The Russian Defense Ministry will hold a tender on the purchase of a helicopter carrier, having backed out of negotiations to buy the Mistral-class helicopter carrier from France, a Russian business daily said on Thursday.
Earlier Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) complained to the Federal Antitrust Service about the Defense Ministry's reluctance to allow Russian shipyards to compete with foreign shipbuilders on an equal footing, Kommersant said.
The USC has offered to build the ship for $500-700 million, which is higher than France's price of around $430-540 million.
The USC is set to participate in the tender with its three shipyards including Zvezda Shipbuilding Company in the Russian Far East, St.Petersburg's Admiralteyskiye Verfi shipyard and the Yantar shipyard in Russia's Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad.
Zvezda shipyard, which has established a joint venture with South Korean Daewoo Marine Shipbuilding & Engineering, will offer the Dokdo helicopter carrier.
The Admiralteyskiye Verfi and Yantar shipyards will present a joint project with the Northern Design Bureau.
Foreign shipyards may also bid for the tender. Among the possible foreign equivalents to the Mistral are the Dutch Johan de Witt and the Spanish Juan Carlos, Kommersant said.
Regardless of which project the Defense Ministry chooses, the USC shipyards are ready to build the ship within 30 months, USC President Roman Trotsenko said.