MISTRAL class gallery

The Mistral class design started with a requirement called BIP, ( in French), or multi-purpose intervention ship issued in 1997. Three concepts with different dimensions and capacities were presented. Finally the BIP-19 was chosen in 1998, with a displacement of 19,000 tons and a flight deck of 190 meters long by 26.5 meters beam.
In 2001, work began on adapting the BIP-19 concept to a model to be built. The works are entrusted to DCN and Chantiers de l’Atlantique, which would form a design team in Sant Nazaire in September of that same year.
(Dixmude ship). The ships have been built in different locations such as Brest, Saint Nazaire, Lorient and Toulon and the final assembly was carried out in DCN shipyards at Brest. DCN has been the main contractor with 60% of the construction value and 55% of the work hours.
(Mistral ship). Mistral and Tonerre were launched in October 2004 and July 2005 respectively. The Marine Nationale commissioned the Mistral in December 2006 and the Tonerre in August 2007. In 2009 it was decided to incorporate a third unit to the Mistral class, the Dixmude, which was totally built and assembled in Saint Nazaire for economic reasons. It was launched in September 2010 and entered service in March 2012.
(Mistral ship). Mistral class can operate with up to 30 helicopters and has six landing points on the flight deck. A hangar with capacity for 16 helicopters is located under the main deck along with an area for maintenance and repair. All helicopters in service with the French Military Forces can operate from these vessels.
(Mistral ship). Two lifts for helicopters, capable for 13 tonnes each, connect the hangar to the main deck. The 225 m2 main elevator is placed at the stern of the ship and the 120 m2 auxiliary lift is located just behind the island superstructure.
(Mistral ship). As amphibious transport, the Mistral has a vehicle parking area of 2,650 m2, capable to house up to 60 vehicles of different types. It could embark a whole battalion with 40 Leclerc battle tanks, although the usual procedure is to take a company of these, (13 vehicles), plus a combination of support and combat vehicles.
(Mistral ship). The Mistral class has a well deck in order to operate both landing crafts and the modern LCAC hovercraft, though the French Navy does not have these. Instead, the Navy has commissioned eight EDA-R crafts, which are landing catamarans with 80 tons payload. These crafts are slower than the LCACs but they have a much lower cost.
(Mistral ship). In 2006, Mistral participated in Operation Baliste, where she evacuated 1,375 refugees from Lebanon. In 2008, she helped after the cyclone Nargis that struck the island of Burma. In 2007, Tonerre took part in Operation Licorne on Cote d’Ivoire, she also was in Corymbe 92 operation, a humanitarian mission in the Gulf of Guinea in early 2008. In 2011, she was deployed on the Syrian coast after the United Nations Resolution number 1973.
Despite the huge international interest for Mistral class ships, only Russia signed an agreement in 2010 to build 4 ships. Finally in 2015, the agreement was broken due to the Crimean crisis and the subsequent battles in Ukraine, and the 2 ships that were almost finished, were acquired by Egypt for 950 million euros.
(A. El Sadat ship). The Egyptian ships are: L-1010 Gamal Abdel Nasser and L-1020 Anwar El Sadat. Egypt bought to Russia 46 Kamov Ka-52K helicopters that were designed to operate from these ships. No country in the Middle East currently has any ships comparable to these two from the Egyptian Navy.
(G. Abdel Nasser ship). In October 2016, the Egyptian ships were already participating in maneuvers, just one month after they were delivered by France. The aerial group is composed by 8 Ka-52K attack helicopters, 4 Ka-29 transport helicopters and 4 Ka-27P ASW helicopters. Of course the ships maintain the same amphibious capabilities of their French colleagues.

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