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ULAN BATOR, August 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is planning on signing by the end of 2009 a contractual agreement with France on the purchase of a Mistral class amphibious assault ship, the chief of the Russian General Staff said on Wednesday.
"We are planning to reach an agreement [with France] this year on the production and the purchase of a Mistral class vessel," Gen. Nikolai Makarov told a news conference in the Mongolian capital, Ulan Bator.
"We are negotiating the purchase of one ship at present, and later planning to acquire 3-4 ships [of the same class] to be jointly built in Russia," the general said.
A Mistral class ship is capable of transporting and deploying 16 helicopters, four landing barges, up to 70 vehicles including 13 main battle tanks, and 450 soldiers. The vessel is equipped with a 69-bed hospital and could be used as an amphibious command ship.
Makarov did not disclose the amount of the deal, but a high-ranking Russian source close to negotiations earlier said the ship could be worth between 300 and 400 million euros ($430-580 mln).
Originally posted by deltaboy
Maybe not, but it could be a start. They may buy a French made future carrier if they believe that the Mistral ship has met their expectations. Wouldn't put it past the French to produce and sell a carrier for the Russians, especially when the Russians can't produce their own for a long time. And I haven't even mention about aircraft that will take off from that future Russian carrier.