After months of wrangling, India turned back on its decision to slap financial penalties on Russia for the delay in delivering three Project 11356 frigates under a 1997 contract, the maker Baltiisky Zavod said.
“This decision was reached during negotiations between representatives of the Indian Defence Ministry and Rosoboronexport,” the company said Jan. 11 in an official statement.
The agreement was signed late last year. Media have reported that India was planning to claim $40 million in damages from Russia.
“During the negotiations with the Indian side, we have resolved all the financial disagreements,” Oleg Shulyakovsky, the company’s general director, was quoted in the statement as saying. “Under the signed bilateral agreement, the customer does not have any claims against Baltiisky Zavod.”
The Indian Navy has expressed readiness to negotiate the construction of three more such frigates, Shulyakovsky said.
According to the statement, India’s Defence Ministry experts concluded that malfunctions in the Shtil-1 medium-range air defense missile system were the sole reason for the delay. The problems surfaced during the test-firing on the first frigate in May 2002. Further improvements and additional tests on the missile system affected the original delivery schedule.
The first and second frigates, Talwar and Trishul, were delivered in June 2003, and the final frigate, Tabar, was transferred to India in April, nearly a year later than planned.
The contract was estimated at $1 billion and was a breakthrough deal for the Russian naval industry.
Configured specifically for the Indian Navy, the frigates incorporate the most advanced Russian technologies and includes Indian navigation and communication systems.
Besides Shtil-1, it is fitted with eight vertical-launch Club-N anti-ship and anti-submarine missiles, Kashtan air defense missile guns, the Puma anti-aircraft gun and 100mm automatic guns. It also will also be armed with the Brahmos cruise missile, jointly developed and built by Russia and India.