India’s private shipyards Larsen & Toubro and Reliance Defence and Engineering have expressed disappointment to Ministry of Defence after state-owned shipyard Goa Shipyard was selected to build two Russian Krivak-IV class (Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate) stealth frigates over two private sector competitors.

Russian officials while on inspection at Goa Shipyard, Larsen & Toubro and Reliance Defence and Engineering Shipyards at cleared them for having capabilities and manpower to build stealth frigates in their shipyards and buzz was that at least one stealth frigate will be awarded to a Private shipyard.

India agreed to bail Russia out and place orders for 4 Krivak-IV class stealth frigates under a $4.48 billion program. Russian Navy had placed orders for Six Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate ( Krivak-IV) for the Black Sea Fleet to be built by the Yantar shipyard in Kaliningrad.

Six Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate were originally planned to be powered by Ukrainian M90FP gas turbines made by state-owned enterprise Zorya-Mashproekt. After the Ukrainian crisis, Ukraine refused to supply Russia M90FP turbines leading to three lead ships Admiral Grigorovich, Admiral Essen, Admiral Makarov which had already joined Russian Navy become semi-active in operational capabilities due to lack of spares.

Construction of fourth and fifth ships Admiral Butakov and Admiral Istomin had already started from 2013 onwards for the want of engines so the construction was halted. Now as per agreement with India, construction of both Admiral Butakov and Admiral Istomin will be completed by the Yantar shipyard in Kaliningrad and will be transferred without engines to India.

Ukrainian Zorya-Mashproekt will then send their engineers to India to integrate their M90FP turbines on this stealth frigates. Russia already has started working on its alternative M90FP turbine engines for its future requirements and first engines will be ready to replace M90FP turbines on Admiral Grigorovich, Admiral Essen, Admiral Makarov from 2020.

Admiral Grigorovich-class vessels are improved variants of the Talwar (Krivak III)-class frigates built for the Indian Navy at the Yantar Baltic Shipyard between 2003 and 2013. Krivak-IV over Krivak III has improvements in Stealth design, bigger Helicopter landing area, improved weapons systems like BrahMos ER missiles. Indian Navy’s existing Talwar (Krivak III) frigates are not BrahMos-equipped.

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