Hi-tech gear stolen from Russia’s Mistral warship in France
An investigation into the case of the missing equipment has been launched, French media reported. “Sensitive material” could allegedly be stolen from one of the amphibious-assault vessels, constructed by the French in a multi-million dollar deal with Moscow.
The items, which were announced missing on November 25, could have been stolen a week prior to that date, the prosecutor’s office of the French city of Rennes reported.
According to AFP, two computer hard drives, a motherboard, and a graphics card – as well as a device with a program operating the carrier’s communications system – have disappeared from the ship.
All the equipment was installed by French military electronics firm Thales, and could only be operated on the helicopter carrier.
A spokesman for French shipbuilder DCNS, Emmanuel Godez, confirmed the theft to TASS news agency, but said the unique articles – which he refused to name – did not contain any secret or sensitive data.
French ship builders STX, who are in charge of the Russian-ordered Mistral ship's construction, also confirmed that some items went missing. The company said a relevant statement had been submitted by the corporation to French police.
According to Le Point magazine, a preliminary investigation did not find any evidence of a break-in. Russians are reportedly not suspected to be behind the theft, a spokesperson from France’s Defense Ministry said.