According to a source from the Russian Navy, Russia may get its first Kamov Ka-52K (Katran) shipborne helicopters by 2018. France earlier refused to deliver two Mistral helicopter carriers that were to be bases for the helicopters.
The reason behind France’s refusal is Russia’s alleged involvement in the eastern Ukraine conflict. France was supposed to deliver two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships to Russia.
The “high-placed” source in the headquarters of the Russian Navy said Thursday that naval aviation would get the helicopters by 2017-2018. “The number of helicopters has yet to be determined, but a final decision has not yet been made,” the Russian news agency Tass quoted the source as saying. “But there is the understanding that they will be received and operated and we’ll see what to do further.”
French President François Hollande and his Russian counterpart came to a mutual understanding Wednesday to terminate the contract under which France had been supposed to deliver two Mistrals.
While Russia seems to have started finding a replacement for the terminated deal, the Guardian reported that France had started looking for buyers for two warships after canceling a the deal with Russia.
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy agreed to sell the warships to Russia in 2011 even though several NATO allies, Russia’s Baltic neighbors and the United States were against the deal. However, Hollande said in November that he would hold the delivery of the ships until a ceasefire was declared in eastern Ukraine.
According to the source in the navy, the Russian Defense Ministry also plans to buy Flanker-C fighter jets for naval aviation. The source said that Russia would buy lots of such aircraft.