The Kremlin has made re-equipping Russia’s 1.1 million- strong armed forces a priority after last year’s war with Georgia showed serious problems with outdated hardware and inadeqaute electronic equipment.
Gen. Nikolai Makarov, the chief of the general staff, told reporters on Wednesday during a state visit to Mongolia that Moscow wanted to buy a 21,300 tonne Mistral-class helicopter carrier and might jointly build several more with France.
The ship can be used to launch amphibious assaults or as a mobile command and control centre. It would be Russia’s biggest one-off purchase of weapons abroad.
‘We are considering a possibility of buying such a ship in France, and arranging the joint output of vessels of the same class in the future,’ Makarov said.
“The talk at this stage is about one, but we want to launch joint production to make at least a series of four or five of these. We hope to agree on our contractual obligations by year-end.” (photo: Marine Nationale)