The search for new Mistral buyers

It's obvious the 2nd Mistral delivery to Russia is a bad idea, and opinions are popping up who else might buy this ship from the poor French who are apparently perfectly innocent of having tried to prop up the Russian military with arms sales.
BPC Dixmude.jpg
"BPC Dixmude" by
Simon Ghesquiere/Marine Nationale
So instead of assuming that the usual thing happens (the national navy taking the ship), some voices suggest the EU shall take it, or the NATO.

I deeply reject the EU proposal, for it smells like militarisation of the EU, and like a miniature navy with a mixed language and nationality crew.
The NATO proposal doesn't make sense either, for this ship is irrelevant for collective defence and the decision to employ it would need to be a majority decision just as in the EU (might have an unanimous consent requirement in the EU as well).

There are actually some more navies which might be interested, even some which tend not to be on the radar of the usual suspects. The Indonesian navy has an interest in amphibious ships, for example. The Mistral may be rather too large and too gold-plated for such a customer, but no nature's law says that the French must sell at full price, without a loss.

We should not abandon the field to those who see this hull as an opportunity to inject more interventionist patterns and motivations into institutions which by original design were not meant to be intervetnionist.


  1. This Mistral has been modified for Russian helicopters. Is there any way around having it end up in Russia?
    Fulfill the contract, hand it over and think about your next steps carefully.

    1. Plenty of nations around the world operate Russian helicopters. Vietnam could have a requirement, though again the ship might be too big and capable for what they need. India would be an even more obvious candidate, they definitely have the cash and the requirements to fully utilize the ship. Even better, they operate largely Russian rotary aviation and they have good business relationships with the French. Handing them the ship at a discount might even help sealing that Rafale contract, that is still technically in the balance.

  2. To operate a Russian helicopter you need good contacts with Russia. How long will these last when you buy their ship at a discount?

  3. Well, the Singaporeans are looking to replace some of their Endurance ships in the near future. No idea where if they will ever be able to find enough manpower for a ship like the Mistral though.