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Russian Mistrals would be possibly built at a new shipyard

Russian Mistrals would be possibly built at a new shipyard 29.12.2010
Text: RusNavy.com
Drawing: Draft design of a new shipyard at Kotlin Island. USC
Two ships of 'Russian Mistral' project would possibly be constructed by new branch of Admiralteyskie Verfi shipyard at Kotlin Island, reports the Central Navy Portal citing a source in defense industry. Firstly promulgated in 2004, plans to move the yard from Galerny Island (historical site of St. Petersburg) and develop its territory by construction of residential, business, and cultural buildings are still actual, said A. Chichkanov, the chairman of St. Petersburg Investments and Strategic Projects Committee.

As early as in 2011, the city will put up for sale the 14-ha territory currently occupied by JSC Admiralteyskie Verfi. It is planned to transfer the shipyard to Kronshtadt which already has a highly developed infrastructure created while construction of St. Petersburg's flood protection facilities.

According to the plan designed by engineering firm Soyuzproektverf which is the oldest national shipyard-designing organization, the new yard's annual processing of flats and profiled irons will be 120,000 tons. New shipbuilding works will be constructed on warplands, so it makes the yard construction process 4-5 years long and needs about RUR 45-50 bln investments. The shipyard is supposed to be constructed by STX which is recent partner of Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC).

In spite of the fact that the new shipyard will be specialized in large-size civil vessels, Mistral could be also built there without any technical problems, since such ships are designed under civil shipbuilding standards. Although shipwrights of Admiralteyskie Verfi have mastered construction of Kirill Lavrov class icebreaking tankers (length is 263 meters, displacement is 30,000 tons) at their old sloping slip which is suitable to build Mistrals as well(length is about 200 meters, full displacement is over 21,000 tons), it is associated with certain technical restrictions and difficulties. Modern technology provides assembly of such large ships in docks.

During establishment of a consortium consisting of USC and DCNS it was agreed that Russian specialists would build two hulls of the landing ships at national yards under transferred technology. Being the orderer of Mistrals, Russian defense ministry initially planned to purchase one ship from France and build three ones in Russia, but very soon chose the '2+2 scheme' under pressure of French partners.

The Russian tender issued in Oct 2010 was won by the consortium of USC and DCNS which meets Russian Navy's requirements for access to advanced designing and building technologies of such vessels. According to the contract, the first Mistral class ship will be laid down in the coming year; Russia's participation will make 20% with further growth.

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