NEW DELHI, India, (BulgarianMilitary.com) – At a time of the U.S. increased scrutiny over India’s purchase of S-400 air defense systems from Russia, now both states again have strengthened their defence ties by signing a deal for the purchase of four upgraded Krivak III-class stealth frigates for the Indian Navy. The information about the new Russian-Indian contract for $950 million, which happened last week, after two-year negotiations, was reported on 29 October, by the Indian media, citing the local Ministry of Defence, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
Read more: India Will Soon Acquire Five S-400 Triumf Air Defence Systems from Russia
According to the announcement, India will buy directly from Russia the two Admiral Grigorovich-class guided-missile frigates, which have been developed under the Project 11356, a derivative of the Talwar-class frigates that Russia has built for the Indian Navy. They will be constructed at Russia’s Yantar Shipyard on the Baltic coast and their delivery is expected to be by 2022. From an official statement of the India’s MoD, it becomes clear that the purchase of the frigates will involve a rupee-rouble transaction in order to be avoided the U.S. sanctions imposed on Russian defense companies under CAATSA.
Read more: Despite the Sanctions Threat, India Bought S-400 from Russia
The current deal is with an option for a possible follow-on contract for two additional frigates of the same class, which this time to be built and assembled on the territory of India, at the state-owned Goa shipyard. According to the Indian source such contract would be secured in the near future. Currently, none of the two countries has confirmed the signing of any agreement.
Because the warships are designed to work with Ukraine-made gas turbines, it is very likely for them to be delivered to India after their construction. In order the gas turbines to be fitted at a local yard thus their order has been placed directly by New Delhi with Ukraine, to be bypassed any complications due to the Ukraine-Russian relations.
The modified version of the Talwar-class frigates, the 3,620-ton Admiral Grigorovich-class warship, can be armed with the BrahMos cruise missile system, fired from an eight-cell 3S-14E under-deck launcher. It also features a wide range of other weapons systems as well as a flight deck to carry a helicopter for anti-submarine warfare missions.
Read more: India May Avoid US Sanctions for the S-400 Deal if It Purchases US F-16 Fighters
In 2016, Russia and India signed an inter-governmental agreement for three Admiral Grigorovich-class guided-missile frigates, which in 2013 were laid down in Kaliningrad,destined for the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet. However, in 2014, their construction was halted because of Ukraine’s decision to ban military exports to Russia.
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Sources: The Diplomat, Defense News