Defense Minister Serdyukov today said Moscow still plans on acquiring four Mistral amphibious assault ships. He said Russia is talking not just with France, but also Spain and the Netherlands, about Mistral.
According to RIA Novosti, Serdyukov said:
“At present, we’re in pre-contract negotiations on this type of ship with three governments. They are Spain, the Netherlands, and France. We plan to sign a contract for four of these ships.”
He also said one ship would be completely foreign-made, but Russian shipbuilders would participate in building the other three. And the fourth ship will be built, to the maximum extent, in Russia.
Serdyukov reiterated that the Defense Ministry is working on this acquisition according to President Medvedev’s decision. And the Defense Minister added:
“We are now occupied with the issue very seriously.”
He concluded that the issue of buying the ships will be resolved positively “if there aren’t any revisions, including in the financing question.” And finally Serdyukov noted:
“We understand now that the Northern and Pacific Fleets need these ships.”
Meanwhile, Baltic Shipbuilding Plant ‘Yantar’ is trying to tout its proyekt 11711 large amphibious ship Ivan Gren as an alternative to buying or building foreign ships. VPK.name published a version of this story based on an earlier Interfaks report.