India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has sanctioned $75 million for acquiring M7N.1E gas turbine engines from Ukraine for powering the two Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates that are expected to soon arrive in India from Russia.
India had agreed to purchase the two frigates Admiral Butakov and Admiral Istomin as part of a $4billion order for four Russian frigates. As per the deal signed in 2016, two other Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates would be constructed at the facility of Goa Shipyard Limited in India.
Admiral Butakov and Admiral Istomin almost fully built at Russia’s Yantar Shipyard at Kaliningrad were originally designed to be fitted with Ukraine built gas turbine engines but after the Crimean fallout, Russia stopped importing the engines from Ukraine, rendering the fleet of little use for the Russian Navy.
Russia and India then agreed to utilize the frigates for the Indian Navy which was already operating its predecessor, the Talwar-class frigates.
India struck a separate agreement with Ukraine which offered to directly export the M7N.1E gas turbine plant to India after much discussion in 2016. It has also been agreed upon that a subsequent deal would be struck for acquiring similar engines for the other two frigates that are to be built at the Goa shipyard.
About Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate:
Admiral Grigorovich class (Фрегаты проекта 11356Р/М) is the latest class of Russian frigates built by the Yantar shipyard in Kaliningrad.
Measuring 124.8 meters in length and displacement of 3,620 tonnes, Project 11356 frigates are equipped with the 100mm A190 shipboard automatic artillery gun, an anti-submarine rocket launcher and torpedoes. They are also armed with Kalibr-NK long-range cruise missiles and the Shtil-1 medium-range surface-to-air (SAM)missile system.
The frigates are designed for anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare in the high seas, and anti-aircraft actions both independently and as an escort ship.
They can embark one Ka-28 or Ka-31 helicopter in the hangar.
Six ships (two batches of three ships) have been ordered so far to be built by the Yantar shipyard in Kaliningrad. Out of these, two are operational and one is undergoing trials.