Cameron warns France Against Carrier Sales to Russia

Reported today that amongst calls for the EU to introduce further sanctions, Call Me Dave has warned France against selling the 2 Mistral Class Amphibious Assault Carriers to Russia. Now this got my brain working. While not configured for fixed wing aircraft the Mistral can operate 16 helos plus 4 landing craft or 2 medium size hovercraft. It can also operate as a 67 bed hospital.

This call was made against a backdrop of HMS Illustrious sailing into Pompey for the final time, (Do you see where I'm going with this?) and the 20 year old Ocean making ready as the on-call helo carrier.

Couldn't Ozzy :) look under the mattress and find something for a rainy day to take these brand new, you beaut - as they say where I live - carriers off French hands. As I see it all that is required is to change the instructions and labels from Johnny Foreigner Cyrillic alphabet to the Queen's English and and put the steering wheel on the right as it were. This would be a win win situation for everyone involved except Moscow Vlad. The Cousins would be very happy as they've been pressing the French to stop this sale for some time. The Andrew would be very pleased with 2 brand new helo carriers to put to sea. The French would get good coin for 'em. The only one unhappy would be Vladimir Putin.
 
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I'm sure there's enough spare change down the back of the sofas at No.11 to put in a holding bid, at least.
 
Suggested names if it does go through: HMS Inkerman and HMS Balaklava
 
Considering BNP Paribas have just been fined eleventy billion dollars by the US then perhaps it's not us that should be putting up cash?
 
As someone who knows nothing about ships, may I ask, will the build spec be sufficiently close to RN standards as to not require a massive refit?
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
As someone who knows nothing about ships, may I ask, will the build spec be sufficiently close to RN standards as to not require a massive refit?
Depends whether they can turn the gearbox around to get enough forward gears.
 

jim30

LE
Vaguely more serious answer - the question on build standards is interesting. Are they built to French, NATO or Russian specs? I'd assume we'd see two hulls built with almost no UK commonality, massive supply chain issues and unlikely to be fit for purpose to host any of our in service aviation assets. Conversion costs would be vast and ignore reality that we have no role for them in service (e.g. I'm being boring and looking at what Defence Strategic Guidance requires us to do here). But other than that, hey ho.

One final thought - if the French are still their usual selves, just how many bugs are we going to have to wean off the platform, and is it fair to the French intelligence services to have to listen to recordings of matelots and marines in their natural environment?
 
Way to kill the mood, Jim
 
Vaguely more serious answer - the question on build standards is interesting. Are they built to French, NATO or Russian specs? I

I'm not a naval person ( other than flicking through Jane's ) but I believe there are built to commercial standards approximating Lloyds requirements, so similar in principle to HMS Ocean and that Dutch one I can't spell.

Edit: Bureau Veritas is the French commercial standard.

Edit2: Apparently even the US Navy's amphibious ships aren't built to full warship standards but to a reduced level of protection
 
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Guns

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
I'm not a naval person ( other than flicking through Jane's ) but I believe there are built to commercial standards approximating Lloyds requirements, so similar in principle to HMS Ocean and that Dutch one I can't spell.

Edit: Bureau Veritas is the French commercial standard.

HMNLS Hertz Van Rental?????
 

DSJ

LE
Cameron "warns" :D

There'll be a picture of him tomorrow in the papers making a chopping hand motion & with his jaw thrust out in a "see me, I'm a real statesman" pose.

Normally followed by a massive U turn and hanging some junior researcher out to dry on Newsnight.
 
I did laugh at the one of him on the 'phone, looking all serious when the Russians liberated Crimea.
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer

DSJ

LE
I prefer the picture of him bored off his t*ts & taking selfies at Mandela's funeral.

That's leadership.
 
A quick glance at Wikipedia reveals that apparently the Russian contract is worth 1.37bn euros. I reckon we could beat that.

If it can take NH90s and Tigers, or even Mil-17 and Kamovs, what further work would be required to accommodate Merlin and Apache?

Even if the French have given a formal guarantee to the Russians as of May...
 
Thanks for responses so far. As to sorting out bugs etc I believe the French already have 2 in service so any issues should have been ehm sorted. As for RN need, I understand the Andrew has a requirement to move 3 Cdo Bde from ship to shore, evacuate UK and friendly Nationals during hostilities and support UK ground forces during conflicts such as Sierra Leone or Former Yugoslavia. I'd say these ships fit the bill
 

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