Saturday, July 9, 2011

Russian frigate project for Navy likely to be delayed

Already hit by the massive delay in the Gorshkov aircraft carrier delivery, the Indian Navy may be in for another blow.

A top Russian official has said that the first of the new Talwar class frigates, ordered under a $1.1 billion contract in 2006 and set to be delivered by the end of this year, has been delayed.

While Russia has not formally conveyed any delay in the project for construction of three Talwar class frigates to India, concerns have risen after a senior official from the state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport publicly stated that a new deadline will have to be drawn. India ordered three of the frigates in 2006, with the first ship to be delivered in 2011.

“We have not yet been informed of any delay. We have a team in Russia that is overseeing the project and they will discuss the matter,” a defence ministry official said.

While the quantum of delay has not been specified, senior Russian officials have been quoted as saying that while dockside trials are on, the frigate will not be able to meet its deadline. Besides the delay, a price escalation is also likely as the Yantar shipyard that is constructing the warships has asked for an additional $100 million for the ships to factor in inflation.

Defence deals with Russia have been hit by a series of delays with the biggest example being the Gorshkov aircraft carrier. The aircraft carrier which was to be delivered by 2008 has been delayed by almost four years and is likely to be delivered only by next year.

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