Asia Defense

Russia to Begin Full-Scale Work on 2 Guided Missile Frigates for Indian Navy

The Indian Navy is expected to make its first tranche of payments by the end of this month.

Franz-Stefan Gady
Russia to Begin Full-Scale Work on 2 Guided Missile Frigates for Indian Navy
Credit: Wikimedia Commons/mil.ru

Russia’s Yantar shipyard in Kaliningrad is set to begin full-scale work on two modified Admiral Grigorovich-class (Project 1135.6P/M) guided-missile frigates destined for service in the Indian Navy, as part of a $2.5 billion deal.

Work on the frigates is slated to begin following the transfer of the first portion of payments by the Indian Navy to the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), Eduard Efimov, general director of the Yantar Shipyard, told reporters earlier this month, according to The Print.

“When it comes to the schedule of payments, it is as per the contract,” Efimov said. “The first payment is expected to come by end of July.”

India will most likely pay for the two Admiral Grigorovich-class guided-missile frigates in euros to a Russia-nominated bank to avoid U.S. sanctions under U.S. legislation known as the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

As I reported earlier this year, work on two modified Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates has already begun.

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This was confirmed last week by Efimov. “We are starting the construction of the ships not from start, but from the production that we already have had,” he said. “The hulls have been prepared for the implementation of the project.”

Under an inter-governmental agreement concluded between India and Russia in October 2016, two frigates are to be built at the Yantar shipyard, while two frigates will be assembled at India’s state-owned Goa shipyard with technical support from USC. The first warship is slated for delivery to the Navy at the end of 2022. “The second one would be handed over six months later,” Efimov said. All four 3,620-ton surface combatants are expected to be delivered to the Indian Navy by 2026.

Admiral Grigorovich-class ships are an upgraded variant of the six Talwar-class frigates that Russia built for the Indian Navy between 2003 and 2013. As I reported back in February:

The frigates will be armed with the BrahMos cruise missile system fired from an eight-cell 3S-14E under-deck launcher. The two-stage BrahMos missile — named after the Brahmaputra River in India and the Moskva River in Russia – is a derivative of the Russian-made P-800 Oniks over-the-horizon supersonic anti-ship cruise missile.

In July 2018, Indian defense firm Larsen & Toubro (L&T)  has also unveiled a quadruple canisterized inclined launcher for the BrahMos missile for Indian Navy surface warships.

The ships of the class will also carry vertical-launched 3M-54 Kalibr missiles. The 3M-54 Kalibr is Russian-made stand-off supersonic anti-ship cruise missile. Other armaments include a 100-millimeter A-190 naval cannon, 533-millimeter heavyweight torpedoes, and ant-submarine rockets. The frigates also feature a flight deck to carry a helicopter for anti-submarine warfare missions.

The Indian MoD is reportedly set to procure two M90FR gas turbine engines for the two warships from Ukraine.