The first of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers under construction in France, the Vladivostok, will be handed over to Russia in November, stay for several months in the Baltic Sea region for adjustment to Russian armaments and join the Pacific Fleet in October 2015, a source from the Pacific Fleet staff told Interfax-AVN on Wednesday.
"We expect the Vladivostok to arrive in the Uliss Bay no later than in October 2015. By then a plant deployed in the northwestern region will provide it with Russian armaments and a trained crew will make a series of trial voyages in the Baltic Sea before it sets out on its long journey," he said.
The infrastructure to accommodate the first helicopter carrier is expected to be built by late September 2015, he stressed.
Pacific Fleet Commander Vice-Admiral Sergei Avakiants said on Tuesday that crews of two helicopter carriers were being trained at the united training center of the Russian Navy. He said also that a base for the helicopter carriers and ships of new projects would be constructed in the Vladivostok Uliss Bay by the end of December 2017.
Rosoboronexport and French DCNS signed a contract to build the first two helicopter carriers in June 2011. The United Shipbuilding Corporation is a sub-contractor of the STX France shipyard in Saint Nazaire.
The Mistral-class helicopter carrier is 199 meters long and 32 meters wide. It has a 27 meter depth to the flight deck, a displacement of 22,600 tonnes, a draught of 6.42 meters, and a top speed of 18.5 knots in full Azipod power (3.5 megawatts). The ship has a crew of 177 and can carry 481 passengers.
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