- Russian military denies existence of new 'super-tank'
- Russia, Venezuela sign raft of energy, military deals
- Russia demonstrates military machismo in West 2009 war games
- Russia, Belarus start Zapad 2009 military exercise
MOSCOW, September 15 (RIA Novosti) - Technical discussions between Russia and France on buying a Mistral class amphibious assault ship should be completed soon, with a decision on the purchase to follow from Moscow, a source close to the negotiations said on Tuesday.
"We are holding technical consultations, which are expected to be completed by the end of September. The results will be reported to Russia's military-industrial commission in order to determine the viability of the purchase," the source said.
He added that a group of Russian naval officers had already inspected a Mistral class ship at a French naval base in Toulon.
"The officers were shown the interior of the ship and provided with technical data," the official said.
The source denied media reports that Russia was considering alternative purchases of the same type of warship from other countries, including the Netherlands and Spain.
"These countries also build amphibious assault ships of a similar class, but we have not considered their offers so far," he 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 can be used as an amphibious command ship.
The ship could cost between 300 and 400 million euros ($430-580 million).
Gen. Nikolai Makarov, the chief of the Russian General Staff, said in August that Russia was 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.
Some Russian military experts have questioned the purchase both from the financial and military standpoint.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
Image Galleries: The Royal Path of Russia’s Last Tsar
Infographics: The Origin of Geomagnetic Storms
Cartoons: Dreams of Space
The failure of the Islamist political parties who came to power in the dramatic events of the Arab Spring would allow the military to reenter the political arena. Political Islam was successful in the opposition, but it could fail in power, as the negative experience of Egypt and Iraq have shown.