Under the Franco-Russian inter-government agreement of 25 January 2011, DCNS signed a contract with Russian defence export agency Rosoboronexport.
The contract calls for two Mistral/BPC ships and associated services including initial logistics, training, and the transfer of technologies. It was signed at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum at a ceremony attended by Dmitry Medvedev, the President of the Russian Federation.
For this contract, DCNS will act as prime contractor and will also integrate the operations direction and communication systems. The shipbuilding of platforms will be subcontracted to the STX shipyard at Saint-Nazaire in western France assisted by Russian shipbuilder OSK. A subcontract has been signed by STX and OSK.
The sale of these two vessels to Russia represents more than 1,000 full-time jobs in France over a period of four years.
The first ship will be delivered to Russia in 2014, three years after the contract’s coming into force. The second BPC will be delivered in 2015.
This is the first international success for the Mistral/BPC design in service with the French Navy. On the international market, this ship is known as a landing helicopter dock or LHD.
DCNS-designed BPCs are inherently multirole vessels meeting the needs of many navies. They are ideal for a wide range of civilian and military missions.
With a length of 199 metres, a displacement of 22,000 tonnes and a speed in excess of 18 knots, BPCs offer a global projection capability for troops and materiel, including heavy helicopters and landing craft, as well as ample capacity as a hospital ship or for large-scale humanitarian missions. The design features electric propulsion using azimuth pods and high-level automation compatible with a complement of just 170 while a high-performance communications suite makes the vessel ideal as naval force command vessel.
Mistral and Tonnerre, the first two BPCs, were built by DCNS and then - Chantiers de l’Atlantique and delivered to the French Navy in 2006 and 2007 respectively. The third-of-type Dixmude, also on order for the French Minister, is being built by DCNS and STX France and is scheduled for delivery to the French Navy in 2012.