Mistral-Class Amphibious Assault Ships: Facts and Details
French President Francois Hollande announced on Tuesday that the transfer of the first Mistral-class helicopter carrier to Russia was put on hold over the situation in Ukraine.
The Mistral-class amphibious assault ships are known as “projection and command ships” in French. The ships are used as command centers, for helicopter operations, to transport military vehicles, including tanks, and to serve as hospitals at sea.
France started developing these ships in 1997 in line with the National Concept for Amphibious Operations. The first ship was designed by the General Delegation for Armaments and French naval defense and energy group DCNS. Several foreign contractors were also involved in the program.
The ship displaces 21,300 metric tons deadweight, and its maximum length and beam span 210 meters (about 700 feet) and 30 meters respectively.