Mistral-class amphibious assault ships being built by France for Russia can be equipped with Project 11770 Serna and Project 21820 Dugon tank-landing craft. "The problem of landing craft is absolutely contrived", an insider of Russian defense industry told Interfax. As was earlier reported, Russian defense ministry cannot find landing craft suitable to Mistral ships.
According to the interviewee, weight and dimensions of Serna and Dugon class boats fit Mistral ships well. In addition, a representative of United Shipbuilding Corporation stressed there would be no delays in implementation of the Mistral project because of landing craft issue.
"Speaking about selection of landing boats for Mistral-class ships, we have plenty of time to make right choice", said the interviewee. As for him, an offer to equip the ships with French-built boats is considered as well. In particular, Rosoboronexport and Russian defense ministry are talking over such issues with French shipbuilding company DCNS.
Earlier on, Russian newspaper Izvestiya referring to its own source in military industry wrote that Russian defense ministry refused to equip Mistral-class amphibious ships with French-produced landing catamarans L-CAT. Meanwhile, initially planned to be stationed in Mistrals, Russian Murena-class landing craft happened to be too large to fit in the ship.
Project 11770 Serna boats are 25.8-meter long and displace 61 tons. Such boat is capable to carry either one tank or two infantry fighting vehicles (armored personnel carriers) or 92-men landing party. Possible use of Serna-class boats in Mistrals was earlier described by naval arms expert Vladimir Scherbakov in his interview to Izvestiya.
Project 21820 Dugon tank-landing boats are 45-meter long and displace 280 tons. Each of them may carry either 3 tanks or 5 IFVs/APCs or 140 tons of cargo.
Two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships are being built for Russian Navy under the EUR 1.2 bln-contract tied with France in June 2011. The first ship is to be completed in 2014, and the second one – in 2015. According to contract option, other two ships are planned to be built at Russian shipyards. Air wing of each Russian Mistral will consist of 8 attack helicopters Ka-52K and 8 transport/combat helicopters Ka-29.