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Russia to base French-made new assault ships

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-04-17 13:54

VLADIVOSTOK - Moscow plans to base its French-made Mistral-class amphibious assault ships in the Far Eastern port of Vladivostok when they enter service, Russian media reported.

Several options were considered, but the choice fell on Vladivostok due to its existing transport infrastructure, RIA Novosti news agency quoted Roman Filimonov, head of the Defense Ministry's construction department, as saying.

In addition, Russia intends to build for the new ships a short-term base in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, another Far Eastern port, he said, adding that other possible bases are still being considered.

Necessary infrastructure for the two ships is due to be built in the Far Eastern region of Primorsky Krai by 2015, according to the report.

Russia signed a 1.2-billion-euro ($1.58 billion) deal with a French shipyard in 2011 for two Mistral-class ships, the first of which is due for delivery in 2014 and the second in 2015.

A Mistral-class ship is capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing vessels, 70 armored vehicles and 450 personnel.

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