Surface Forces: India Loves Krivak

February 10, 2009: India is ordering more Krivak IV class frigates from Russia. Twelve years ago India ordered the first three. Then, in 2004, three more Krivak IVs (now Talwar class) frigates were ordered. All of these are export versions of the Russian Cold War era Krivak III class ships, which the Russian navy cannot afford to buy for itself.

The first three Talwars entered service in 2003-4, the second batch will arrive in 2011-12. There were some teething problems with these ships, the first of a new class. But the Indians were finally satisfied, when Russia made good all deficiencies. There was one major shortcoming with the Talwars, the Indian supplied sonars are not working. That's an Indian problem, however, and not a bad reflection on the Russians.

 The 4,000 ton Talwar's are 386 feet long, carry 24 anti-aircraft and eight anti-ship missiles, four torpedo tubes, as well as a 100mm gun, close in anti-missile guns, a helicopter, anti-submarine weapons (depth charges and missiles). The ship has a very complete set of electronics gear, except for the troublesome Indian sonar. There is a crew of 180. The price of these ships has risen from about $350 million each for the first three, to over $600 million each for the latest order. All of the Talwars are being equipped with eight BrahMos anti-ship missile each.

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