Russia may purchase Mistral class LHD from France


Ambivalent

Junior Member
Aero-Wing, you may not care about popeye's service, but his service has netted him a great deal of knowledge, especially since most of it was on aircraft carriers, about vessels that propose to carry aircraft of their nationality onto the high seas. Most of us who have spent any length of time in this fourm are aware of popeye's experience level and respect it.

Perhaps with a little more time...and a little more open attitude, you will too.

As it is, the Mistral Class is the French answer to large deck amhibious assault. It's not as large or as capable as some of the other vessels out there, but it is a fair design, though it does seem to be top heavey. Reports also indicate, that in order to save money, at least portions of the ship were built more to commercial standards than to strict military ones. In battle, that could prove to be a costly decision.

Time will tell.

As it is, it is pretty clear the Russians are going to get some of these vessels. Maybe four or more.

The French are just completing their third vessel and are gaining experience with them that I am sure they will use to benefit the Russians in the sale.
I wouldn't be too sure the Russians will actually take delivery. The rest of NATO is emphatically not happy with the deal. The Baltic states in particular are screaming bloody murder and the US is unhappy fearing the ships might be used against Georgia in the future. No steel has been cut for the Russian ships yet and I wouldn't count on it happening.
I will also mention that when push comes to shove, the French have a miserable record with cooperative naval projects. PA2 was supposed to be a joint RN, MN project differing in details but with 90% of the parts common. It has not happened. Prime Minister Sarkozy officially pushed the program off to 2012 for budget reasons but the reality was the British and French could never come to terms on workload share. The Brits have a schedule to keep and weren't about to let the French slow down the procurement of these vital ships. They also feared based on experience that sharing work with the French would drive costs up, not down as the French claimed. The French were never satisfied with any British work share proposals, or even with the idea that they would build a licensed copy in a French yard. DCN didn't have a dock large enough and the French would not let the Brits build a complete ship, though that was discussed (with the proviso that the second ship of the three would be French, a non-starter for the Brits who had a schedule to keep). Two contracts for co-production were signed with much fanfare, and then quietly abandoned later.
Meanwhile there was a constant drumbeat from DCN to build a purely French, read DCN, design. Now the talk in France is to build a reduced size Gerald Ford class! Oh boy. That won't happen if France sells Mistrals to the Russians. The US wouldn't let them near our cats and A-gear. The French are not well thought of as it is among the US military, this would absolutely poison the well.
The French have had problems with co-production of other ships such as the Fremms and Horizon classes with the Italians after giving up on a joint French/RN frigate program. We shall see if the Russians and French actually close the deal. My bet is nothing ever happens.
 

bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
Ambivalent Thank you for your contribution to the forum!

These were very well protected ships and their crews were very confident of them. They were fast ships too, able to outrun the frigates of the day and even some destroyer classes.
So true. If I'm not mistaken the the propulsion plant came from the never completed BB Kentucky.

I found this at wiki..take it for what you will.

The ship's main engines came from the never-completed battleship Kentucky (BB-66), and deliver in excess of 100,000 shaft horsepower (75 MW) to two 23-foot (7 m) screws weighing 19.25 tons each, the largest on any ship in the Navy.

Sacramento was the fastest AOE (fast combat support ship) ever. The Sacramento routinely went head-to-head in speed runs and won against the west coast's AOE's, including the Camden (AOE-2) and the Rainier (AOE-7). Sacramento also beat the fastest of the east coast AOE's, including the Detroit (AOE-4) and the Arctic (AOE-8) in head-to-head competition.
 

Spartan95

Junior Member
I wouldn't be too sure the Russians will actually take delivery. The rest of NATO is emphatically not happy with the deal. The Baltic states in particular are screaming bloody murder and the US is unhappy fearing the ships might be used against Georgia in the future. No steel has been cut for the Russian ships yet and I wouldn't count on it happening.
I will also mention that when push comes to shove, the French have a miserable record with cooperative naval projects. PA2 was supposed to be a joint RN, MN project differing in details but with 90% of the parts common. It has not happened. Prime Minister Sarkozy officially pushed the program off to 2012 for budget reasons but the reality was the British and French could never come to terms on workload share. The Brits have a schedule to keep and weren't about to let the French slow down the procurement of these vital ships. They also feared based on experience that sharing work with the French would drive costs up, not down as the French claimed. The French were never satisfied with any British work share proposals, or even with the idea that they would build a licensed copy in a French yard. DCN didn't have a dock large enough and the French would not let the Brits build a complete ship, though that was discussed (with the proviso that the second ship of the three would be French, a non-starter for the Brits who had a schedule to keep). Two contracts for co-production were signed with much fanfare, and then quietly abandoned later.
Meanwhile there was a constant drumbeat from DCN to build a purely French, read DCN, design. Now the talk in France is to build a reduced size Gerald Ford class! Oh boy. That won't happen if France sells Mistrals to the Russians. The US wouldn't let them near our cats and A-gear. The French are not well thought of as it is among the US military, this would absolutely poison the well.
The French have had problems with co-production of other ships such as the Fremms and Horizon classes with the Italians after giving up on a joint French/RN frigate program. We shall see if the Russians and French actually close the deal. My bet is nothing ever happens.
Well, the French was also originally 1 of the founding members of the Eurofighter Typhoon program as well. Despite signing many agreements for that program, they eventually pulled out of it. Not exactly a good reputation they have created for themselves.

Back to the point about the Russians buying the Mistrals from France, I'm sure there is quite a bit of politics in this as well. The UK will not sell their LHD to the Russians, neither will the US. And few other countries have modern LHD designs, which limits the options that the Russians have to choose from (I don't think RoK won't sell their Dokdo class to Russia, nor the Japanese their Hyuga class).

The smaller European countries such as Spain probably don't want to be caught between the US/UK and Russia. Thus, the only realistic option for Russia is to buy from the French.
 

Aero_Wing_32

Junior Member
Well, the French was also originally 1 of the founding members of the Eurofighter Typhoon program as well. Despite signing many agreements for that program, they eventually pulled out of it. Not exactly a good reputation they have created for themselves.

Back to the point about the Russians buying the Mistrals from France, I'm sure there is quite a bit of politics in this as well. The UK will not sell their LHD to the Russians, neither will the US. And few other countries have modern LHD designs, which limits the options that the Russians have to choose from (I don't think RoK won't sell their Dokdo class to Russia, nor the Japanese their Hyuga class).

The smaller European countries such as Spain probably don't want to be caught between the US/UK and Russia. Thus, the only realistic option for Russia is to buy from the French.
What reputation?! French did not want to fund a bird not really fitted for french needs. Besides french did not trust in the cost effectiveness of the initial project. And they were right, since it failed this initial goal. Many european partners are now a bit upset with the overall increasing cost, and now clearly reluctant to fund the last Tranche of the EF program.

Sorry, back the topic. Recently I read some newspapers underlining the fact that other military projects are pending between Russia and France. I wonder what s under the table now...
 

Spartan95

Junior Member
What reputation?! French did not want to fund a bird not really fitted for french needs. Besides french did not trust in the cost effectiveness of the initial project. And they were right, since it failed this initial goal. Many european partners are now a bit upset with the overall increasing cost, and now clearly reluctant to fund the last Tranche of the EF program.
As Skywatcher mentioned, the Eurofighter Typhoon had exports, while the French Rafale have yet to suceed in clinching any export orders.

Also, whilst both the Typhoon and Rafale had costs overruns, the French paid dearly for their Rafale because of the simple economies of scale. The Typhoon had a confirmed production run of 620 aircraft amongst its member countries, not including export orders to Greece and Saudi Arabia. The current order for Rafale stands at 180, all from France.

And let's not forget that France exported stealth frigates and Mirage fighters to ROC despite objection from PRC. With that precedence, I'd say that the Mistral sale to Russia will go ahead despite objection from the rest of the European countries.
 

Ambivalent

Junior Member
As Skywatcher mentioned, the Eurofighter Typhoon had exports, while the French Rafale have yet to suceed in clinching any export orders.

Also, whilst both the Typhoon and Rafale had costs overruns, the French paid dearly for their Rafale because of the simple economies of scale. The Typhoon had a confirmed production run of 620 aircraft amongst its member countries, not including export orders to Greece and Saudi Arabia. The current order for Rafale stands at 180, all from France.

And let's not forget that France exported stealth frigates and Mirage fighters to ROC despite objection from PRC. With that precedence, I'd say that the Mistral sale to Russia will go ahead despite objection from the rest of the European countries.
Come on, France doesn't have a mutual defense pact with PRC, nor does China rely on PRC for aircraft carrier catapults and arresting gear, or flight training, all of which the USN provides the French. France has a lot to loose by alienating the US and Nato, but had little to comparatively loose by angering the PRC back then. Give it a few years and the whole deal will silently fade away.
 

Spartan95

Junior Member
Come on, France doesn't have a mutual defense pact with PRC, nor does China rely on PRC for aircraft carrier catapults and arresting gear, or flight training, all of which the USN provides the French. France has a lot to loose by alienating the US and Nato, but had little to comparatively loose by angering the PRC back then. Give it a few years and the whole deal will silently fade away.
Be that as it may, the French have a tendency to do what they perceive to be in their interests. They opposed the US on the 2nd Gulf (Iraq) War and they also pulled out of the Eurofighter program despite being a founding member. The latter is relevant to the sale of Mistrals to Russia as it means more jobs for their own defence contractors.
 

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