Thursday, June 19, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

India gets first stealth frigate

Moscow, June 18
The Indian Navy today took possession of its first Russian-built stealth ‘Krivak’ frigate, INS Talwar, at an impressive ceremony in St Petersburg, attended by the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Madhavendra Singh, and the Indian Ambassador to Russia, Mr Krishnan Raghunath.

In his address on the occasion, the Admiral declared that INS Talwar would be the ‘“sharpest sword” of the Indian Navy. “The commissioning of the ship represents the beginning of a new era of joint production of naval equipment by India and Russia,” he said. The Commander-in-Chief of the Russian navy, Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov, was also present.

INS Talwar and of its two other sister ships — INS Trishul and INS Tawar — designed by the Severnoye Design Bureau and built by Baltiskiy Zavod shipyards at St Petersburg, were to have been inducted about a year-and-a-half ago, according to the contract signed in 1997, but the Indian Navy had refused to accept these after a central weapons system, the surface-to-air “Shtil’’ missile, had failed during the test flight. The Russians said they had rectified the problem and additional test firings would be conducted in the presence of the Indian naval chief as proof.

The ships will each have a crew of about 180, including 18 officers, and a top speed of 30 knots. The Talwar class of vessels are designated as frigates in the Russian navy, but will be classified as destroyers in the Indian Navy because of the local-area-defence SAMs being installed on the Indian modifications. UNI

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