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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian Navy helicopter carrier tender to be announced in September

RIA Novosti

18:43 19/08/2010

MOSCOW, August 19 (RIA Novosti) - A tender on the purchase of a helicopter carrier for the Russian Navy will be announced in September, Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) said on Thursday.

Currently Russia is holding talks with France over the purchase of Mistral class ships on a 2+2 scheme, under which Russia will buy one or two French-built Mistrals and build another two under license in Russia.

"We have received an official invitation from the Defense Ministry to take part in the tender for construction of the helicopter carrier under license," USC spokesman Igor Ryabov said.

Russian Navy head Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky also called for USC's assistance in organizing the tender, he said.

There are no precise terms for starting the tender, though it will be held shortly, most likely in September, Ryabov said.

Earlier on Thursday, Russia business daily Kommersant said USC was set to participate in the tender with three shipyards including Zvezda Shipbuilding Company in the Russian Far East, St. Petersburg's Admiralteyskiye Verfi shipyard and the Yantar shipyard in Russia's Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad.

Ryabov confirmed the information reported by Kommersant daily.

"We guarantee we could build the first ship at Russian shipyards in 30 months," he said, adding the Defense Ministry was interested in including "the best international projects" for helicopter carriers in the tender. Among the other projects are the South Korean Dokdo, the Mistral and others.

Any project should be implemented in the form of a joint venture, Ryabov added.

He also said USC has proposed French naval shipbuilder DCNS establish a joint venture with St. Petersburg's Admiralteyskiye Verfi or Kaliningrad's Yantar shipyard.

At the end of August, a French delegation will visit the Yantar shipyard to study the possibility of building Mistral class ships there.

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