Dans son éditorial d'hier , l'analyste militaire Ilya Kramnik de Ria Novosti confirme que le premier exemplaire du BPC de la classe Mistral qui sera livré à la Russie - de nombreux experts tiennent la signature du contrat comme acquise avant la fin de l'année - sera destiné à l'Extrême-Orient :
Where will the Mistral serve?
It looks likely that the first ships of this class will be supplied to the Pacific fleet. The Defense Ministry also mentioned such plans, and reliable sources suggest that the basic infrastructure for these ships is under preparation in the Far East.
The deployment of this kind of vessel to the Pacific has every justification. The Asia-Pacific Region is increasingly becoming the focus of attention for the world's leading countries. It is the center of interests for such key players as Russia, the United States, China, Japan and India, because it concentrates the world's fastest developing economies and almost half the planet's population.
Clearly, naval theaters of operation, above all near Africa and South East Asia, will only gain in importance over the next few years as maritime trade, shelf development and fisheries all expand. The significance of oceans adjoining Russia is also set to increase - especially in the Far East, where the economic potential of local waters and shelf exists in close proximity with inter-governmental disputes - primarily over the Korean peninsula and regarding the Kuril Islands.
Stationed near the Kurils, a Mistral and similar ships could serve as a mobile base, providing effective support for troops stationed on remote islands. The equipment carried by a Mistral-class vessel can provide effective guidance to a disparate array of forces, even including ground units.
In addition, a Mistral-class ship can, like other ships in the same class, fulfill a wide range of other duties: from anti-piracy operations to search-and-rescue missions. A squadron of warships led by an LHA is capable of engaging in a low intensity localized conflict by landing troops and supporting them from the sea and air.