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Russian shipyard begins metal cutting for 1st Mistral-class ship

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A Mistral-class ship of French Navy. File photo

ST. PETERSBURG (BNS): Russia's Baltic Shipyard announced on Wednesday that it has begun metal cutting for the hull of the first Mistral-class amphibious warship the country has ordered from France.

The warship, to be jointly built by French shipbuilders DCNS and STX along with Russia's state-run United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) under a deal signed between Russia and France in June 2011, will be the first of two such vessels to be constructed in France.

Under the deal, worth $1.2 billion, the USC will build a total of 24 blocks of hull which will be sent to STX France for final assembly of the two warships.

The metal cutting at Baltic Shipyard began after STX France delivered the first batch of technical documentation for the project vehicle to Russian subcontractor Admiralty Shipyards in July this year.

The metal cutting for the second Mistral-class ship is expected to start in May 2013, Baltic Shipyard said.

Russia and France had signed an intergovernmental agreement in January 25, 2011 to jointly build a total of four Mistral-class warships.

Under the agreement, two of the ships would be built in France and the remaining two in Russia. The first ship will be delivered in 2014 followed by the second in 2015.

The Mistral-class force projection and command vessel, with a length of 199 metres, displacement of 21,500 tonnes and speed of 35 km/h, is capable of carrying troops and deploying heavy helicopters, hovercraft, landing barges and armoured vehicles. Each ship can carry and deploy up to 16 helicopters, including attack choppers.

The Russian Navy plans to deploy the new ships in its Northern and Pacific Fleets and arm them with Ka-52 combat helicopters.

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Russia  Mistral  Warship  France  
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