Ahead of the upcoming annual Indo-Russian summit, the 7th Indian Navy’s P1135.6-class frigate “Tochel” was launched on Friday (October 28, 2021), at Yantar Shipyard, Kaliningrad, Russia. The launch event was held in the presence of the outgoing Indian (Moscow) Ambassador De Bala Venkatesh Varma, senior officials of the Indian Navy as well as from the Russian Federation.
What does tushel mean?
The new frigate Tuchel was named by Mrs. Datla Vidya Varma. Sanskrit name – means “protector of the shield”.
More about the frigate P1135.6
A contract to build two ships in Russia was signed at the end of bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in October 2018.
In accordance with the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between the two governments related to the construction of two of the ships of Project 1135.6 – to be built in India at Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) and two in Russia. The two created in GSL are subject to technology transfer from Russia.
The frigates being built in Russia cost approximately US$500 million each.
Project 1135.6 is also known as Talwar Class – a class of guided missile frigates. It was designed and built by Russia for the Indian Navy. These are modified frigates of the Krivak III class, which are also the main basis for the Russian Admiral Grigorovich frigate.
These frigates are built to the specifications of the requirements of the Indian Navy to meet the full spectrum of naval warfare covering the three dimensions – air, surface and subsurface.
These ships are equipped with a powerful array of modern Indian and Russian weapons and sensors. They have the ability to operate in coastal waters and blue waters, as well as as a partner on a naval mission and as a single unit.
They have “stealth technology” – they are able to pick up underwater noise signals and have low radar.
Major Indian equipment supplied including surface surveillance radar, communications wing and ASW system, surface-to-surface missiles, and onboard sonar system. There are also Russian surface-to-air missiles and artillery mounts.
What did the general manager of Yantar Shipyard say?
In an official statement issued by the Indian Navy, Ilya Samarin, General Manager of Yantar Shipyard in Kaliningrad, spoke in his speech about the challenges faced by the shipyard in implementing complex projects.
According to him, despite the challenges posed by the global COVID pandemic, innovative solutions have been implemented during production work.
In his letter, he said, the ships were expected to be delivered according to contractual schedules. Contractual timelines start from the day the contract is signed. This means that by 2022, these frigates will begin to enlist in the Indian Navy.
The outgoing Indian envoy, while acknowledging the efforts of the Yantar Shipyard, highlighted the long-standing tradition of military-technical cooperation between the two countries.
As mentioned earlier, these frigates will be equipped by BrahMos Missiles, a joint venture between India and Russia. These missiles replace the 3M-54E Klub-N anti-ship missiles and advanced sensors.
Why are these frigates important to the Navy?
They will add more strength to the Indian Navy operating in the Indian Ocean (IOR) region. The Indian Navy is facing a massive shortage of frigates – they are operating with ten frigates and nearly two dozen are needed.
What is the Navy operating now?
It has six Talwar-class frigates in service. And the new one that will join soon is more technologically advanced.
India directly buys M90FR gas turbines from Ukraine to power the frigates. These engines will be installed on board the GSL’s frigates.
The M90FR gas turbine engines are built and designed by Ukraine-based Zorya-Mashproekt.