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The Strategic Implications of the Franco-Russian Mistral Deal

Dr Rajorshi Roy is Associate Fellow at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile [+].
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  • September 19, 2011

    Russia has signed a landmark weapons deal with France for the purchase of two Mistral class amphibious assault ships. The ships will strengthen the Russian Navy’s capabilities for power projection. Their purchase underlines Russia’s intention to give flesh to its Maritime Doctrine adopted in July 2001, which, inter alia, specifies among Russian national interests “guaranteeing the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the Russian Federation in its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf”. This is also the first major weapons system that Russia has imported from any country after the Second World War and that too from a major NATO member, which is an indication of the gradual rapprochement between the two erstwhile foes. This Issue Brief outlines the strategic implications of the pathbreaking agreement, including for NATO solidarity, looks at Russia’s ageing military industrial complex and foreign military collaboration and analyzes the capabilities which the Russian navy will now possess on account of the Mistrals.

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