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India signs contracts to purchase 4 Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates from Russia

India has signed contracts to purchase four Admiral Grigorovich-class (Project 11356) stealth frigates from Russia, Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation said on Tuesday, November 20.

“Contracts were signed for the construction of Project 11356 frigates for the Indian Navy. This is yet another important event in developing Russian-Indian military and technical cooperation,” Tass reported the Federal Service as saying.

The agreement for four ships was first brokered in 2016.

India’s Ministry of Defence signed a $950 million deal with Russia to purchase two Admiral Grigorovich frigates which will be built in Russia’s Baltic Coast Yantar Shipyard, Janes reported on October 29. As of last month negotiations over price and transfer of technology were still ongoing for the two ships to be built in Goa Shipyard.

The new agreement between Russian state exporter Rosoboronexport and Goa Shipyard Limited for two ships is for $500 million, although a government official said that includes only the “foreign content,” including material, design and assistance, Hindustan Times reported. The final cost of the two ships has yet to be determined, according to the report.

According to the Indian defense ministry, the deal includes transfer of technology and the frigates will be outfitted with India’s BrahMos supersonic cruise missile system.

Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates are armed with A-190 100mm artillery guns, strike missile and air defense systems, including Kalibr and Shtil complexes and torpedo tubes, according to Tass. They can perform against surface ships and submarines as well as air targets.

The ships will be delivered to India beginning in 2026.

BrahMos is a supersonic medium-range liquid-fuelled ramjet-powered cruise missile that can be launched from sea, land and air. It is a two-stage missile, with a solid-fueled first stage to bring it to supersonic speed. Surface-launched missiles can carry a 200-kg warhead, while the air-launched variant can carry a payload of 300 kg.

It is manufactured in Hyderabad by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between India’s DRDO and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroeyenia.

Russian and Indian defense deals

Russia is India’s largest defense equipment provider and the two are in talks on a number of other defense deals.

Defense officials said Monday that Russia’s 9K388 Igla-S man-portable air defense missile system (MANPADS) won a bidding competition over the French Mistral and Swedish RBS 70NG, indicating a deal could be in the works for 1,000 systems, the Times of India reported.

The Russian bid of $1.5 billion was significantly lower than the French and Swedish offers and India’s expected $2 billion benchmark for the Very Short Range Air Defence (VSHORAD) missile program, the Economic Times said.

The Indian Army plans to replace the existing Russian-made Igla-M air defense systems which have been in place since the 1980s but procurement is reportedly affected by budget constraints.

On October 5, India and Russia finalized a deal for the supply of Russia’s S-400 Triumf air defense system, a contract valued at more than $5 billion. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top policy aide Yury Ushakov has said the contract is for five regiment sets.

The contract is the largest in Rosoboronexport’s history.

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