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Russia to announce helicopter carrier tender at Euronaval 2010

RIA Novosti

02:56 26/10/2010 MOSCOW, October 26 (RIA Novosi) - Russia could announce a tender on the construction of two amphibious assault ships for the Russian Navy at the Euronaval 2010 exhibition, which opened on Monday in Paris, the Vedomosti daily said.

Vedomosti said citing Russian defense sources that invitations to participate in a closed tender had been sent out to "all interested parties" and the winner of the tender could be announced as early as by the end of this year.

According to the Vedomosti sources, the participants of the tender include Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation in partnership with the French DCNS (Mistral class ship), the Nevski design bureau in St. Petersburg (Ivan Rogov class ship), S. Korea's STX company (Dokdo class ship), and Spain's Navantia company (Juan Carlos I class ship).

Experts believe that a French Mistral class amphibious assault ship is most likely to win the tender.

Moscow has been in talks with Paris on the purchase of a Mistral class warship on a 2+2 scheme whereby Russia will buy one or two French-built Mistrals and build another two under license domestically.

The two Mistrals built in France could cost Russia as much as 1 billion euros ($1.4 bln).

The Mistral class ship is capable of transporting and deploying 16 helicopters, four landing barges, up to 70 armored vehicles including 13 battle tanks, and 450 personnel.

The 22nd International Naval Defense & Maritime Exhibition and Conference (Euronaval 2010) is held at the Paris-Le-Bourget exhibition center on October 25-29.

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