Russia and France signed a $1.2-billion contract on two French-built Mistral class ships, including the transfer of sensitive technology, in June 2011. Two more ships are expected to be 80% built in Russia, 20% in France.
“The first Mistral class ship was laid down at a DCNS shipyard in Saint-Nazaire on February 1,” Vysotsky said.
The French-built ships will be named Vladivostok and Sevastopol, the admiral said.
A Mistral-class ship is capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing vessels, 70 armored vehicles, and 450 personnel.
The Russian military has said it plans to use Mistral ships in its Northern and Pacific fleets.