France to Russia: Have we got a ship for you!
The French swanked a cutting-edge naval vessel as it sailed into St. Petersburg’s harbour, showing off an amphibious assault capability that is tantalising the Russian navy and frightening some neighbouring countries. Think Georgia, just for one. The Russian navy has significantly degenerated in force projection capabilities since the fall of the Soviet Union and it actually has no ships to be able to anchor in coastal waters and deploy troops to land. The Russians now say they hope to purchase a ship like the Mistral, a 23,700ton, 299m vessel able to carry more than a dozen helicopters and haul hundreds of troops directly onto enemy territory. Such a ship will cost Russia about $750 million and Moscow is now saying it wants the license to build more such ships itself. For more, read the AP