 1 in the Black sea?

    Ships this size need upgrades and overhauls to keep them in tip top operational condition. By the time the second ship arrives the first ship will need some work. As such it makes more sense to base them together... especially when you take into account the logistics train these vessels need as a tail to do their job. Helos burn through fuel at a fairly fast rate so the fuel supply needs to be effective, and of course that many men on board a ship requires lots of food too.

    I think a Mistral in the Med on paper would be of interest to the Russians, but whether they are based in the Ukraine or Syria it means a lot of military equipment ready for very fast mobilisation needs to be based in foreign countries... and I don't know about Syria but I don't think the Ukraine will like that... and it would be more expensive with all the support ships and of course the other ships that will operate with it... and that is not even considering the port upgrade needed to service such a ship.

    I don't know for a fact, but I really think that initially they will send the second two to the Northern Fleet. It is certainly possible that they might want to deploy a Mistral to anti pirate duty, but not with a full load of armour and helos and naval infantry. If I had a free hand I would try to lease facilities in India and base operations to Africa from there.
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    Post  runaway Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:26 pm

    GarryB wrote:I think a Mistral in the Med on paper would be of interest to the Russians, but whether they are based in the Ukraine or Syria it means a lot of military equipment ready for very fast mobilisation needs to be based in foreign countries... and I don't know about Syria but I don't think the Ukraine will like that...

    I think you have forgotten Novorossiysk, a naval base being uppgraded and enlarged. That means no problems with the Marine troops.

    And as the Black sea seems to get more important in the years to come, with new Nato members, Olympics and unease around the region, i belive we will se a Mistral there.
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    Post  GarryB Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:32 am

    I think you have forgotten Novorossiysk, a naval base being uppgraded
    and enlarged. That means no problems with the Marine troops.

    As a backup to Sevastopol. I think that the Russians will eventually want to increase their presence in the Med, but their first priority will be the Kuril Islands and their second will be the North with potential oil exploration and drilling needing a more substantial Russian Naval presence in the region.

    To effectively use Mistral in the Med they would need to spend a lot of money on Tartus in Syria because it will spend most of its time there. I think they will need to build the navy up and invest in more support ships before they start looking at deployment areas like Tartus and Cam Rahn Bay and Cuba.

    And as the Black sea seems to get more important in the years to come,
    with new Nato members, Olympics and unease around the region, i belive
    we will se a Mistral there.

    The first two Mistrals are going to the Pacific Fleet and I rather doubt a third will be built in time to deploy it to the Black sea in time for the 2014 Sochi games.

    Deploying such a ship in the Black Sea will be more destabilising than stabilising in that region, though I admit I would enjoy seeing all the ties that would be consumed per day by "milli vanili".

    Large objects like the Mistral are double edged swords in that they provide a significant capability that you can't often get easily any other way, but they also represent a target... even a goal for the enemy that can effect things well beyond their actual value. Sink a 20,000 ton container ship and people get angry... sink a Mistral and check out the different reaction!

    The irony of course is that the Japanese Navy is much better equipped to sink a Mistral and Georgia could only do it with help, but any cost benefit analysis would show the advantage of having one there is outweighed by the risk and the usefulness of having it elsewhere.

    If NATO decides on a land and air blockade of Kaliningrad then Mistrals in the Baltic make sense.
    The Baltic states allow Russia to use their land to supply Kaliningrad and if they wanted to they could deny transit route rights for a period or permanently... perhaps in a reaction to Russia withdrawing permission to transport supplies to Afghanistan through her territory.

    Otherwise the Mistrals would be a destabilising factor in the Baltic without a fundamental purpose for being there.

    I think the Northern Fleet is the only place they could be based... which is not to say they couldn't send one to the Black or Baltic sea bases for periods of time if they wanted to.
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    Post  runaway Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:57 pm

    GarryB wrote:[Deploying such a ship in the Black Sea will be more destabilising than stabilising in that region, though I admit I would enjoy seeing all the ties that would be consumed per day by "milli vanili".

    Ha, yes i totaly agree!
    Though russia has a long land border with Georgia, so any Mistrals is hardly needed.
    But maybe the new Ivan green will be tranferred to Sevastopol.

    And Japan, yes they could pose a threat, but when China is rising as a naval power, i doubt they will risk it.
    The Matter of the Kurils has to be solved sometime, and the precense of some Mistrals could help them reach a peace settlement.

    I hope your right about ice class modifying, or else the Northern basement of Mistrals is not worth much. Maybe an icebreaker is better up there...

    And arent they landing ships, do they really need special piers to load/unload?



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    Post  GarryB Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:35 am

    Though russia has a long land border with Georgia, so any Mistrals is hardly needed.

    Much of that land border is near vertical with the only land access to South Ossetia being through the Roki tunnel but of course a Mistral would not make much difference regarding access to South Ossetia.

    Just got a new game in the post called Black Shark which is based on the Lock On series of games that is set in the region. Will be interesting to fly around looking at the terrain. I have an older game called Enemy Engaged which is also a helo sim and when loaded with the game that preceeded it called Apache Havoc I think one of the regions you can fly missions is the Black Sea area near Georgia. Must get that game out and play it again.

    But maybe the new Ivan green will be tranferred to Sevastopol.

    With the added Russian ground forces now in both new countries I really don't think an invasion by Georgia is going to happen again or would even be possible.

    The Black Sea fleet should be modernised of course but there is no point putting useful new ships in a backwater lake.

    And Japan, yes they could pose a threat, but when China is rising as a naval power, i doubt they will risk it.

    You could be right... I really don't know the Japanese very well, but there is the risk that a China that is rising in naval power might result in an equivalent rise in militarism in Japan as a reaction to this which could lead to more aggressive policies.

    I was pleased to see the Japanese opposition leader derided Japans official reaction to Medvedevs visit and attention to the Kuril Islands as being counter productive and making negotiations impossible.

    I don't know how popular the opposition is in Japan, or which side of the fence the population sits with regard to the issue.

    If it becomes a rallying point for an election then there could be problems... Argentinas government used the Falkland Islands to distract the population from local problems... and I think it is rather fair to say that the British pretty much did the same. I rather doubt most people in Britain really didn't care much about the plight of the people on the Falklands till their government got them worked up over it.

    The Matter of the Kurils has to be solved sometime, and the precense of some Mistrals could help them reach a peace settlement.

    I think the Mistrals being there would take military force off the table for Japan as a serious option... and that is a good thing I think.

    And arent they landing ships, do they really need special piers to load/unload?

    They don't beach, they carry landing craft for that purpose... 4 in total I think.

    Vlad has posted some pics and vids earlier in this thread showing the French landing craft which use a catamaran hull and seem to be very capable custom designed vessels for the Mistral.
    Page 8 of this thread starting with post no.118.
    Basically they are not roll on roll off vessels as there are openings at the rear for landing ships but no openings at the front of the ship... in fact there is a bow mounted sonar that would be destroyed if you tried to beach the vessel.
    The catamaran landing ships are very fast, have a good payload capacity and good range so the Mistral would likely not get within 100km of the beach it is landing forces on... which would make it safe from conventional artillery.
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    Post  Admin Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:39 pm

    Russia will purchase from France UDC type "Mistral", with military information and control system, but without a license for its manufacture

    MOSCOW, February 25. (ARMS-TASS). Russia will purchase from France two amphibious assault ship (UDC) of the "Mistral" with all the navigation and process equipment, including one of its main components - the Combat Information Control System (CICS). This was reported by ITAR-TASS First Deputy Minister of Defense Vladimir Popovkin.

    The contract for the Mistral provides for the delivery, together with the ships CICS Zenit-9, but without transferring the license for its production, said Popovkin.

    "This is a contract for the purchase of our two complete ships of the French association DCNS and licenses for the production of two class helicopter" Mistral "in Russia for at least 1.5 billion euros. Although the French" stuffing "Mistral", weapons and helicopters in the They are Russian, "- said the first deputy minister of defense.

    Two "Mistral", which under the contract to construct the Russian shipyards will also be equipped with CICS Zenit-9.

    As noted by the First Deputy Minister of Defence, according to the wishes of the Russian side in the construction of UDC type "Mistral" will be made to individual changes, as in connection with the placement of them Russian-made helicopters require a little "bump" deck. "

    "Furthermore, - continued Popovkin - plan to use helicopter in the northern latitudes and in ice. This will require strengthened ship. This, however, will not cause major changes in the construction and equipping of Mistral.

    Costs associated with the construction of a series of four ships, "will be substantially reduced, including in their production under license in Russia," said Popovkin.

    As explained by a senior official of the General Staff of the Navy, the availability of CICS on the ship type "Mistral" "makes it essentially the flagship of command and staff vehicle. CICS "Mistral" after adopting a Russian Fleet will allow them as flagships to control the fighting, primarily fire, heterogeneous groups of forces on the sea (ocean), theaters, said a spokesman. "Mistrals" will, inter alia, to distribute between surface ships, submarines and aircraft, working with them on a single frequency, all identified targets for their destruction, "- he added.

    Nevertheless, the representative of the General Staff of the Navy, has expressed regret over the fact that the French did not convey to the Russian side license for CICS. The absence of a license will need to carry out maintenance and subsequent repair of CICS by French experts, he said.
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    Post  GarryB Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:57 am

    It is pretty clear that the Russians don't totally trust the French... the first two Mistrals... the two made in France, will be deployed in the Pacific Fleet...

    Good to confirm the weapons and helos will be Russian, and that they will be modified for operations in ice.
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    Post  runaway Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:55 pm

    With the recent disaster in Japan, i belive one of two things will happen.

    1. Japan will sink back as a navy power and not pose a threat to Kurils for decades, and the Mistrals will rule the seas.

    2. War with Japan is coming in 1-3 years. They must have more land because of radiation damage, and a need to restore nations honor. To turn focus on enemies to rally the nation.

    Either way, Mistrals will be very important in the years to come.

    Japan has two Hyūga-class helicopter destroyers, like Mistrals, but with weaker amphibious capabilities. Its unlikely they can/ will build more.

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    Post  Russian Patriot Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:45 pm


    Three in one:

    Russia, France struggle over Mistral contract

    RIA Novosti


    04:18 16/03/2011 PARIS, March 16 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian-French contract on the construction of Mistral class helicopter carriers for the Russian Navy is unlikely to be signed in the near future, a Russian deputy defense minister said.

    Russia and France in January signed an intergovernmental agreement to jointly build two Mistral-class helicopter carriers at the STX shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. Another two are planned to be constructed later at the Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg.

    However, the sides have since experienced difficulties in agreeing the terms of the actual contract between Russian state-arms exporter Rosoboronexport and French DCSN company.

    "The negotiations have not been easy so far, I would even describe them as tough," Anatoly Antonov told reporters in Paris on Tuesday during a visit of Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov to France.

    "It is too early to talk about specific dates, and too many technical details have yet to be settled. The contract must be adapted to our conditions. Experts will have to do a difficult and skillful job to adjust all parameters of the future contract," Antonov said.

    The official added that Russia prioritized the purchase of Mistrals with full technology transfer. The overall price of the contract was also a "big issue," he said.

    According to Russian media, the initial talks in February reached an impasse after France increased the total price tag from 980 milllion euros to at least 1.15 billion euros for the first two ships to be built in France.

    In addition, France insists on signing a separate contract for licensed construction of two Mistrals in Russia.

    Antonov said Russia would not push for a quick conclusion of negotiations because their results must meet the interests and requirements of both sides.

    A Mistral class ship is capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing vessels, 70 armored vehicles, and 450 personnel.

    Russia plans to deploy the first two Mistral ships in the Pacific to protect the four Kuril Islands, which Russia has disputed with Japan since World War II.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2011/03/mil-110316-rianovosti03.htm




    Russian MoD cagey on warship contract with France

    RIA Novosti

    17:15 16/03/2011 MOSCOW, March 16 (RIA Novosti) - A contract with France on the construction of modern warships for Russia will be signed when it is ready, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Wednesday.

    Russia and France signed an intergovernmental agreement in January on four Mistral-class helicopter carriers - two to be built at the STX shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, and two in Russia under French license.

    "At present negotiations are ongoing on only two ships," Serdyukov said after his working visit to France on Tuesday.

    "The scheme of the deal is this: We sign an agency contract with [Russian arms export monopoly] Rosoboronexport, which will procure two warships for the ministry," he said.

    "Who the French sign a contract with as subcontractors is the question."

    Russia would like the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) to be part of the deal.

    "We are interested in two ships on which the French would be under formal obligation to provide post-sales servicing," Serdyukov said.

    He said his talks in France were short, "about 40 minutes," but constructive.

    Serdyukov said he had made arrangements for his new French counterpart, Gerard Longuet, to visit Russia on April 14-15.

    Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said last Tuesday a contract was unlikely to be signed in the foreseeable future.

    According to some media reports, talks in early March between Rosoboronexport and France's DCSN company reached an impasse after France upped the price from 980 million euros to at least 1.15 billion euros for the first two ships.

    Russia also wants the price of construction licenses and technical documentation to be included in the contract, while France insists they should be sold separately for an additional 90 million euros.

    A Mistral-class ship is capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing vessels, 70 armored vehicles, and 450 personnel.

    A number of Russia's neighbors have expressed concern over the upcoming deal, in particular Georgia and Lithuania, although a Russian Defense Ministry source said in early February the ships would be inducted with the Pacific Fleet to protect the South Kuril Islands claimed by Japan.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2011/03/mil-110316-rianovosti04.htm



    Warship deal with Russia losing support in France - paper

    RIA Novosti

    19:15 16/03/2011 PARIS, March 16 (RIA Novosti) - The agreement to sell advanced warships to Russia is losing support in France because of Moscow's wish to get hold of sensitive military technology and concerns among Russia's neighbors, Le Figaro daily said on Wednesday.

    Russia and France signed an intergovernmental agreement in January on four Mistral-class helicopter carriers - two to be built at the STX shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, and two in Russia under a French license.

    Paris has agreed to transfer to Russia a highly sophisticated control and communication system, Sinik 9, which builds on the Sinik 8 system that is installed on the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, the flagship of the French Navy, the paper said.

    According to Le Figaro's sources, Russia has pushed through an important change in the intergovernmental agreement, replacing French "assistance" in technology transfer to Russia with a "guarantee" of technology transfer.

    A number of Russia's neighbors have expressed concern over the upcoming deal, in particular Georgia, Lithuania, and Japan, especially after a Russian Defense Ministry source said in early February the ships would be inducted with the Pacific Fleet to protect the South Kuril Islands claimed by Japan.

    "The negotiations have started to irk even the most loyal supporters of the agreement, who are beginning to think that the price for France is too high," the paper says.

    Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov was cagey on Wednesday about a timeframe for the contract, saying it would be signed when it was ready.

    "At present negotiations are ongoing on only two ships," he said after his working visit to France on Tuesday.

    Russia is interested in two ships on which the French would be under formal obligation to provide post-sales servicing, Serdyukov said.

    Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said last Tuesday a contract was unlikely to be signed in the foreseeable future.

    According to some media reports, talks in early March between Rosoboronexport and France's DCSN company reached an impasse after France upped the price from 980 million euros to at least 1.15 billion euros for the first two ships.

    Russia also wants the price of construction licenses and technical documentation to be included in the contract, while France insists they should be sold separately for an additional 90 million euros.

    A Mistral-class ship is capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing vessels, 70 armored vehicles, and 450 personnel.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2011/03/mil-110316-rianovosti05.htm
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    Post  AbsoluteZero Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:03 pm

    someone's got to be behind the stall of the mistral deal, possibly the United States but I do hope that both France and Russia would find common ground on the matter in the soonest time possible and proceed with the signing. Although if we take into consideration the tone of the reports, It does seem like it will take more time and negotiations before it gets resolved.

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    Post  GarryB Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:33 pm

    I agree.

    I have gotten used to the idea of a Russian Mistral with Ka-52s and Ka-226s and Ka-29s and I am also interested in what choices will be made regarding armament etc... hope they don't screw it up.

    For Russia it is a good ship and it is investment in a Russian shipyard to produce these vessels, and for France it is work for their shipyards and of course a chance to thumb their noses at the US, which I suspect they are enjoying privately much more than they show.
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    Post  Russian Patriot Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:16 pm

    Medvedev sacks Navy admiral responsible for Mistral talks

    Topic: Russia's purchase of French Mistral-class warship

    Mistral-class warship



    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has sacked the senior Navy official who was in charge of talks with France over the purchase of Mistral-class warships.

    The Russian Defense Ministry says the dismissal of Vice Admiral Nikolai Borisov is not linked with the Mistral deal, which has raised concerns among France's NATO allies.

    Borisov was forced out for "internal reasons," a Defense Ministry source told RIA Novosti.

    The estimated $1.5 billion deal, which has been on the cards for months, came close to collapse last year over how much technology France was prepared to share with Russia. An inter-goverment agreement was reached in France in January, but no contract has yet been signed.

    Under the agreement, Russia and France will co-build two Mistral-class helicopter carriers at France's shipbuilding yard at Saint Nazaire, while another two Mistrals will be built in Russia's St. Petersburg.

    Mistral-class amphibious assault ships are capable of carrying up to 16 helicopters, four landing craft and 450 soldiers.

    MOSCOW, April 19 (RIA Novosti)

    http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20110419/163596579.html

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