Ahead of the next Indo-Russian Annual Summit, the 7th Indian Navy Frigate of P1135.6 class “Tushil’’ was launched on Friday (Oct 28, 2021), at Yantar Shipyard, Kaliningrad, Russia. The launch ceremony was held in the presence of the outgoing D Bala Venkatesh Varma, Ambassador of India (Moscow), top Indian Navy officials as well as of the Russian Federation.
What is the meaning of Tushil?
The new frigate has been named Tushil by Mrs Datla Vidya Varma. A Sanskrit name — means `Protector Shield’.
More about the Frigate of P1135.6
The contract for the construction of two ships in Russia was signed at the end of bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Russian President Vladimir Putin back in October 2018.
As per an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) between the two governments related to the construction of two ships of Project 1135.6 ships – to be constructed in India at the Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) and two in Russia. The two being constructed at GSL is under Transfer of Technology from Russia.
Frigates being built in Russia cost almost USD 500 million each.
Project 1135.6 is also known as Talwar Class — a class of guided-missile frigates. These have been designed and built by Russia for the Indian Navy. These are modified Krivak III-class frigates which are also the main basis of the Russian Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate.
These frigates are being constructed based on the specifications of the Indian Navy’s requirements to meet the full spectrum of naval warfare covering the three dimensions — Air, Surface and Sub-surface.
These ships are equipped with a potent combination of state-of-art Indian and Russian Weapons and Sensors. They have the capability to operate in Littoral and Blue waters, also as consort in a naval task and as a single unit.
They have “stealth technology” – capable of picking up underwater noise signatures and have low radar.
Major Indian supplied equipment including Surface Surveillance Radar, Communication Suite and ASW system, Surface to Surface Missiles, and Sonar system are on board. Russian Surface to Air Missiles and gun mounts are also there.
What did the DG of Yantar Shipyard say?
In an official statement issued by the Indian Navy, Ilya Samarin, Director General, Yantar Shipyard, Kaliningrad, in his address talked about the challenges faced by the shipyard in the execution of complex projects.
According to him, despite challenges posed by the global pandemic of COVID, innovative solutions were applied during the production work.
The ships are expected to be delivered as per the contractual timelines, he said in his address. The contractual timelines start from the day the contract is signed. This means that by 2022 these frigates will start getting commissioned into the Indian Navy.
The outgoing Indian envoy while acknowledging the efforts of the Yantar Shipyard highlighted the long standing tradition of Military Technical Cooperation between the two countries.
These frigates as has been mentioned earlier will be equipped by the BrahMos Missiles which is a joint venture between India and Russia. These missiles are in place of the 3M-54E Klub-N anti-ship missiles and advanced sensors.
Why are these frigates important for the Navy?
They will add more power to the Indian Navy operating in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The Indian Navy is facing a huge shortage of frigates – it is operation ten and there is a requirement of almost 24.
What is the Navy operating right now?
It has six Talwar class frigates in service. And the new ones which will join soon are more technologically advanced.
Engines for the frigates
India is directly buying M90FR gas turbines from Ukraine to power up the frigates. These engines will be fitted on board the frigates at the GSL.
These M90FR gas turbine engines are built and designed by the Ukraine based Zorya-Mashproekt.