India signs $950 million contract with Russia to buy two stealth frigates

India has signed a $950 million contract with Russia for two upgraded Krivak III-class stealth frigates. A government-to-government contract was signed between India and United Shipbuilding Corporation of Russia last week for the supply of two stealth frigates after two years of negotiations.

The deal comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin visited India on Oct. 5 and the ruling National Democratic Alliance government cut a $5.43 billion deal to buy five Russian S-400 Triumf missile systems despite objections from its ally the United States.

The frigates are built by Yantar Shipyard of Russia and will be powered by Ukrainian gas turbine engines. They will be equipped with Indian-built radar, sonar, communication suites and anti-ship BrahMos missile systems. The ships are expected to be delivered by the end of 2022.

India and Russia signed an agreement in October 2016 for the purchase and construction of four additional upgraded Kravak III-class stealth frigates, under which two frigates will be directly supplied by Russia and two others built at state-owned Goa Shipyard Limited in India through a technology transfer.

The 4,000-ton Krivak III vessels will also accommodate two multirole helicopters and will be used for anti-submarine and airborne early warning missions. India has already built seven basic versions of Krivak-class stealth frigates under the Navy’s Project 17A scheme at state-owned shipyards Mazagon Dock Limited, and Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers.

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