25 May 2010

Russia Expanding LDP-like Fleet

Apparently not content to have just one helicopter carrier, the Russians want to buy at least 4 ships and build several of them in Russia.

Russia plans to buy four Western-built helicopter carriers and is now in talks with three NATO states on buying the vessels, RIA news agency quoted Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov as saying on Monday.

"At the present time we are in preliminary discussions on this type of vessel with three states. These are Spain, Holland and France. We plan to sign a contract for four such ships," Serdyukov said. He gave no time frame for the deal.

The would-be deal on the purchase of the warships has the full backing of President Dmitry Medvedev, Serdyukov stressed. "We are now working very seriously on this issue," he said.

Russia had originally set its eyes on France's Mistral amphibious carriers, estimated to cost 400 million to 500 million euros ($500.2 million-$625.2 million). Moscow said later it could buy similar ships elsewhere if it saw better options.

The potential sale of a Mistral-type warship to Moscow has alarmed the United States and Eastern European NATO members.

In August 2008 Russia fought a five-day war against ex-Soviet Georgia. Moscow said later that if it had the Mistral during the war, it would have achieved its military goal in 40 minutes instead of 26 hours.

I'm sure this is all making Georgia feel very secure right now...

By: Brant

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