Funds for construction of third and fourth Mistral-class amphibious assault helicopter carriers have been already factored into Russia's defense order, said Russian defense minister Anatoly Serdiukov.
"The funds have been already factored into state defense order, and we can use this money since 2013", reports RIA Novosti citing Serdiukov.
French shipyard STX France will launch the first ship for Russian Navy in Sept 2013, said the company's representative on Oct 22 at the Euronaval-2012 exhibition.
According to the spokesman, the shipyard is building two Mistral ships for Russian Navy under subcontract obtained from the project's main contractor, DCNS.
The yard will construct 90% of each ship and after launching move them to naval base Toulon for outfitting, said the official. As for now, 10 hull sections have been constructed at STX France for the first ship; hull elements for the second one are under construction as well.
Moscow and Paris signed the contract for two Mistral-class ships in June 2011. The contract value is EUR 1.2 bln. The first ship was laid down early in Feb 2012.
Russian Mistrals will bear names of Vladivostok and Sevastopol. All of them will be equipped with newest Russian attack and defense weapons, including supersonic cruise missiles.
On Oct 13, chief of Navy Development Planning Dept RADM Vasily Lyashok said that Mistral-class amphibious assault ships would be commissioned into Pacific Fleet in 2014 and 2015.
On Oct 1, Baltiysky Zavod Shipbuilding Ltd (St. Petersburg) began construction of the third Mistral ship; third and fourth ships are to be built in Russia under French license.
In Aug 2012, Russia started manufacturing of experimental helicopters Ka-52K to be based on Mistral-class ships.
Russian Navy will start employment of crews for those ships on competition basis since 2013.