Russia may purchase Mistral class LHD from France


Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Short sighted? Finance, Manpower will be the key for French whether they can afford a 2 or 1.
They already built it. It's operational. I know the planners thought all this out when doing so. Two vessels means the difference in potentially having a capability when you really need it and not having it. So, yes, if they sell one of the two they have...I'd call it short sighted.

Now, if they license build a new one for the Russians which they then sell...that would bring extra money in. Be good for France, and once they started license building their own, good for Russia too. Or if they use the dollars gained from this sell and build a second one for themselves...that's the same benefit.

Now, if the idea all along was to really build a demonstrator that they could then market...then that's another matter entirely. But I do not believe that was the idea when building the Mistrals.
 
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Ambivalent

Junior Member
One thing being overlooked regarding basing is the Montreux Convention. The Turks restricted the size and number of USN ships that they allowed into the Black Sea to support Georgia, and specifically prohibited the transit of an LHA or LHD. Turkey may not allow the Russians to bring a Mistral through the Turkish Straits. They are in a contest of wills with the Russians right now over the passage of supertankers through the straits, prohibiting them for safety reasons. The Russians are obviously angered by this and the diplomacy is ongoing. A Mistral through the straits may not fly under the circumstances, or allowing them through might mean they also have to let the USN through with an LHA or LHD. No easy answers.
 

Vlad Plasmius

Junior Member
One thing being overlooked regarding basing is the Montreux Convention. The Turks restricted the size and number of USN ships that they allowed into the Black Sea to support Georgia, and specifically prohibited the transit of an LHA or LHD. Turkey may not allow the Russians to bring a Mistral through the Turkish Straits. They are in a contest of wills with the Russians right now over the passage of supertankers through the straits, prohibiting them for safety reasons. The Russians are obviously angered by this and the diplomacy is ongoing. A Mistral through the straits may not fly under the circumstances, or allowing them through might mean they also have to let the USN through with an LHA or LHD. No easy answers.
Russia would have more leeway as I understand, though I was not sure if there was something applying to amphibious ships. I know aircraft carriers are not allowed, hence why the Kuznetsov is called a cruiser by the Russians, but I do not know if you would really include an amphibious assault ship with a flight deck. That is an aircraft carrier in a sense, but it seems like one would consider it an amphibious ship first.

Is there a place in the treaty that it specifically mentions amphibious ships?
 

bladerunner

Banned Idiot
The Mistral class would give a very much improved capability to the Russians. The Mistrals are, however, built to commercial standards to save on cost, they are not built to military standards. This was a deliberate choice of the French. They will not have the same level of damage control or water tight compartmentation as a true warship.
"People who dont learn from history are bound to make the same mistakes"

I believe that after the Falkland War, a inquiry into why the British ships suffered such severe damage from the exocet missile, was due to the cost saving measure of using aluminium in the superstructure? What confidence would a serving man have of his ship, if he knows its survivability is severely compromised to save a few dollars/francs
 

Obi Wan Russell

Jedi Master
VIP Professional
"People who dont learn from history are bound to make the same mistakes"

I believe that after the Falkland War, a inquiry into why the British ships suffered such severe damage from the exocet missile, was due to the cost saving measure of using aluminium in the superstructure? What confidence would a serving man have of his ship, if he knows its survivability is severely compromised to save a few dollars/francs
Only two ships in the Task force that were lost had Aluminium superstructures, the type 21 frigates HMS Ardent and Antelope, both of which sustained damage of such severity that even if they had steel superstructure they would still have been lost. The type 42s such as HMS Sheffield and Coventry had no aluminium in their structure at all, but had other faults (as did most of the RN at the time) such as flammable furniture and a lack of fire fight gear and breathing apparatus. To prevent being bombed/ hit by anti ship missiles, Airborne Early Warning aircraft and credible fleet fighter defence is essential, along with CIWS and damage control (already well understood and catered for before 82, but taken to a whole new level afterwards). Emergency power generators have also been re thought in terms of positioning and connection, as well as resistance to shock damage to prevent them being knocked out in the first hit. Cables and ductwork have also been made fire resistant and made from materials that do not give off toxic fumes. The main drawback to aluminium superstructures in warships is that during fires, essential components such as ladders and hatches melt, denying firefighters access to the seat of the blaze and preventing containment.
 

adeptitus

Captain
VIP Professional
Question: would this qualify as an arms export that must be approved by the EU?

The ship could be sold without any weapons, and technically it's not a warship, but has military applications.
 

Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Check this out gents..;)

[qimg]http://vetiairbe.free.fr/notahotlink/01122009/aa.jpg[/qimg]

[qimg]http://vetiairbe.free.fr/notahotlink/01122009/bb.jpg[/qimg]

[qimg]http://vetiairbe.free.fr/notahotlink/01122009/cc.jpg[/qimg]
Awesome pics Popeye.

The KA-52, Alligator, is the two seat tandem vesrion of the KA-50 Hoakum attack helicopter.

Awesom attack helicopters and the Mistral class vessel would be a strong platform for them in support of amphibious ops.


Cockpit


Coming in over the beach
 

Ambivalent

Junior Member
"People who dont learn from history are bound to make the same mistakes"

I believe that after the Falkland War, a inquiry into why the British ships suffered such severe damage from the exocet missile, was due to the cost saving measure of using aluminium in the superstructure? What confidence would a serving man have of his ship, if he knows its survivability is severely compromised to save a few dollars/francs
The Type 42 destroyers, of which HMS Sheffield was a member of that class, had no aluminum in their superstructures. None. How that lie manages to survive is beyond me. Those ships are all steel, I have personally stuck a magnet to the superstructure of HMS Southampton just to verify this to myself.
There are specific reasons HMS Sheffield sank, and these can be read in the Royal Navy Board of Inquiry available on line. The main cause was that the missile severed the ships fire main, and the damage could not be isolated. The ship lost all power so the ships own built in dewatering pumps could not be used. Gas turbine powered damage control pumps were tried but when the chips were down, these too failed to operate correctly. I think four different ships contributed these pumps and all of them failed. The ship lost internal communications and, with the center of the ship ablaze, remaining crew forward and aft could not effectively communicate with each other. Last, design failures in the superstructure prevented smoke and fire boundries from being set, and smoke filled the superstructure almost immediately after the hit. Where wire runs penetrated bulkheads in the superstructure there was no sealant to block the movement of flames and smoke. Water tight integrity is not necessary in the superstructure, but flame and smoke boundries were overlooked by the ship's designers. Ditto where pipes penetrated superstructure bulkheads there were openings. These became the paths for the fire to spread in the ship's upperworks. The RN, like many other navies, also has a bit of decorative wood in their ships you won't find in the USN ( we won't even allow wooden pallets on board ), and there are decorative overhead coverings in the bridge and other places that have to chopped away to get at the fire. This sort of gingerbread is completely absent from USN and JMSDF ships.
Even gutted by fire, the ship did not sink until it encountered heavy seas while being towed back to the UK for repairs.

Btw, there is no cost savings from using aluminum in the superstructure of a ship. This is done to reduce the ship's top weight. Modern radars and countermeasures have weighed down ships upperworks to the point where stability is degraded dangerously. To reduce top weight aluminum replaced steel in most combat ship superstructures during the 1950's. Consider for a moment the affect on a ship's stability of something as big as an SPS-48 air search radar turning circles on top of a tall mast as the ship pitches and rolls in a heavy swell. Think about how large and heavy those fire control radars and gun directors are. Then add a CIWS or two. Top weight became a critical problem for naval architects to solve. One of our cruiser classes even used fiberglass "macks", combined masts and stacks, to reduce top weight. These were old WWII era heavy cruisers converted to guided missile cruisers in the 1960's, the Albany class.
 
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Twix101

Junior Member
They already built it. It's operational. I know the planners thought all this out when doing so. Two vessels means the difference in potentially having a capability when you really need it and not having it. So, yes, if they sell one of the two they have...I'd call it short sighted.

Now, if they license build a new one for the Russians which they then sell...that would bring extra money in. Be good for France, and once they started license building their own, good for Russia too. Or if they use the dollars gained from this sell and build a second one for themselves...that's the same benefit.

Now, if the idea all along was to really build a demonstrator that they could then market...then that's another matter entirely. But I do not believe that was the idea when building the Mistrals.
They are actually building a third vessel, it could be that one that will be handed over to Russian Navy, on the other hand, the white paper on defense states that Navy should procure 3 to 4 vessels to gain a better power projection capability, making the 25,000 men abroad objective more realizable.

The introduction of this kind of vessel in the Russian Navy could change the balance in Caucasus as a Russian General stated that a ship like that could have done an amphibious operation in 40 minutes when it took actually 26 hours with the current means during the Georgian War.
 

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