Russia to Export Two Frigates to India

Russia will sell two frigates to India under an agreement completed last week.

Speaking to The Economic Times, sources that following price negotiations, Russia and India finished a deal for the sale of two frigates to India. The contract is worth about $950 million and provides for the transfer of two Project 11356 frigates. The two countries are continuing negotiations on a related deal that would allow for India to produce a further two frigates of the class locally under license.

The Economic Times noted that the deal might have been signed in national currencies, which would help India avoid running afoul of American sanctions on the Russian defense industry. Yantar Shipyard, where the frigates were built, is not specifically under U.S. sanction, but parent corporation United Shipbuilding Corporation is.

Russia has already built the two frigates that will now join the Indian Navy. The two vessels — Admiral Butakov and Admiral Istomin — were laided down in 2013. However, they lack propulsion systems, as an agreement between Russia and Ukraine for the supply of turbine engines fell apart after the Russian annexation of Crimea. Beginning in 2015, Russia entered discussions with India on the potential for Russia to sell India the frigates; Ukraine has indicated it will supply the engines in the event the frigates enter Indian rather than Russian service.

According to The Economic Times, the warships will be armed with BrahMos cruise missiles.

About Derek Bisaccio

Military markets analyst, covering Eurasia, Middle East, and Africa.

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