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Russian Pacific Fleet to receive Mistral-class helicopter carriers

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Mistral class amphibious assault ship. A file photo.

MOSCOW (ITAR-TASS): Two Mistral-class helicopter carriers, named the Vladivostok and the Sevastopol, will come in service with the Russian Pacific Fleet in the next two or three years.

"This is a new type of ships for Russia. It has never had them before. That is why the command is studying theoretical and practical possibilities of their combat use," Rear Admiral Vasily Lyashok, the deputy commander of the Chief of Staff of the Russian Navy, said in a live interview with the Ekho Moskvy radio station yesterday.

"Had Russia decided to build such a ship on its own, the Russian fleet would have gotten it only in eight years," Lyashok explained.

A Russian-French contract for the purchase of two Mistral-class ships worth 1.2 billion euro was signed at the 15th St Petersburg International Economic Forum in June 2011.

The first of the two Mistral ships meant for Russia was laid down at the French city of Saint-Nazaire in February 2012.

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