Focus - Launch of the Vladivostok, Russian Navy first Mistral class
launch Vladivostok, Russian Navy's first Mistral class LHD
the first of two BPC-type
vessels (LHD - Landing Helicopter Dock) on order from DCNS for
the Russian Federation was floated out of its building dock at STX France's
Saint-Nazaire shipyard on 15 October. The event was attended by senior
officials representing the French and Russian navies and shipbuilding
industries. The programme has proceeded as planned since the contract
came into force in late 2011, with the vessels on schedule for delivery
in late 2014 and late 2015 respectively.
Patrick Boissier, Chairman and CEO of the DCNS group,
said: “This programme is a good example of cooperation between
French and Russian contractors with the support of our respective ministries
of defence. It is also a further demonstration of our ability to implement
innovative contracting arrangements that meet the needs of international
customers. This successful program underlines the quality of the partnership
between DCNS and STX. The success of this program confirms DCNS's growth
strategy, which is particularly based on developing our activities on
The construction of pre-outfitted hull blocks for BPC Vladivostok
began on 1 February 2012. A year later, STX France began assembling
the forward blocks in the main building dock at Saint-Nazaire while
Russian shipbuilder OSK began assembling the aft blocks at its Saint
Petersburg shipyard. The aft half was shipped from Saint Petersburg
to Saint-Nazaire in late July then mated with the forward half in August.
Validation testing began under the supervision of the programme prime
contractor DCNS as soon as the forward and aft halves had been mated.
Quay-side and at sea testing will continue until the ship is ready for
delivery in late 2014.
The contract which started in late 2011 calls for the delivery to Russia
of two Mistral/BPC-type vessels and associated services including initial
logistics, training, and technology transfers. DCNS is acting as the
shipbuilding prime contractor for the two-vessel programme. STX France
is building the vessel platforms as a subcontractor to DCNS. OSK is
contributing to the construction of both vessels as a subcontractor
The BPC LHD was co-developed by DCNS and STX France as an inherently
multirole vessel that meets the needs of many naval forces around the
world and is ideal for a wide range of civilian and military missions.
DCNS and STX France have supplied three BPC vessels to the French Ministry
of Defence. BPC Mistral was delivered in 2006, BPC Tonnerre in 2007
and BPC Dixmude in 2009.
Mistral-class LHD for Russia, the Sevastopol, is due
to be floated out in October 2014. The bow part of the vessel could
be seen in the shipyard. According to the Russian Defense Ministry,
both warships will be based in the Far East ports of Vladivostok and
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky when they enter service.
According to Andrei
Vernigora, director of the Russian defense ministry’s procurement
department, a decision to express an option to build a third
and fourth Mistral for the Russian Navy will be taken based on the
experience of testing the first one.
Mistral class LHD: Designed by DCNS, Mistral BPC (Bâtiment de Projection
et de Commandment) LHD is a multi-mission 21,500t amphibious assault,
command and power projection ship. Mistral-class vessels are capable
to accommodate and deploy 16 transport or attack helicopters, four
landing crafts, up to 70 vehicles or 13 main battle tanks. They have
accommodations for 450 to 700 troops. Each ship of the class is equipped
with a 69-bed hospital. Check
out our technical datasheet to learn more about the Mistral class
The Russian Mistral air wings are expected to include eight Kamov
Ka-52K Alligator attack helicopters and eight Ka-29 assault transport
The Ka-52K is a navalised version of the ground-based Ka-52 Alligator
combat helicopter operated by the Russian Air Force. It features foldable
rotor and wings, new radar system and anti-ship missiles.
(Picture: Vitaly Kuzmin)
Models of the DCNS built LCMs for the Russian LHDs were shown during
Ordered at the beginning of 2013, DCNS will also build in partnership
with STX four LCMs (Landing Craft Material) for the Russian LHDs. They
will be able to project troops, equipment and vehicles for beach landing
operations. The four LCMs are currently being built by DCNS in partnership
with STX and will be delivered in 2014 along with the Vladivostok.
Gibka 3M-47 naval turret mount, air defense missile system
(Image renderring: DCNS)
At the bow, starboard side of Vladivostok, the following weapon
systems are expected to be fitted:
1- AK-630M CIWS
2- DP-65, 55 mm antisaboteur grenade launcher
3- 14,5mm KPVT heavy machine gun on an MTPU mount
(Image renderring: DCNS)
Weapons: Vladivostok type Mistrals are set to receive a fully Russian
weapons fit at the Severnaya Verf shipyard in St. Petersburg before
being handed over to Russia’s Pacific Fleet.
Self protection against air threats will be fulfilled by two Gibka
3M-47 air defense missile system: One located the bow, port
side and another system located at the stern, starboard side. The information
was confirmed in July by Almaz Antey represenatives that we interviewed
during IMDS 2013. Link
to the interview.
CIWS are set to be fitted (bow,
starboard side and stern, port side) for close range protection
against air and surface threats.
Some 14,5mm heavy
machine guns are planned to be installed on Vladivostok for
protection against close range asymmetrical threats.
antisaboteur grenade launchers will be fitted on each side of
the vessels. It is designed for protection of ships against attacks
of underwater combat swimmers at external roadstead open anchor stops
and bases. The system ensures single-shot and salvo fire with rocket
grenades RG-55M and RGS-55. Specific Russian Modifications:
Other notable differences compared to French Navy Mistral class LHDs
include an increased hangar height to accomodate the Kamov helicopters,
modified bridge structure, reinforced hull to operate in Arctic zones,
specific warming devices on deck, a door that completly closes the well-deck
(on French Mistrals, the well-deck door doesn't reach the top of the
well-deck, leaving an opening) and several russian specific systems.
Pictures of YJ-12 supersonic anti-ship missile, fitted on a Chinese
Navy (PLAN) Xian H-6G bomber have recently emerged on the Chinese internet
meaning this new generation missile may have entered operational service.