A remarkable upgrade in defense is registered after signing COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement) with the US. After two weeks of this agreement, path has been cleared to sign the deal of frigates costing $2.2 billion with Russia.
Delhi will be the venue for the upcoming summit where the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi and president of Russia, Mr. Vladimir Putin will sign a frigates deal in which India will procure four new warships for the Navy.
This long-due deal is expected to be signed in October in order to procure Project 11356 or advanced Talwar-class frigates. Out of the four ships, two of the ships will be bought at the Goa shipyard under the scheme ‘2+2’ where Russia will transfer the technologies to Goa shipyard in order to build new frigates from the scratch. On the other hand, rest of the two frigates will be bought directly from Yantra shipyard of Russia and the same is likely to be delivered to India within two years.
Factually, direct import will be cheaper in comparison to constructing frigates in Goa. In the initial discussions, Indian private sectors are asked to indulge to construct two ships which would be 30 to 50% costlier due to the import of infrastructure and technology.
According to some sources, the signing process is in its final stages and payment would be made through ‘rupee-rouble route.’ An intergovernmental agreement was signed in October 2016 between India and Russia, but due to price negotiation and technical consultation, it got delayed with final clearances.
Indian Army contains and operates six Talwar-classes frigates already, but the new four frigates will add muscle to the Indian Ocean region as they are made with more advanced versions. So, the newly brought ships will have significant changes as compared to the older ones.