New Delhi: Keel of the second frigate of additional follow-on ship of Project 1135.6 (Krivak class stealth ships) for the Indian Navy was ceremoniously laid on June 18, 2021 by Vice Adm G Ashok Kumar, Vice Chief of Naval Staff.
The ships under construction at Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) are part of indigenous shipbuilding program being executed under Inter Governmental Agreement with Russian side for construction of two advanced frigates for the Indian Navy. The contract was signed on January 25, 2019 between Ministry of Defence and Goa Shipyard Limited.
Keel Laying is a major milestone activity in the construction of any ship symbolising formal commencement of the construction process. Keel for the first ship was laid on January 29, 2021. The first ship would be delivered in 2026 and second ship subsequently after 06 months.
The ceremony was held virtually in the presence of Vice Admiral Kiran Deshmukh, Controller Warship Production & Acquisition (CWP&A), Cmde Sanjay Shrivastava, Cmde (SP), Cmde B B Nagpal (Retd), Chairman and Managing Director, GSL, Directors, and other senior officials of the Indian Navy and GSL.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Guest Vice Adm G Ashok Kumar appreciated the efforts put in by the Shipyard in achieving this milestone despite COVID constraints. He highlighted that it was for the first time that these vessels, with such technological complexity, were being constructed indigenously at GSL and marked an important milestone in our journey towards Atmanirbhar Bharat and Make in India initiative. He further added that a large number of major equipment are being substituted with indigenous equivalents, in addition to use of significant indigenous build material. The entire hulls of the ships are also being built with indigenous steel. He also highlighted major achievements of the Shipyard and commended the professionalism displayed by employees of GSL.
During his address, CMD-GSL highlighted various challenges faced by the Shipyard in executing this complex shipbuilding project. Despite challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic, the Shipyard continued the production activities with active support of employees and innovative solutions. He thanked the Indian Navy for their unstinted support and reiterated GSL’s commitment to cater for the requirement of Maritime Defence Forces through indigenous shipbuilding.
Under the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA), four Krivak or Talwar stealth frigates are to be built. Two are to be procured directly from Russia and the balance two are to be built by the GSL. Following that, India signed a $1-billion deal with Russia for the direct purchase. The basic structures of the two frigates are already ready at the Yantar shipyard in Russia and are now being completed.
The material, design and specialists assistance to locally manufacture two stealth frigates will be provided by Rosoboronexport of Russia as per the $500-million deal signed by GSL in November 2018. The engines for the ships are supplied by Zorya Nashproekt of Ukraine. Four gas turbine engines, gear boxes and specialist support will cost around $50-million per ship, officials had said earlier.
India had earlier procured six Krivak class frigates weighing around 4000 tonnes in two different batches, the Talwar class and the upgraded Teg class. The four ships to be built will weigh 300 tonnes more than the earlier ones and will be armed with BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missiles, the Navy said earlier.