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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia to call tender for foreign helicopter carrier

RIA Novosti


KALININGRAD, September 11 (RIA Novosti) - Russia plans to hold an international tender for the purchase of a helicopter carrier, involving France, Spain and the Netherlands, the country's Navy chief said on Friday.

"I can confirm that negotiations are being held, but there is likely to be a tender," Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky said, adding that other countries could also be involved.

He said there were no negotiations with the United States - "for understandable reasons," adding that the U.S. authorities were "highly sensitive" about the transfer of new technology, especially dual-purpose technology.

The admiral stressed, however, that technology transfer was a key condition for buying a helicopter carrier abroad.

He said the Russian Navy needed a new warship to enhance its combat effectiveness.

"Take, for example, last August, Georgia. Everything that we did in the space of 26 hours at the time, this ship will do within 40 minutes," Vysotsky said.

He said the new warship would require appropriate port infrastructure, which had yet to be built.

The Navy chief also denied reports that Russia had plans to buy submarines in Germany.

"There is no question of buying [German] submarines. Actually, the Germans do not make diesel-electric submarines," he said.

However, he added that Russia might be interested in acquiring advanced submarine engine technology, but it was not necessarily German.

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