Commercial Negotiations Gather Speed for $4 Billion Indo-Russia Frigate Deal
(Source: Sputnik News; posted March 07, 2017)
NEW DELHI --- The Indian government has asked its shipyards to start working on the $4-billion Indo-Russia Krivak class project. Under this project, two state-of-the-art frigates will be constructed at an Indian shipyard, most likely to be the Goa Shipyard, and will be fitted with the BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles.
A Russian delegation comprising specialists from Yantar shipyard has expressed satisfaction at the Goa Shipyard on a March 3 visit. The team has been visiting Indian shipyards for the project and had been to Mazagon Dockyard, Cochin Shipyard, L&T shipyard and Reliance's Pipavav shipyard.
But since the government-owned shipyards at Mazagon, GRSE and Cochin are engaged with various important projects of Indian Navy, the Goa Shipyard would get the frigate building deal. The Goa Shipyard had undergone modification for construction and integration of warships with stealth capabilities.
"Works to finalize the commercial note for the project will commence very soon. This is a very complex project which involves several vendors. Due to its complex structure, it may take time," defense sources told Sputnik.
The project is said to require final approval from the Indian Cabinet Committee on Security which comprises the Indian Prime Minister, the defense minister, the external affairs minister, the finance minister and the home minister.
Earlier, Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar had said that a consensus had been reached with Ukraine for power plants to be fitted in the Russian-made frigates. The basic structure of two frigates has already been completed in Russia, while the other two frigates will be constructed at Indian shipyards with associated technology transfer. "All Indian equipment will be fitted on the frigate. So, it is a stealth variety where we are involved in the design," Parrikar said last year.
Ongoing negotiation would be the follow-on warships of the Talwar class frigates (Modified Krivak III class) already operational in the Indian Navy since 2003. The Talwar class has a displacement of 4,000 tons and speed of 30 knots and is capable of accomplishing a wide variety of naval missions, primarily, finding and eliminating enemy submarines and large surface ships.
Due to the use of stealth technologies and a special hull design, the resulting frigate features reduced radar cross section as well as electromagnetic, acoustic and infrared signatures.
GSL Eyes Guided Missile Frigate Deal
(Source: Times of India; published Mar 7, 2017)
By Newton Sequeira
PANAJI, India --- With major public sector shipyards tied up in executing current orders, the ministry of defence has turned to Vasco-based Goa Shipyard Ltd to collaborate with Russia's United Ship Building to build guided-missile stealth frigates for the Indian Navy, which are likely to be armed with BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles.
Two Russian delegations paid back-to-back visit to the defence public sector shipyard to inspect the facilities on March 3 and returned "happy with what they saw".
During a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the 2016 BRICS Summit, the two countries inked a deal to purchase guided-missile stealth frigates from Russia.
As per the agreement, India will acquire four multi-purpose frigates packed with sensors and weapons, including the BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles for around $4 billion. Two of the frigates will come from Russia, while the other two will be constructed in India, defence ministry sources said.
"The Russian specialists from Yantar shipyard in Kaliningrad checked our infrastructure and R&D facilities. They looked around the facility and our audits and they seem impressed," GSL chairman and managing director Shekhar Mital told TOI.
Classified as Project 11356, the contract for the two frigates, which are likely to be built at Goa Shipyard, is in the form of a government-to government order and delivery is expected over the next six to eight years.
"It is a very complex project. It is in collaboration with the Russians and it is going to be long negotiations and tough discussions. It is going to be hard work for the next two years. It is a little too early to say anything. We have just been nominated for the project," Mital said.
With the country's major public sector shipyards tied up in current naval orders and the Indian Navy battling to increase its fleet strength, the government began to look at shipyards in the country that could build the upgraded Talwar-class frigates.
The Indian Navy already operates Russian stealth frigates with the first three Talwar-class frigates being inducted from Russia in 2003-2004.
Known as the Admiral Grigorovich-class in Russia, the warships will incorporate a much-improved stealthy hull design with improved low radar signature, acoustic and infrared signatures.
Indian Navy officials said a Russian delegation has been evaluating Indian shipyards for project 11356 and had visited Mazgaon Dockyard, Cochin Shipyard, Larsen & Toubro shipyard and Reliance Group's Pipavav shipyard.
The Grigorovich-class frigates that Russia has offered India remain half-constructed at the Yantar Shipyard in Russia.