Sep 042014

It appears that France decided to suspend delivery of the first of two Mistral-class helicopter assault ships that they have been building for Russia.

It will cost the French an awful lot of money. Still, this is the right thing to do. The last thing the West should provide to Putin’s Russia is more firepower. On the other hand, NATO should probably consider stepping in and purchasing these ships from France. Come to think of it, Canada could use the capability to effectively patrol its oceans (which is currently, for all practical intents and purposes, is outsourced to the United States).

 Posted by at 10:43 am

  4 Responses to “No French ships for Russia? (for now)”

  1. Actually, while they would be extremely useful for deployment to far-flung trouble spots (eg anti piracy patrols off the Horn of Africa) and humanitarian assistance / disaster relief ops (eg Haiti), they are far too big and expensive to waste patrolling our territorial waters, and they are essentially useless in the arctic, to boot.

  2. The Russians also complained about the ships not being adequate for Russian weather, but apparently their concerns were put to rest by the time the contract was signed. As to territorial patrol, I thought that’s what the Russians were planning to use them for, after all, one of the ships was intended for the Black Sea fleet, which is not exactly a far-flung trouble spot for Russia. Also, as the ships are still unfinished, I figured there is still plenty of time for modifications (for instance, if a NATO country were to buy them, I’m sure they want compatibility with NATO’s, not Russia’s, weapons systems.) That said, I have yet to order my first warship, so I don’t really know much about the topic :-)

  3. It’s not so much the weather I’m worried about as the ice. As to the Black Sea, it’s not far flung, but it is a trouble spot for Russia. Russian admirals have said that the presence of a ship like the Mistrals would have been decisive in their recent tussle with Georgia. However, we have no particular need to land a battalion of marines on any of our neighbours, and that’s mostly what these ships are designed to do.

  4. It’s not landing battalions on neighbors, it’s landing battalions on our own shores that I was thinking about, given their relative inaccessibility from land.