Author Topic: Russia's Mistral class LHDs: updates  (Read 142677 times)

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Offline S.M.A.

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US Congressional leaders urge NATO to purchase/lease Mistrals
« Reply #50 on: May 30, 2014, 13:07:24 »
The idea of NATO purchasing/leasing the Mistral class ships is proving attractive to a number of key US Congressmen:

Atlantic Council blog

Quote
Congressional Leaders Urge NATO to Purchase French Warships Intended for Russia
BY ELIOT L. ENGEL, MICHAEL TURNER, AND WILLIAM R. KEATING

Text of letter to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen from US lawmakers.

Dear Mr. Secretary General:

We are writing to express our deep concerns regarding France's contract to supply two Mistral warships to the Russian Federation this fall and to propose a solution to this vexing problem. In light of Russia's recent aggression against Ukraine, we believe that the sale would send the wrong signal to President Putin – that it is "business as usual" – and would enhance Russia's military


(...SNIPPED)

Therefore, we suggest that NATO collectively purchase or lease the warships as a common naval asset. As mentioned earlier, the purchase would send a strong signal to President Putin that the NATO allies will not tolerate or in any way enable his reckless moves. In addition, such a purchase would rapidly enhance NATO capabilities at a moment when many Allies have been cutting defense expenditures and greatly reassure Alliance members and partners in Central and Eastern Europe who feel most vulnerable by this force multiplier in the hands of the Russian military. Finally, we would point out that there is ample precedent for NATO to purchase shared assets, including the Alliance's fleet of E-3A AWACS aircraft.

Mr. Secretary General, we believe that NATO's joint acquisition of the Mistrals truly would be a win-win-win move – for France, for NATO, and for Ukraine and other states in the region under Russian pressure. We ask that you give serious consideration to our proposal and look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Eliot L. Engel
Ranking Member, Committee on Foreign Affairs

Michael Turner
Chairman, U.S. Delegation to NATO Parliamentary Assembly

William R. Keating
Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats

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Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Russia's Mistral class LHDs: updates
« Reply #51 on: June 03, 2014, 23:25:51 »
Whether France will listen to Poland is another matter:

Defense News

Quote
Poland Against France-Russia Warship Sale
Jun. 3, 2014 - 03:50PM   |   By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 

(FULL ARTICLE AT LINK ABOVE)

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Online Chris Pook

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Re: Russia's Mistral class LHDs: updates
« Reply #52 on: June 04, 2014, 10:45:45 »
It's nice to know that France believes that signatures must be honoured.......
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Re: Russia's Mistral class LHDs: updates
« Reply #53 on: June 05, 2014, 18:47:53 »
Mers-el-Kebir

Perhaps Hollande would prefer a Churchillian solution.
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Russia's Mistral class LHDs: updates
« Reply #54 on: June 05, 2014, 19:09:27 »

But Cameron is no Churchill.

Mark
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Re: Russia's Mistral class LHDs: updates
« Reply #55 on: June 05, 2014, 19:36:38 »
Fact.
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Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Russia's Mistral class LHDs: updates
« Reply #56 on: June 06, 2014, 10:16:19 »
Apparently the Russian annexation of Crimea isn't enough for cancelling the Mistral sale in Merkel's eyes:


Germany backs France on Russia warship contract

[euobserver]
5.06.14

Quote
Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday (4 June) in Brussels that interruption of delivery might only come if the EU adopts “stage three” sanctions - economic sanctions - against Russia.

But she said the EU is not launching stage three because Russia did not stop Ukraine’s 25 May presidential elections from going ahead.


“The question of exports to Russia falls under stage three. About when to trigger stage three, if there is more destabilisation we have agreed, also myself bilaterally with the US President, that if elections take place we won't trigger stage three. We see elections have taken place successfully, but that there were also negative elements of destabilisation [in east Ukraine],” she noted.


“If there is further destabilisation, yes, stage three - we've always said it,” she added.

« Last Edit: June 06, 2014, 10:19:43 by S.M.A. »
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Re: Russia's Mistral class LHDs: updates
« Reply #57 on: June 06, 2014, 11:08:05 »
Found a better solution to the problem than Mers-el-Kebir 1940.  This one is more in keeping with French sensibilities.

Auckland 1985
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Russia's Mistral class LHDs: updates
« Reply #58 on: June 06, 2014, 12:23:37 »
Does JTF 2 have the capability ;)?

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Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Russia's Mistral class LHDs: updates
« Reply #59 on: June 13, 2014, 11:34:29 »
Defense News

Quote
Russian Sailors To Begin Mistral Training June 22
Jun. 12, 2014 - 08:46PM   |   By PIERRE TRAN

PARIS — Some 400 Russian sailors are expected on June 22 to start training on the Mistral-class helicopter carrier, marking a slight delay from an induction planned to start earlier in the month, media reports said.

The personnel had been due to arrive in France June 1 but the Russian training ship, the Smolny, which was transporting them suffered damage at the Kronstadt military naval base and needed repairs, public service broadcaster France Television 3 and Agence France-Presse have reported.

(...EDITED)

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Offline Colin P

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Re: Russia's Mistral class LHDs: updates
« Reply #60 on: June 13, 2014, 14:29:39 »
Found a better solution to the problem than Mers-el-Kebir 1940.  This one is more in keeping with French sensibilities.

Auckland 1985

The irony would be strong in that one, leave a Greenpeace flag as well..... 8)

Offline MilEME09

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Re: Russia's Mistral class LHDs: updates
« Reply #61 on: June 13, 2014, 15:37:31 »
Defense News

Makes me wonder what kind of long term consequences this will have for France given the situation in Ukraine
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Re: Russia's Mistral class LHDs: updates
« Reply #62 on: June 26, 2014, 19:41:38 »
Quote
Controversial France-Russia Warship Step Closer To Completion

SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA — A controversial French-Russian warship project that has been decried by NATO came a step closer to completion on Thursday when the stern of the helicopter carrier was dispatched to France.

The Baltiysky shipyard in Russia said it had begun towing the stern of the Mistral-class carrier to the STX shipyard in St. Nazaire on the French Atlantic coast.

The French shipyard will weld the stern to the hull before delivering the finished warship to the Russian navy at the end of next year. A second carrier has already been completed and is due to be delivered to Russia later this year.

(...EDITED)

Defense News

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Offline Jungle

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Re: Russia's Mistral class LHDs: updates
« Reply #63 on: June 27, 2014, 15:07:47 »
I visited the Mistral a few days ago, nice ship. It's not as big as some of the other amphibs I have been on, but it would be perfect for us, should we decide to give ourselves such a capacity.
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Re: Russia's Mistral class LHDs: updates
« Reply #64 on: June 27, 2014, 16:11:27 »
MISTRAL is currently alongside in the same city I'm in. Certainly qualifies as a BHS*, and something we could, perhaps should have considered.


* BHS = big honkin' ship
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Re: Russia's Mistral class LHDs: updates
« Reply #65 on: August 04, 2014, 00:16:55 »
More talk about NATO or the EU acquiring the Mistrals in place of Russia:

Quote

Interest Rises in EU Acquisition of Mistrals Sold to Russia

PARIS — The idea that the European Union — not Russia — would acquire two French Mistral-class helicopter carriers already sold to Moscow is gaining ground as the West adopted a ban against future arms deals to Russia, and the energy and financial sectors, analysts said.

On Tuesday , the EU adopted a tier 3 batch of sanctions — for the first time aimed at whole sectors rather than selected asset freezes — while excluding the controversial €1.2 billion (US $1.6 billion) contract for the Mistral warships.

Dual-use, civil-military equipment was included in the punitive measures, which are seen as pushing the Russian economy closer to recession and as a hit to fragile economies in Western Europe.

Paris has been quietly looking for an acceptable solution, with the EU seen as a possible exit from the contentious arms contract with Russia.

(...EDITED)

German officials wonder how the Mistral problem can be resolved, a second analyst said.

Despite the highly public criticism of France, the EU has accepted that the Mistral deal would go forward.

One possibility is the EU taking up the Mistral contract.

“It is being discussed in Paris as an option,” Tétreau said. “It is gaining traction in Paris. There are diplomats and politicians in Paris who see that as a possibility.”

The EU has ample financial means, with the official seven-year budget set at €1 trillion, he said. One of the ships could be based at the docks shared by Belgium and the Netherlands, and the second vessel in the Mediterranean, he said.

An alternative would be NATO, which has the infrastructure and mandate, he said.

If the EU were to make the move, there is the European Defence Agency (EDA), which has the pooling-and-sharing approach for the member states. That could be a financial system for acquiring military platforms, he said.


(...SNIPPED)


Source:

Defense News


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Offline MilEME09

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Re: Russia's Mistral class LHDs: updates
« Reply #66 on: August 04, 2014, 21:17:20 »
More talk about NATO or the EU acquiring the Mistrals in place of Russia:

if the EU or NATO as a whole buy it, they may then sell it to a member state or friendly allies in which can it may open the door to CAnada getting a LHD for cheap
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Re: Russia's Mistral class LHDs: updates
« Reply #67 on: September 03, 2014, 12:16:29 »
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29052599

Ukraine crisis: France halts warship delivery to Russia France has said conditions are "not right" for delivery of the first of two Mistral assault navy ships to Russia.

President Francois Hollande's office blamed Moscow's recent actions in Ukraine.

France had until now resisted pressure to halt the delivery.

Correspondents say the EU has struggled to tighten sanctions against Russia, restricting itself to travel bans and asset freezes against individuals.

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Re: Russia's Mistral class LHDs: updates
« Reply #68 on: September 03, 2014, 15:21:31 »
Total pipedream I know, but I wonder if we were to purchase a mix of Gowind OPV's and Combat Corvettes from DCNS (http://en.dcnsgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/180561.pdf) to replace our Kingston and Halifax class ships and reduced the scope of the CSC project to just replace the Iroquois class, they would give us a super-sweet deal on the 2nd Russian Mistral.  Their company would still get nice business out of the deal and it would help get the French out of a sticky political situation.

Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Russia's Mistral class LHDs: updates
« Reply #69 on: September 03, 2014, 15:48:08 »
No rejoicing quite yet since here's a further clarification as posted by ERC in the Ukraine crisis thread: it's only a halting of one of the vessels. The 2nd one will still be delivered on schedule next year. 

 :facepalm:

According to a report in the National Post:

Quote

 "France is suspending the delivery of a hulking warship to Russia amid security concerns about Moscow’s actions in neighbouring Ukraine ... The Vladivostok, the first of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers ordered by Russia, was to be delivered next month. The second — named Sevastopol, ironically, after a port in Russian-annexed Crimea — has been slated for delivery next year."

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Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Russia's Mistral class LHDs: updates
« Reply #70 on: September 04, 2014, 15:12:45 »
And more clarification: it's technically not even a "halt". It's only been suspended till NOVEMBER.

 :facepalm:

BBC

Quote
France faces huge Mistral bill for halting Russia deal

(...EDITED)

A French diplomat earlier said the contract was suspended until November, and the delay "could cost us 1bn euros".

The deal is worth 1.2bn euros - and Russia is reported to have paid most of it, so breach of contract would mean France having to reimburse that money.

(...EDITED)

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Offline S.M.A.

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Mistral class LHD Vladivostok leaves for sea trials
« Reply #71 on: September 16, 2014, 16:50:59 »
The Vladivostok leaves for sea trials.

Quote
First Mistral-Class Ship Built for Russia Sets Off for Sea Trials: Reports

The Mistral-class helicopter carrier, the Vladivostok, carrying some 200 Russian sailors on Saturday left the French port of Saint-Nazaire to pass a series of tests.

The Vladivostok had left docks at 3:30 a.m. local time (1:30 GMT), but was forced to wait until the tide thus eventually sailing out to sea at 7:20 a.m. (5:20 GMT) accompanied by two tugboats, Agence France-Presse reported.

This is the first time the ship goes to sea since its arrival to Saint-Nazaire in June where two crews of Russian sailors, a total of 400 crew members, have been awaiting sea trials.

(...SNIPPED)

Last week, France threatened to suspend the supply of the helicopter carriers, linking its decision to the crisis in Ukraine, claiming Moscow’s direct involvement. Later, a French government spokesman told RIA Novosti that the delivery of the ship is not officially suspended and that French President Francois Hollande was simply outlining his political stance. Hollande stated he would not approve of the transfer of the vessel in November should the situation in Ukraine not improve. Hollande later stated he would make the decision in late October.

(...SNIPPED)

Source: RIA Novosti

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Offline S.M.A.

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Opinion Piece: Mistral LHD for Canada
« Reply #72 on: September 21, 2014, 10:44:59 »
In the event that Hollande won't deliver the ships to Russia in some unforeseen escalation of the Ukraine conflict:

Quote
Opinion: A Mistral For Canada

By: Jim Dorschner
September 19, 2014 [/font]



Mistral-class ship, 'Sevastopol' configured as a NATO/Canadian Navy ship. CASR Image


While France desperately wants to complete the two amphibious warships - and get paid for them - NATO and Canada need the capabilities these ships can provide.

For Canada, an LPH would help buttress logistic support for the upcoming Canadian Joint Support Ship (JSS). The replacement to Canada's fleet oilers originally required a level of expeditionary capabilities which were ultimately not included in the final ship design.

The second Russian Mistral - slated for delivery in 2016 - would be operated by the RCN on a renewable five-year lease, based on the East Coast at Halifax. Under terms of the lease, this LPH would share commitments between NATO and Canadian national taskings.


The joint and combined multirole capabilities an LPH can provide the RCN include:

* Amphibious and SOF support, including NEO and CSAR operations;

* Humanitarian response - transporting and operating equipment, including landing craft, boats, helicopters and vehicles, while offering medical facilities and serving as an afloat base and operational HQ

* Arctic operations support - serving as a forward deployed afloat base for multi-agency sovereignty operations and exercises and for combined exercises and operations with US, Danish and Norwegian forces; SAR response to air and maritime disasters; and duty as a platform for regional development and law enforcement activities

* Task Force flagship/mothership for anti-piracy, sea control, ASW and other maritime operations

* Training and Engagement - serving as the RCN training ship; and as a platform for regional engagement missions, embarking training teams and equipment for cruises tailored to the training needs of friendly forces in areas such as the Caribbean, Central America and West Africa.

* Transport of vehicles, aircraft, equipment, containers and personnel in support of global deployments.


United States Naval Institute

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Offline cameron

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Re: Russia's Mistral class LHDs: updates
« Reply #73 on: September 21, 2014, 15:05:10 »
Looking at the comments on this thread it's apparent that I'm not the only one who's been thinking that Canada should buy at least one of these ships.
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Re: Opinion Piece: Mistral LHD for Canada
« Reply #74 on: September 21, 2014, 16:44:43 »
In the event that Hollande won't deliver the ships to Russia in some unforeseen escalation of the Ukraine conflict:
We could be so lucky.