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Russian arms exporter keen to manufacture naval frigates in India

Amrita Nair Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on March 25, 2016

Both nations in talks to finalise deal

Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport is looking at setting up licensed production of three upgraded naval frigates in India, classified as Project 11356 vessels, under the ‘Make in India’ banner, according to a senior official.

If inked, the deal will be a major boost for Anil Ambani’s Pipavav shipyard, since the Russian government had chosen Pipavav last year for the naval frigate order. It will also be the first big ticket deal bagged by Pipavav after it was acquired by the Reliance Group.

Sources pointed out that Russia was “already engaged in talks with India to sell three Project 11356 frigates, and a state contract was in the offing in the next few weeks”. The contract will be a government-to-government order.

Sources added that six Project 11356 frigates were planned to be built for the Russian Black Sea Fleet. The frigates have been under construction at Yantar Shipyard, in Kaliningrad, Russia, for the Russian Navy. The vessels utilise the same design developed for the Russian-built Indian Navy's Talwar class frigates.

At present, India operates six Talwar class frigates, which are the Project 11356 predecessors developed for exports. The Indian warships entered service in 2003-2004 and 2012-2013.

Three headed for India

Earlier this month, the Russian Navy commissioned the first Project 11356 frigate, Admiral Grigorovich, into service. Admiral Essen and Admiral Makarov, the other two Project 11356 frigates, are scheduled to be commissioned this May and August respectively. Sources pointed out that the remaining three vessels could be made in India.

Igor Ponomaryov of the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) for Military Ship Construction, had told the Russian media at the Admiral Grigorovich ceremony in March that USC was working under a state defence order and building the ships.

He pointed out that Russia was holding talks with India to sell three frigates, earlier destined for the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

Meanwhile, Rosoboronexport, a subsidiary of Rostec State Corporation, is eager to team up with Indian partners for projects aimed at modernising the Indian armed forces.

Sergei Goreslavsky, Deputy Director of Rosoboronexport, said the company is eager to engage in relevant technology transfers with regards to the Project 11356 frigate, and keen to enter into joint and license productions in India.

Published on March 25, 2016
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