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5 Apr, 2024 15:21

India to receive Russian-made warships despite sanctions – Bloomberg

The production of the vessels had been delayed due to Ukraine-related supply chain issues
India to receive Russian-made warships despite sanctions – Bloomberg

The Indian Navy is set to receive two Russian-built warships following long delays linked to Ukraine sanctions that hindered the delivery of the vessels, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing unnamed officials in New Delhi.

One of the vessels is likely to be delivered to India in September and another will arrive early next year, according to the report.

The ships are stealth-guided-missile frigates of the class Project 11356M, built with hulls previously used in the Admiral Grigorovich-class Project 11356R, which was initially intended for the Russian Navy. The vessels are part of a four-ship deal between Moscow and New Delhi that was signed in 2018. The other two ships will be built in India, in collaboration with Russia.

Russia is roughly two years behind schedule with the delivery of the frigates. Their production was delayed due to issues related to the Ukraine conflict, in particular, to the supply of gas turbines manufactured in Ukraine.

Trade between Kiev and Moscow ground to a halt in the aftermath of the Western-backed coup in Kiev and subsequent accession of Crimea to Russia in 2014, and the turbines have been impossible to acquire. However, according to Bloomberg’s sources, India eventually bought the turbines via a third country.

According to earlier media reports, the production of the frigates was completed last year, and the ships have since been undergoing mooring and other trials in Russia’s Kaliningrad Region.

Bloomberg’s sources said the delivery of the frigates would not be affected by Western sanctions imposed on Russia in connection with the Ukraine conflict. Restrictions have caused payment issues, with a large number of transfers pending from the Indian side, which stalled weapons deliveries from Russia, including that of the ultra-modern S-400 missile defense system.

The two countries have been struggling to find a payment mechanism that didn’t violate sanctions, but, according to Bloomberg’s sources, they have now been able to work around the issue. However, the details of the new payment scheme have not been disclosed.

Neither the Indian Ministry of External Affairs nor the Indian Navy responded when asked to comment on the report.

Russia is a major supplier of military equipment to India, which is the world’s largest arms importer. Both nations also engage in joint military exercises, the co-development of advanced military platforms, and technology transfers. According to the latest report by global think tank, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Moscow accounts for 36% of New Delhi’s total military hardware imports.

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