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Alligator and Mistral meet in St Petersburg

1st December 2009 - 00:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


A Russian Ka-52 attack helicopter has landed on the French assault ship Mistral as part of the vessel's official visit to St Petersburg.

The Mistral was was visiting the city for four days and carried out cross deck exercises with Russian Navy and Army helicopters including a Ka-27 Helix anti-submarine warfare helicopter and a Ka-29 assault helicopter.

The visit of the Ka-52 caused the most excitement according to French reports, it was the first time the type had landed on a ship, showing the strength of ties between Russia and France, the report said.

One French officer was also flown onboard the Ka-29. The French Navy report said that communication issues were overcome by "the common desire of the Russian Naval Aviation and the French Navy"

Reports say that Russia is seeking to buy a Mistral-class helicopter carrier, and the visit to the city allowed the Russian Navy and defense industry experts to inspect the ship during the visit.

The Mistral-class ship is capable of transporting and deploying 16 helicopters, four landing barges, up to 70 vehicles, including 13 battle tanks, as well as 450 military personnel. The vessel is equipped with a 69-bed hospital and can be used as an amphibious command ship.

If the deal is completed, the Russian Navy is planning to deploy the Mistral-class warships in the Northern and Pacific fleets to conduct troop transport, peacekeeping and rescue missions.

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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