Forbes (USA): Russia’s new amphibious assault ship might seem familiar — especially the French

If you can’t buy, that means we need to steal. This is the approach of Russia to the acquisition of new amphibious assault ships (UDC), six years after France refused to sell their UDC.

On may 22, the Russian news Agency TASS reported that the Kremlin had signed a contract with the Kerch shipbuilding plant in the Crimea for the construction of two UDC project 23900 the amount of $ 1.4 billion.

Each of the two new Russian UDC, similar in appearance to a small French amphibious assault ships-helicopter carriers, will have a displacement of 25 thousand tons and can carry up to 20 large helicopters, landing craft and 900 Marines.

Look closely at the following photo where the President of Russia Vladimir Putin considers a sketch depicting the alleged appearance of the UDC project 23900. Design Russian UDC may seem familiar.

This is because, in the words of one user “LJ” (LiveJournal), which distributed this picture, UDC project 23900 is a “clone” of the French helicopter “Mistral” (Mistral).

In 2010 Russia signed a contract with France for the purchase of at least two “Mistral”. This arrangement angered some American politicians, who warned against aid Russia in her arms for a possible war against the United States or its allies.

Four years later, Russia invaded the Ukrainian Peninsula of Crimea. The amphibious fleet of the Russian black sea fleet supported the invasion, armed with an old landing ships project 775 “Ropucha” project 1171 / alligator with a displacement of about 4,000 tons each.

After the Crimea Paris, quickly terminated the contract for the supply of “Mistral”. For the subsequent operations, such as transfers between Russian territory and the Russian base in Syria, the Russian Navy continued to use his 15 “Rapuh” and four “Alligator”.

But the need for a modern amphibious assault ship, with its greater capacity, increased number of placed helicopters and advanced steering capabilities were obvious. As follow-up actions of the Kremlin.

“If they build such ships, when they are created will help the short experience which the Russians had gained against the French in the framework of a contract for the supply of “Mistral” before he was terminated,” — said in 2019, experts of the Center for naval analysis, located in the state of Virginia.

This prediction was correct. Of course, what Russia is going to copy the project “Mistral” does not mean that it will succeed. The Russian shipbuilding industry in recent years has been trying to build some more ship frigate.