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Indian Navy keenly interested in Russian naval equipment — ministry

This refers both to surface and submarine fleet
Submarine of Project 971 Vladimir Sayapin/ITAR-TASS
Submarine of Project 971
© Vladimir Sayapin/ITAR-TASS

QUITOL /India/, March 28. /TASS/. The Indian Navy is keenly interested in purchasing Russian surface and submarine equipment and localization of the vessels’ manufacturing in India, Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Alexander Potapov told reporters on Monday, commenting on his meeting with the Indian Navy representatives.

"The Indian Navy have displayed a keen interest in cooperating with us both in the sphere of surface and submarine fleet, starting from issues of purchasing ready-made equipment and localization of its production in India," Potapov said on the sidelines of the Defexpo India 2016 exhibition. He did not specify the equipment in question.

The Defexpo India 2016 international exhibition is held in Quitol in the state of Goa in India on March 28-31. During the exhibition, the Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport is planning to hold talks with Indian partners to discuss joint projects for the Indian Armed Forces’ further upgrade.

The deputy industry and trade minister also said that during the exhibition he also intended to meet Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar and his deputy who is in charge of industrial production and the "Make in India" concept. "I think that during these discussions we’ll outline the plans that are now being implemented and the implementation of which will be accelerated," Potapova added.

According to previous reports, the relevant issues for the sides’ negotiations were leasing to India of the second nuclear-powered submarine of Project 971 (the first such submarine was received by the Indian Navy in 2012), as well as the supply of three frigates of Project 11356 (six ships of the Talwar project have entered service). Earlier in March, President of the Russian United Shipbuilding Corporation Igor Ponomaryov said that Russia was in negotiations on the sale to India of three frigates that had been designed for the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Russia’s Rosoboronexport arms exporter said later that negotiations started on organizing the manufacturing of ships of this class in India.

In case of the technology transfer, the ships may be co-produced either in both countries or in India alone. India had acquired from Russia six Talwar-class frigates - three built by Baltiisky Zavod in St. Petersburg and three more by Yantar in Kaliningrad from 2003 to 2013.

A TASS source close to military-technical cooperation said previously that the Russian Defense Ministry had decided to reallocate the money earmarked for the second troika of Project 11356 frigates to pay for other ships it badly needs. The discussions between the military and the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation led to the opinion that the frigates can be offered for export.

All of the components of the first three Project 11356 frigates, including the Ukrainian-made propulsion plants, have been received. At the same time, the other three frigates lack propulsion plants, the production of which is to be launched by defense contractor Saturn in the city of Rybinsk under the import substitution program. Saturn can manufacture the power plants in 2019-2020 at the earliest, but the schedule does not suit the Russian Navy.