Russian shipbuilders have told
India that the three Talwar class frigates ordered last year will be delayed,
and it's uncertain by how much. The ships are supposed to arrive in four years.
India is paying $534 million for each of them. These are export versions of the
Russian Krivak III class ships, which the Russian navy cannot afford to buy for
itself. The first three Talwars entered service in 2003-4. 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, and India
ordered three more. But there was one major shortcoming with the Talwars, the
Indian supplied sonars are not working. That's another problem, however.
The 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 missing Indian sonar. There is a crew of 180.
Russia has missed deadlines with earlier warships
ordered by India. Recently, Russia demanded an additional $1.2 billion (above
the agreed on price) for an aircraft carrier refurbishing job. India believes
the carrier project is not practical if it costs an extra $1.2 billion. The
Russians say it was an incompetent shipyard manager who is at fault. The
shipyard manager has been fired, and the Russians want the additional money
before they will proceed.