India hopes to conclude price negotiations with Russia for the four Talwar-class stealth frigates for the Indian Navy on the sidelines of DefExpo 2018 so that the deal can be inked before the India-Russia annual summit later this year. While two stealth frigates – classified as Project 11356 – will be built in Russia, the remaining guided-missile stealth frigates will be built at Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) in collaboration with Russia.
A meeting of the Price Negotiation Committee (PNC) was held in Moscow when defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited Russia earlier this month.
“The Price Negotiation Committee for the project is in advanced stage of conclusion and preparatory activities are in full swing to commence construction by 2020-21. A PNC meeting is scheduled at Chennai during the DefExpo itself, and we hope to arrive at a decision,” GSL chairman and managing director Shekhar Mital said.
Mital has left for Chennai where he is expected to meet officials from Russia’s shipbuilding industry and the ministry of defence.
India inked an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with Russia for the four frigates during a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the 2016 BRICS Summit.
Russian delegations with officials from Yantar shipyard in Kaliningrad have already visited the Vasco-based shipyard to evaluate if the facilities available were sufficient to manufacture the two stealth frigates. After Russia gave the green light, the union ministry of defence nominated GSL for the project.
“GSL has taken lot of initiatives for ‘Make in India’ and is always on the lookout to get most advanced and niche shipbuilding technology to India through collaboration or transfer of technology,” Mital said. The navy currently operates six Russian-built stealth frigates which were delivered between 2004 and 2013.
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