A second round of at-sea trials is beginning for the Mistral type helicopter-carrier Sevastopol, a military-diplomatic source told Interfax-AVN on Tuesday.
"Two tug boats are pulling the Sevastopol towards the mouth of the Loire from Saint-Nazaire, where it had been docked with the first Mistral-class helicopter carrier, the Vladivostok.
The Sevastopol carried out its first seven-day trial journey in March.
Russia's state arms trader Rosoboronexport and France's DCNS signed a contract to build two Mistral-class helicopter carriers in June 2011. St. Petersburg-based Baltiysky Zavod, part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation, built the sterns. The STX France Saint Nazaire shipyard attached the sterns to the bows and put the finishing touches to the ships.
The Vladivostok was to be handed over to the Russian Navy back in the autumn of 2014. But France put the handover off indefinitely over the situation in Ukraine. The Sevastopol's handover is scheduled for the autumn of 2015.
Rosoboronexport chief Anatoly Isaikin earlier said that Moscow and Paris have about two months at their disposal to decide the Mistral helicopter carriers' future without litigation.
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