India, Russia Sign $500 Million Warships Deal

India and Russia Tuesday sealed a $500 million deal for the construction of four missile frigates in Goa for the Indian Navy, sending a clear signal of continuing with high-level defence collaborations despite U.S. warnings of sanctions, Kommersant reports.

Officials said the agreement for manufacturing of the two Talvar-class warships was signed between the Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) and Russia’s state-run defence major Rosoboronexport under the government-to-government framework for defence cooperation.

Under the deal, Russia will provide design, technology know how and key materials to GSL for construction of the ships in India. The ships will be fitted with most advanced missiles and other weapon systems, they said.

“We have finalized a $500 million deal with Russia for construction of two warships in Goa,” GSL’s Shekhar Mital told Indian media.

He said construction of the ships will begin in 2020 and the first one will be ready for induction in 2026 while second one will be ready by 2027.

Tuesday’s agreement came nearly six weeks after India signed an agreement with Russia to buy a batch of S-400 air defence missile systems at a cost of around USD 5 billion.

India is going ahead with mega defence deals with Russia while disregarding warnings by the U.S. of sanctions. The Trump administration has put several Russian firms under sanctions under Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

The United States says countries engaged with Russia’s defence firms may also face actions under CAATSA. India has been hoping to get a waiver from the US on the deals it was signing with Russia.

On Monday, Russian defence major Rosoboronexport emerged as the lowest bidder in the Indian Army’s tender for procurement of a batch of short-range air defence missile systems, official sources said Monday.