India is set to purchase three frigates from Moscow originally intended for Russian Navy Black Sea Fleet, according to a Thursday report in Jane’s Defence Weekly.
Citing a source in the Russian defense industry the report said New Delhi and Moscow have reached a “relevant concealed agreement,” for the three Project 11356M Admiral Grigorovich frigates that will be armed with the jointly India and Russia developed BrahMos anti-ship cruise missile. No price was given.
The frigate trio for India — the last three ships for the planned six-ship class – were originally planned as part of the Russian Navy’s $2.4 billion refresh of its 1980s era Black Sea Fleet but construction of the ships have been delayed in part due to the refusal of the Ukrainian defense industry to supply the Russian Navy with gas turbines.
The original gas turbines were produced by Ukrainian state-owned of Zorya-Mashproekt but the company refused to deliver the turbines following Ukraine’s arms embargo with Moscow following the 2014 invasion of the Crimean peninsula.
Russia has tasked aircraft engine manufacturer Saturn to design and build a maritime gas turbine but the first versions of the indigenous design won’t be ready until 2019 — at the earliest.
With the frigates sold to India, New Delhi maybe able to strike a new deal to purchase the Ukrainian gas turbines, Jane’s source said.
The first of the class, Admiral Grigorovich, arrived at the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Sevastopol base in early June – the first new ship to enter the fleet since the Cold War.
The 4,000-ton multi-mission frigates are based on the Talwar-class frigates that Russia built for the Indian Navy between 2000 and 2013. In addition to the BrahMos missiles the frigates are armed with the Russian Kalibir NK long range land attack cruise missiles – first used operationally last year from Russian Navy ships in the Caspian Sea to strike targets in Syria.