There’s more evidence today that Russia’s primary purpose in acquiring the Mistral ships is to use them as command and control vessels, rather than for amphibious assault. The following is from an ITAR-TASS report:
“After joining Russian Navy, basic task for Mistrals will be control over various naval assets in different operational zones worldwide, including Pacific Ocean, of course. That is going to be a sort of command centers developed at sea and controlling surface ships, submarines, and naval aviation”, said the source.
“The second high-end task for Mistrals will be delivery of Russian attack and antisubmarine helicopters (Ka-52 Alligator and Ka-27 respectively) to assigned sea- or coastal area. And only the third-priority task will be projection of marine units for landing operations”, added the source.
He also said that Mistral class helicopter carriers are supposed to be stationed at Pacific and Northern fleets. “These two fleets have the largest responsibility areas and biggest number of assets available. So far, it is planned that Northern Fleet would have one Mistral class ship, and Pacific Fleet – one or two of them. If needed, interfleet reassignments of Mistrals are possible as well”, said the source.
He confirmed that Mistral class helicopter carriers which are to join Pacific Fleet would particularly maintain security of Kuril Islands. “This is one of the high-priority tasks forMistrals to be completed along with other branches of Russian Armed Forces”, emphasized the source.