India Inks Deal with Russia for Additional Admiral Grigorovich Class Missile Frigates

The Indian government has inked another order with Russia for two Admiral Grigorovich class (Project 11356 design) frigates fitted with the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile system.

The latest $500 million contract is an add-on to the previous two-ship $950 million order made last month. That order – made under a ‘2+2’ arrangement whereby the follow-on vessels are constructed at an Indian shipyard with technology transferred from Russia – included the option exercised on November 20, per local Indian media reports. The basis for the contract was an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) reached between the Indian government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russia’s Vladimir Putin in 2016.

The previous order placed on October 23 involves finishing fitting-out two ships lying half-constructed at the Yantar Shipyard in Russia. The hulls for these two ships were already fabricated but never delivered due to the unfolding crisis with Ukraine in 2014. They are expected to be delivered to India between 2022 and 2023.

The follow-on option exercised involves construction for the two guided-missile frigates at the Goa Shipyard (GSL). This will be the most technically complex ship-building project undertaken by GSL. Construction on the first of the two ships will begin in 2020. Delivery of the first ship is targeted for 2026, while the second is expected to be completed a year later.

The engines for all four ships will be fitted at a local Indian shipyard post-construction following the placing of a roughly $185 million order for the Zorya gas-turbine power systems from India directly with Ukraine. Once brought into service the class will be referred to as the Advanced Talwar.

The four Advanced Talwar ships under order will feature greater stealth capability than the earlier six variants inducted into the Indian Navy and referred to as the Talwar class, which were all based on the original Project 11356 design. These six ships entered service with the Indian Navy between 2003 and 2013.

Together with three P17 Shivalik-class frigates plus seven more being built at Mazagon Dockyard and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (FRSE) under Project 17A, the ten Talwar class frigates will provide the Indian Navy with 20 formidable warships by 2027.

About Daniel Darling

Dan Darling is Forecast International’s director of military and defense markets. In this role, Dan oversees a team of analysts tasked with covering everything from budgeting to weapons systems to defense electronics and military aerospace. Additionally, for over 17 years Dan has, at various times, authored the International Military Markets reports for Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. Dan's work has been cited in Defense News, Real Clear Defense, Asian Military Review, Al Jazeera, and Financial Express, among others, and he has also contributed commentary to The Diplomat, The National Interest and World Politics Review. He has been quoted in Arabian Business, the Financial Times, Flight International, The New York Times, Bloomberg and National Defense Magazine. In addition, Dan has made guest appearances on the online radio show Midrats and on The Media Line, as well as The Red Line Podcast, plus media appearances on France 24 and World Is One News (WION).

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