France seeking new buyers for Mistral warships, and may be ready to deal

If you're looking for a boat to carry helicopter gunships, armored vehicles and troops, the French may be ready to make you a super deal.

After France reached agreement to cancel the sale of two warships it had been building for Russia, the French defense minister was on the radio Thursday talking up their merits.

"These are good ships," said Jean-Yves Le Drian, "ships that can serve multiple purposes" from force projection to acting as floating hospitals.

Le Drian said a number of unspecified countries already have "made their interest known" in the Mistrals, which are similar to the U.S. Navy's San Antonio class of amphibious transport dock ships.

One thing, however: The Mistrals will need a paint job to cover up the Russian names and markings they now bear.