As the title hints this will be a new series folks can find here at valleyviewpoints.
The opener for this series may seem a little obscure to my fellow Americans but it is still a good one in my opinion.
France has a contract to build up to four Mistral Class Amphibious warfare/helicopter carriers for Russia. The first,Vladivostok,(pictured) has completed trials and is to be handed over to Russia.The second, Sevastopol, is under construction.
Secondary to Russia’s actions in Ukraine the nations in the world rightly condemned Putin and initiated a number of sanctions. In the case of Paris the Mistrals were how Hollande put his money where his mouth is. This is more than literal since the 1.2 billion Euros would be a good boost for the French.
Anyway there are a lot of opinions as to what should happen with these ships and the predominant camp scream that they should not go to Russia. I am in that camp.
Rumors abound as to who should buy them. Canada was mentioned but I don’t think that one is going to pan out. A number of countries have shopped the class but don’t look like they’d be willing to buy now or at least not either of these two. It could be said folks would see the acquisition of either of these as an affront to Russia and they’re not up for that.France has three of their own with no real intention or ability of having more than four. The US Navy just launched the USS America to bolster its amphibious capabilities as well as the San Antonio class so a Mistral isn’t really a ship they’d want or need. Where does this leave us?
In my opinion (and others) –Europe! sorta….
I don’t think the Europeans have the intention of obeying their NATO contract specifically the GDP % spending clause nor do I think they’ll ever get around to finalizing their grand EU military program they allegedly dream of on those nights they don’t dream of other follies.
That said NATO has with both the consent and often times condemnation of the EU body politic burrowed itself into being the unity military entity for the Continent. NATO could easily use two Mistrals for military and humanitarian missions and solidify its purpose for the foreseeable future.
There are better ships but these are very capable and available. That the procurement of them would doubly deal a blow to Putin is just gravy.