Russia to build helicopter carrier "similar to Mistral": Analysis

Photo taken in May 2014 of the first "Ivan Gren" class boat built in Russia's Yantar Shipbuilding plant. Ten years after its construction started, it is still not finished.

Russia declared that it has begun work on a helicopter carrier similar to a Mistral and provided a few interesting details. Little analysis:

- The capacity of this helicopter carrier is of .. one helicopter.

- Russia is not able to build an equivalent of the Mistral before 2050

- The so called helicopter carrier "similar to Mistral" is in fact the sistership of the "Ivan Gren" which is 7 years overdue and still not finished.

The assault vessel named "Pyotr Morgunov" is being built in St. Petersburg's Yantar shipyards and is supposed to “join the navy in 2018 after the completion of construction and all phases of testing,” the head of the navy's shipbuilding department, Vladimir Tryapichnikov, said late last week.

The interesting part is that this boat, ordered a month after France put on hold the Mistral deal, has a sister ship: the Ivan Gren. We were talking about this one a few month ago as an example of the failures of the shipbuilding in Russia.

The building of the first one started 10 years ago, in 2004, in Russia's Yantar Shipbuilding plant. After several delays, it is expected to enter service with the Russian navy in 2015. The picture on top of this article is a genuine picture of this boat, still being built, taken in May 2014.

It took 10 years to build a rusty Ivan Gren war ship. How long will it take to build its sistership supposed to "replace the Mistral"?

The main thing is that the Ivan Gren is far from being an equivalent of the Mistral. It can host up to 300 marines supported by one helicopter and either 40 armored personnel carriers or 13 tanks. One Mistral ship, for comparison, can deploy up to 900 troops supported by at least 16 helicopters and up to 60 armored vehicles.

To make up for this lost capacity, Tryapichnikov said the navy would begin building progressively larger landing ships by 2020. The new ships will have space for a few helicopters, but not the 16 to 35 carried by a Mistral-class helicopter carrier.

Even more interesting, the head of the navy, Admiral Viktor Chirkov told TASS Friday that a Mistral-style vessel has been pencilled into the military's long-term shipbuilding program through 2050.

This means that Russia NEEDS some Mistral war ships even if it denied it lately. It means too that not delivering them make them lose 35 years and that they will have their Mistral war ships in 2050 instead of 2015…

The Mistral deal is still only on hold. CANCEL THE MISTRAL DEAL!

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