Russia Buys Two French Amphibs

Well it’s been a while coming but Russia just signed a $1.6 billion deal to buy two Mistral class amphibious assault flat tops from France. Yes, its a good step toward modernizing the hard-up post-Soviet navy. We’ll see if Russia can follow through with its massive naval rebuild.

Oh, and look out, (ex-Soviet state) Georgia!

  • Pandaa

    This thing is now my new zombie apocalypse survial plan

  • Joe

    If only their intentions are but only for good…Bwaaaaa Bwaaaaaaa!

    There, I did my part to up the replies closer to twelve, what have you done to help?

  • Forrest Cantrell

    Time for Georgia (and Latvia, Estonia, etc.) to start investing in land-based anti-ship missiles.

    • LeoC

      or join NATO. Georgia needs a nuclear umbrella.

      • ziv

        Would NATO even consider offering membership to Georgia? That would require a heck of a commitment with Russia sitting along their northern border. Georgia is Poland writ large, with two huge neighbors along their two main borders. At least Georgia has relatively defensible borders to the north, I believe. But Georgia doesn’t want to antagonize either neighbor too much.

        • Mastro

          We should never make a commitment to defend Georgia- not unless we really are upset that the Cold War never went hot.

          Face it Georgia has to learn how to play nice with Russia-

    • Stratege

      Rus navy’s Mistrals could be equipped with state-of-art Russian made CIWS.

    • ffjbentson

      Russia has a land bridge into Georgia…which by the way bloodied Russia’s nose, I dought Russia wants to try again…one embarrasment is enough.

      • blight

        Georgia got snubbed and couldn’t even keep the Russians out of their country. The separatist fragments that Georgia fought to subjugate remain, so it was a political victory to go with the military one. The fact that American troops were in Georgia acting as trainers apparently did not deter Medvedev’s Russia.

        Granted they did not fully occupy the place a la Prague Spring, but it seems like they could really not have been stopped by the Georgian military.

    • A. Nonymous

      Or, Russia could simply attack Georgia, Latvia, and Estonia across the expansive land border they share with each country. Lithuania might need to worry about an amphibious assault, but the other three countries have other things to worry about. I’m pretty sure the last line of the story was tongue-in-cheek. Either that, or someone at DT desperately needs to buy a world map.

      • blight

        That’s actually a good question. Are these units going to the Black Sea fleet, Pacific Fleet, Northern or Baltic fleets?

        • ziv

          The first two are going to the Pacific Fleet at Vladivostok, the third and fourth, it isn’t clear yet, but it could be either Severomorsk (Murmansk) or Vladivostok. I wouldn’t be too comfortable if I was a Georgian.

      • blight

        Throwing in amphib capability forces the Georgians to split their forces. Or it cuts off sea access for shipping (but Black Sea fleet might be able to sortie anyways, whether or not Ukraine likes the idea of fighting in the Black Sea). A landlocked country is inevitably dependent on the nearest country with a seaport, so Russia taking the seaport in subsequent fighting would put them in very good long term bargaining with Georgia.

  • mzungu

    Hey, Ivan . . Just make sure to check for any bugs, beacons, or homing devices for the Exocet missiles. It’s a big ship to check….

  • IknowIT

    Maybe Georgia can buy some of those Chinese stealth “fighters”. That’s my part towards 12.

    • blight

      Chinese assassins mace in Georgia? Win.

    • Stratege

      Georgia can try to buy anything they want… with American money

  • rick

    bout time russia. jeez there slow.

  • Usa

    They come with free cheese and white surrender flags.

    • elizzar

      they come with an excellent galley and a finely stocked wine cellar in fact ;-) … seriously, though, these are very capable ships, generations beyond what the russians had. it’s more of a question do they have the escorts and logistics capability to make full use of them …

      • Stratege

        “these are very capable ships, generations beyond what the russians had.”

        Russians never had similar Mistral-like class of ships

        • elizzar

          exactly my point, sir!

      • Jay

        right, what is their capability?

        These things are for force projection. Exactly what force will they be projecting off the flat top? They don’t have any VTOLs. My guess is spetznaz in Mi-24s and attack choppers.

  • Riceball

    I thought this already happened a good while ago, like around the beginning of this year or something.

    • Stratege

      Now, the contract is officially confirmed

  • Stratege

    Russians also would get Mistral’s tactical combat information system SENIT-9 with source codes.
    Mistrals of Rus navy would be equipped with Russian made helicopters (Ka-31, Ka-52) and Russian made weapons systems.

    • Joe Schmoe

      I still can’t believe NATO allowed France to sell the SENIT-9 system… It’s insanity.

      • Stratege

        I think it would be modificated to be incompatible with NATO’s systems in current use

        • Joe Schmoe

          It doesn’t matter, the SENIT-9 is easily 20-30 years ahead of anything the Russians have, if not more.

          • Stratege

            I highly doubt that _modern_ Russian made combat information systems should be behind 20 years old SENIT. Russians are more interested in the way how these system integrated in French/NATO navy.

      • blight

        There’s also SIC-21, but it doesn’t sound as hysteria-inducing as SENIT-9. Is it a fair analogy to compare this to Aegis?

  • Stratege

    Some corrections on helicopters: Russians want to use KA-29M (transport/attack) and KA-52K (attack/AT) on their own Mistrals

  • Vitor

    Always funny to see people believing that any country is a bigger threat than a ever-growing 14 trillions debt.

    • Tim

      It’s true! But while the USA can print the USD, the rest of the world is just hogging for it. It’s a crazy concept, but without US debts, even China would lose all its new gain status.

      • Maxtrue

        China is owed 1.5 trillion by the US. We could move that debt to friendlier countries. You think China would like that? If they don’t continue high growth they have problems with inflation already alarming. China has managed to anger its neighbors and is developing water and resource problems. Their offer of J-20s to Pakistan doesn’t sit well with India who has Russia supplying the T-50. While I’m not suggesting a new Cold War with China, their behavior is far more alarming than Russia’s. Russia supports Southern Sudan, supported the original action on Libya, stopped weapon sales to Iran and Syria. They bitch about MD because their strategic wing is the only threat that hasn’t been hollowed at the moment…… in short, not quite the frienemy China is……

  • Chops

    It’s a shame when you think about it-during the cold war Russia [USSR] was producing subs and surface combatant ships like crazy-now they have to buy them from their former enemies-sad.

    • Stratege

      They still produce their own SSBN, SSN, SSK subs, as well as surface combatant ships of their own projects.
      But Soviets (and then Russians) never had similar (Mistral) class of ships in their fleet. So Russians decided to buy complete technology from FORMER ENEMIES and adopt it for their needs. The third and fourth Mistral should be produced in Russia with Russian made components.

      • EJ257

        Russian components, American components…ALL MADE IN TAIWAN!
        Sorry couldn’t resist :D

  • Rajarata

    Waste of $ but, reason for Buys French ? Software & technical plans so they can reverse engineer Amphibs…I love ’em ! Plus its a good investment for RN ! Georgia watch out baby !

  • Shail

    One thing that remains to be seen is,
    how effectively can the Russians keep these vessels in respectable fighting shape?
    Will they show the rest of us they’ve come a long way in maintaining their vessels,
    or will these also quickly deteriorate due to poor upkeep?
    A large number of ex-Soviet naval vessels (post-collapse) pretty much wasted away to little more than scrap, rusting apart in ports because there just was no longer the money and manpower to keep them in shape.

    Even the greatest nations, to include the USN and USCG, have numerous examples where ships just aren’t adequately maintained and fall short of their potential lifetimes (and become very expensive to repair in the long-term) because maintenance concerns fall below sufficient standards.

    Time will tell if these ships serve the Russians well,
    or if it’s just some extravagant opulence going on here,
    buying up fancy new kit that they’ll ,in short order ,lose interest in maintaining them sufficiently.

    • Stratege

      1. Russians had scrapped most of their obsolete ex-Soviet vessels (which were built in 60s - early 70s), but they kept their relatively modern subs/ships in a good shape. Most capable of SSBN/SSN and surface ships in Russian navy are on duty today.

      2. Fleet maintenance is a difficult task. But Russians have money and political will.

      3. Russia want to modernize their army, and their navy. It’s one of the most ambitious rearmament program on the globe. I am sure they don’t want to lose interest in maintaining their force.

  • NeoConVet

    They still must provide crews that are able and willing to maintain these ships. If they have the same quality of personnel as their Army…. will it should be interesting to see what they are 5 years from now…. floating hulks?

    • blight

      When do Russian Navy personnel go to France for equipment training (and hopefully, not desert?)

    • Jay

      Right, force projection ships just get the forces there. Except for their well paid elite units, Russian forces are pretty poor.

      That’s why our amphib flat tops are so capable - they have Marines on them!

      In 5 years these could be great black sea vacation cruise ships for Putin and his buddies.

  • Stratege

    Georgia attacked Russia’s satellite South Ossetia and Russian peacekeeping force first. Read the official report on 08.08.08 of the independent EU commission.

  • Lance

    I bet you they buy too can then copy the design and make there own.

  • roland

    We (USA) probably need to make our own version of French Amphibs in our production line for defense.

    • Praetorian

      Meh, I like our Wasp class better. Bigger, faster, longer range

  • Charlie Jackman

    Defensetech is going mobil3, but idk if I’ll keep intensedebate on mobile