Mar 10, 2015
Mistral-class Sevastopol ship to undergo first sea trials March 16-20
There will be no Russian sailors on board during the sea trials. Russian sailors who had taken a six-month course of instruction at the first ship of the Mistral class - the Vladivostok - have left St. Nazaire last December.
In February, the Sevastopol’s on-board equipment started transmitting the signal for the international Automatic Identification System, AIS.
The contract for building two Mistral class ships for the Russian Navy was concluded in June 2011. The first ship, the Vladivostok, launched in October 2013, was to be delivered to Russia back in November 2014. At the last moment Paris suspended the handover indefinitely saying the crisis in Ukraine was the reason. The Vladivostok has since remained moored in St. Nazaire. The Sevastopol is to be finalized by the end of this year.
Mistral landing helicopter carriers will perform four tasks at a same time: receive helicopters, land troops, and act as a command post and a floating hospital. Each ship will carry a group of 16 helicopters. Six of them can be deployed on the flight-deck at the same time. The cargo deck can accommodate more than 40 tanks or 70 motor vehicles.
Russia is buying the French helicopter carrier Mistral with French equipment, including combat navigation devices, but will arm it with its own weaponry. The Mistral ships will carry upgraded Russian Ka-32 Alligator attack helicopters.