Russia’s Yantar shipyard to transfer the first Project 11356 frigate ‘Tushil’ for the Indian Navy in 2023

The Russian-built project 11356 frigates are under construction at the Yantar Shipyard in India. The first of two frigates, Tushil, was officially launched on October 28 2021. While being built, 22 Indian-made systems will be installed, such as navigational equipment and surveillance radar.

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Girish Linganna
Girish Linganna
Girish Linganna is a Defence & Aerospace analyst and is the Director of ADD Engineering Components (India) Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of ADD Engineering GmbH, Germany with manufacturing units in Russia. He is Consulting Editor Industry and Defense at Frontier India.

The Indian Navy will receive one of the two Project 11356 frigates constructed by the Yantar Baltic Shipbuilding Plant in 2023, says Ilya Samarin, the company’s General Director. The frigate will be one of two being constructed for the Indian Navy.

On October 28, 2021, an official launching and naming ceremony was performed for the Tushil at the Yantar Baltic Shipyard in Kaliningrad, Russia. This vessel was originally put down for the Russian Navy in 2013 under the name “Admiral Butakov” (serial number 01360) but is now being constructed for India.

Tushil is located at the armament wall and is already being prepared for mooring trials, followed by factory trials.

Contract for Project 11356 frigate for Indian Navy 

The construction of the second trio of ships of the modified project 11356 (of the Admiral Grigorovich type; sometimes referred to as project 11356R) for the Russian Navy was started by the Yantar PSZ in Kaliningrad under contract No. З / 1/1 / with the Russian Ministry of Defense 0553/GK-11-DGOZ dated September 13, 2011. All six ships of the modified project 11356 were originally planned to replenish the Black Sea Fleet.

The lead frigate of the second trio, Admiral Butakov (serial number 01360), was laid down on Yantar on July 12, 2013, and launched on March 2, 2016. The second frigate “Admiral Istomin” (serial number 01361), was laid down on November 15, 2013. The laying of the third ship with the assigned name “Admiral Kornilov” (serial number 01362) was not officially carried out, although the construction began in 2013.

In 2016, the construction of the second trio of frigates of the modified project 11356 was halted as Ukraine based Nikolaev SE NPKG “Zorya” – “Mashproekt” refused to supply Gas Turbine engines due to events in Crimea. To clear the slipway site, the hulls of the frigates “Admiral Istomin” and “Admiral Kornilov” were launched from the shipyard “Yantar” in November 2017.

The governments of India and the Russian Federation signed an intergovernmental agreement on October 15, 2016, concerning the construction of two project 11356 frigates for the Indian Navy from among those originally constructed for the Russian Navy at the Yantar Baltic Shipbuilding Plant and on the construction of two additional subsequent ships of project 11356 in India at the state-owned shipyard Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) in Goa.

As part of this agreement’s implementation, JSC Rosoboronexport inked a $1.2 billion contract in October 2018 for the completion of two Project 11356 frigates for the Indian Navy at the Yantar Shipyard in Kaliningrad, Russia – Admiral Butakov (serial number 01360) and Admiral Istomin (serial number 01361). To be delivered to the Indian Navy in 2022 and 2023, the two frigates have been given the Indian names Tushil and Tamala (INS Tushil and INS Tamala in future). In 2019, work on the completion of the frigates “Admiral Butakov” and “Admiral Istomin” for India commenced, and the hulls of both ships were once more hoisted to the slipway complex.

In November 2018, JSC Rosoboronexport also signed with the Indian shipyard Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) a contract worth approximately $500 million to assist in the construction of two additional Project 11356 frigates for the Indian Navy, including the transfer of licences and technologies by the Russian side. The Indian government signed a deal with GSL on January 25, 2019, to build two project 11356 frigates for the Indian Navy. The ships are scheduled to be transferred to the Indian Navy in June and December 2026. The first of two contracted Indian frigates, Triput (building number 1258), was laid down at GSL on January 29, 2021, and the second was laid down on June 18, 2021.

All four project 11356 frigates ordered by India will be outfitted with their standard gas turbine main power plants of the M7N series, constructed by the Nikolaev State Enterprise NPKG Zorya-Mashproek and delivered by the Ukroboronprom State Corporation to the Indian side. Two frigates now under construction in Kaliningrad will get standard installations of the M7N1 modification, initially produced for them by Zorya-Mashproekt for the Russian Navy. Both of these power plants were purchased by India from Zorya-Mashproekt in October 2019 for a total of $76 million. India accepted the first set in May 2020, and both sets have now been delivered to Kaliningrad. The Indian side inked a deal with Zorya-Mashproekt for the manufacturing and supply of two modified M7N2 PU in September 2021 for two frigates under construction in India for the GSL.

The Indian Navy currently operates six Project 11356 frigates named the Talwar Class. The first three (F 40 Talwar, F 43 Trishul, F 44 Tabar) were constructed at Baltiysky Zavod OJSC in St. Petersburg (they were transferred to the Indian Navy in 2003-2004), and the remaining three (F 45 Teg, F 50 Tarkash, F 51 Trikand) – at the Yantar Shipyard (were transferred to the Indian Navy in 2012-2013). With the addition of the four frigates now under construction, the Indian Navy will have ten ships from this project.

It is currently unknown what will become of the third frigate Admiral Kornilov (serial number 01362), which is currently being built at the Yantar Shipyard but has not yet been finished; however, this year, there were rumours of ongoing negotiations regarding the possibility of the vessel being finished for a foreign buyer. Unofficial reports claim that either Vietnam or India may be the prospective buyers.

The official launching (floating dock) ceremony of the first of two frigates, Tushil, took place at PJSC “Baltic shipbuilding plant” Yantar on October 28 2021.

While they are being finished, 22 Indian-made systems will be installed, such as navigational equipment, a battle information system, a surface surveillance radar, and a DRDO HUMSA sonar.

The project 11356 frigates have a displacement of 4000 tonnes, a speed of 30 knots, and a navigation autonomy of 30 days. The arsenal consists of a 100 mm calibre A-190 artillery mount, anti-aircraft missile and artillery systems, torpedo and anti-submarine weapons, and long-range Caliber-NK cruise missiles (Brahmos for the Indian Navy). The ship can carry a Ka-27 or Ka-31 helicopter onboard.

The second ship, “Tamala”, is now being prepared for launch.


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