KALININGRAD, March 11. /TASS/. Russia is holding talks with India to sell three Project 11356 frigates earlier destined for the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Vice-President of the United Shipbuilding Corporation for Military Ship Construction Igor Ponomaryov told TASS on Friday.
"So far, we are fulfilling the works under state defense order and building these ships. At the same time, we’re holding talks on the possibility of selling these frigates to the Indian side," the vice-president said after the ceremony of hoisting the St. Andrew naval flag on the Project 11356 lead frigate, the Admiral Grigorovich.
When asked by TASS about whether a decision had been made on selling the frigates, Ponomaryov said: "This has not been decided."
"We’re holding talks so far and working under a state contract. But such negotiations are under way," he said.
According to the corporation’s vice-president, the engines for these warships "have been fully paid for by the Ukrainian side. They are staying in Ukraine and therefore we’ll be resolving the issue related to these engines."
A total of six Project 11356 frigates were planned to be built for the Russian Black Sea Fleet. The first frigate has already become operational in the Russian Navy and another two will join it by May and in August, Ponomaryov said earlier on Friday.
These warships are equipped with the Ukrainian-made engines, which has caused uncertainty with the construction of the other three frigates of this series. The United Shipbuilding Corporation said last year that these warships would be built but would be equipped with domestic engines.
India operates six Talwar-class frigates, which are the Project 11356 predecessors developed for exports. The Indian warships entered service in 2003-2004 and 2012-2013.