France agrees to sell Russia advanced warship

DA SWO

SOWT
Verified SOF
Joined
Aug 18, 2007
Messages
9,695
Location
San Antonio Texas
This is gonna bite Western Europe in the ass...

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2010/02/ap_navy_russia_warship_020810w/

PARIS — France has agreed to sell Russia an advanced amphibious warship and is considering a Russian request for three more, French defense officials said Monday. It would be the first major arms deal between Russia and a NATO member.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy approved the sale of one of the Mistral-class force projection and command vessels after months of discussions. Since then, Russian naval officials requested three more, said Jacques de Lajugie, head of international development at the French arms agency DGA.

“We are in the process of examining” the request for more ships, de Lajugie told a news conference, predicting a decision in the coming weeks. He said the new request came not at the “political level” but from the Russian Navy.

Mistral-class ships can anchor in coastal waters and deploy troops on land — a capacity the Russian navy now lacks. Russia’s navy chief said last year that such a ship would have allowed the Russian navy to mount a much more efficient action in the Black Sea during the Georgia-Russia war. He said the French ship would take just 40 minutes to do the job that the Russian Black Sea Fleet vessels did in 26 hours.

The deal would be richly symbolic for Russia, which is seeking to modernize an aging navy reliant on Soviet-era technology and to project its power abroad more effectively — and more impressively. The sale has alarmed some of Russia’s former Soviet bloc neighbors, including those now in NATO, especially after the Russia-Georgia war in 2008.

Increased strength
Possessing a Mistral-class ship, which can carry 16 attack helicopters and dozens of armored vehicles, would significantly increase the Russian military’s ability to launch offensives. France sent the Mistral, which weighs 23,700 tons and is 980 feet long, to visit St. Petersburg last year in a clear sign of interest in a potential sale.

Mistral-class vessels are the second-largest ships in the French fleet after the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. The original Mistral had its first mission in 2006 to help evacuate foreigners from Lebanon during the war between militant group Hezbollah and Israel.

Mistral-class ships, which have not yet been sold outside France, cost 400 million to 500 million euros ($547 million to $684 million).

France’s Defense Minister Herve Morin, meeting in Paris with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, said Monday that France hopes to contribute to European stability, and he suggested it was time to turn the page on Cold War-era antagonisms with Russia. (Translation-we will sell our souls for a few Euro's)

“I understand that for some central and eastern European countries, that the wounds are still there. France wants a new relationship and that means it needs to go through new exchanges,” he told reporters.

Gates said he and Morin discussed the French warship sale to Russia and had “a good and thorough exchange of views.” He would not comment further.

Later, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell explained that Gates had “made our concerns clear” during his meeting with Morin.

Sale is a first
NATO members and Russia have had some small, country-to-country technology deals in the past but this would be the first sale of a major piece of equipment by a NATO nation to Moscow.

“The Mistral is packed with electronics, it also serves as a command ship and a communications hub. That will allow the Russia to obtain modern naval technologies,” Alexander Golts, an independent Russian military analyst, said in a telephone interview.

Some other analysts have been skeptical that buying Mistral will help the Russian navy modernize because the ship sold to Russia may be stripped of its most sensitive and valuable systems.


“I believe that it’s not a good idea to sell such a ship to a country that has occupied another nation’s territory,” Temur Yakobashvili, a Georgian cabinet minister for reintegration who is in charge of issues related to separatist regions, told The Associated Press.

Russian and NATO officials did not immediately comment Monday on the French announcement.

Among outstanding questions in such a deal are where the Mistral would be built, de Lajugie said. He said “at least two” would be built in France.

Russian officials have repeatedly said they want the technology, not just the ships. (Ya think?)

They emphasized that Russia wants to buy the first ship and build more under license, something France has reportedly been hesitant to allow.

___

Associated Press writers Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow, Misha Dzhindzhikhashvili in Tbilisi, Georgia, and Anne Flaherty in Paris contributed to this report
 

pardus

Verified Military
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
10,214
Remember when France was selling exocets to the Argies during the Falklands War?

I do...

This is fucking UNSAT!
 

QC

1 CDO
Verified SOF
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
1,784
Location
ADEGVSWGV
Joke from the time:
What works faster than a Laxette?
An Exocet.

Does seem a little strange.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
SOF Support
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
16,458
Location
Not Afghanistan
Russia has a nasty habit of reverse engineering Western equipment. Even stripping down much of the communications equipment will allow the Sov...err, Russians access to code and hardware that they won't have to develop.

It is somewhat hilarious to me when I hear how the Cold War is over. It isn't over, I don't think it ever ended, we had an intermission or a time out for a decade or so. Go back several hundred years and you'll see that Russia has had some form of Cold War with the superpower du jour (the UK and the Great Game spring to mind), so how we can suddenly presume that centuries of Russian expansion and paranoia died in 1989? It took a brief sabbatical.
 

QC

1 CDO
Verified SOF
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
1,784
Location
ADEGVSWGV
If they build under license this may be the case but with a one off...well put what you like in there. Hopefully, the Frence aren't silly enought IMO to let them build under license.
 

pardus

Verified Military
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
10,214
It is somewhat hilarious to me when I hear how the Cold War is over. It isn't over, I don't think it ever ended, we had an intermission or a time out for a decade or so. Go back several hundred years and you'll see that Russia has had some form of Cold War with the superpower du jour (the UK and the Great Game spring to mind), so how we can suddenly presume that centuries of Russian expansion and paranoia died in 1989? It took a brief sabbatical.

I've always thought that the Soviets realised that they had failed in their mission to take over/dominate the world as dirty commie bastards so they pragmatically decided to disband and regroup under a different name/ethos but with the same historic goal of domination.

I'm a little surprised this has happened under Sarkozy.
 

Robal2pl

Lone wolf on run...
Unverified
Joined
Jan 3, 2007
Messages
124
Location
Poland
One thing concers me : Soviets very rarely bought /reciving other way the military equipment aboard (Lend-lease notable exception). They usually stole / captured in proxy wars. But now they jut buy it. They can afford - oli/natural gas profits. They could construct such ship in Russia. But they buy it.

Maybe it's actually sign of weakness - 20+ years of economical crisis, lack of big military contracts = construction and manufactiring capabilities were lost.

And about reverse engineering - I think that the seller is aware of it. They're still competitors in 3rd world's market. Downgaded version? Maybe...

And by the way - our navy is waiting for new coastal-defence missles. Contract was signed 2 years ago. Hope gov't won't cancel it ;)

Robal2pl
 
Top