The Indian Navy is likely to get its first two advanced Talwar class frigates by 2022, following clearance of payments and key material procurements that will enable Russia’s Yantar Shipyard to commence full-scale work on the warship.
The contract for new frigates – two of which are to be made by Yantar Shipyard and two by Goa Shipyard – was signed in October last year and technical work on the design has commenced. The advanced frigates will feature an indigenous surface surveillance radars, the HUMSA NG hull mounted sonar and the Brahmos anti shipping and land attack missiles.
“Yantar Shipyard will deliver the two ships to the Indian Navy by 2022 as per the plans. We will also take an active part in the implementation of the next part, that is to make two more ships from scratch at the Goa shipyard. We will provide full technical assistance to the Indian yard for that,” said Efimov Eduard, general director of Yantar Shipyard.
He said that advance payment for the work to commence is likely to arrive this month and the gas turbine engines that are to be fitted on the ships will be supplied by the Indian side before the end of this year.
India had inked a $950 million deal in October last year for two warships to be made in Russia, followed by a $ 1.2 billion deal with Goa Shipyard for the balance two that will cost more. The reason for higher cost of the Indian made ships is that the Yantar yard has already fabricated two hulls for an abandoned Russian order that are being transferred.
The Goa yard will also need to create infrastructure and obtain technology transfer to commence the work. As many as 22 indigenous systems have to be installed on the frigates that include navigation systems, weapons and sensors.
“Based on our assessment, Goa Shipyard is ready for implementation of the contract and we will be sending our technical experts there by the end of this year or early next year to help start the project,” said Eduard.
While the Russian side is confident of delivery by 2022, a lot of work is left on the two hulls at the Yantar yard that includes fitment of gas turbines, mounting of all systems and weapons and cable laying.
The procurement of the warships – termed as Project 11356 in Russia – has been in the works since 2015 and had been hit by US implemented sanctions on weapons purchases from Moscow. India is likely to make payments for the ships using the rupee-rouble route, although a permanent way has been found.
There had been initial discussions to involve the Indian private sector to build two of the ships domestically but the government took a call to nominate the state-owned Goa Shipyard for an additional order for two.
India already operates six Talwar class frigates of a similar class but the new ones on order will be more advanced versions, fitted with Indian made equipment including sensors and communications.
The Russian Frigates
· Project 11356 or Advanced Talwar class frigates designed to conduct operations against submarines, air targets and enemy surface ships.
· Two to be built at the Yantar shipyard in Russia, other two at the Goa Shipyard Ltd
· Will add to the six Talwar class frigates already operated by the Navy
· To be fitted with the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile system
· The 4035 tonne vessel has a top speed of 30 knots, with an endurance of over a month at sea