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France ready to deliver helicopter carrier with transfer of technologies

RIA Novosti

09:29 26/10/2010 LE BOURGET (France), October 26 (RIA Novosti) - France's shipbuilder DCNS announced on Tuesday it is ready to deliver Mistral class helicopter carriers to Russia with built-in domestic navigation technologies.

"There are no restrictions [in the transfer of technology]," DCNS Director Pierre Legros told RIA Novosti.

The technology is French-made, a spokesman for the French Navy, Hugues du Plessis d'Argentre, said.

Russia and France are currently in talks on a so-called 2+2 scheme, whereby Russia will buy one or two French-built Mistrals and build another two at home. The contract is expected to be inked before the end of the year.

Legros said he did not rule out that Russia could build four Mistrals.

He added that the French-built Mistrals under the contract will be different from their domestic analogues.

They will have thicker take-off decks and firmer hulls so as to avoid breakage when navigating through ice.

The winner of a Russian tender to deliver the Mistrals will be announced after November 4, Legros added.

"We are ready to receive the contract from November 4... and complete construction in 36 months," he said.

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.

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