- Russia may offer its final three Project 11356M frigates for export
- Funding for the vessels would be reassigned to accelerate other programmes
Russia is hoping to find an export customer for the final three Admiral Grigorovich-class (Project 11356M) frigates currently being built for the Russian Navy, a source told IHS Jane's.
"The Defence Ministry is reallocating the money, initially set aside for the other three frigates, to the construction of other ships it badly needs. Meetings of Defence Ministry and Federal Military Technical Co-operation Service officials suggested that a solution could be to export the ships," the source said.
The vessels are being constructed at the Kaliningrad-based Yantar Shipyard and use a Ukrainian Zorya-Mashproyekt gas-turbine propulsion plant. While Russia has already received the propulsion systems for the first three vessels, Ukraine's termination of defence exports to Russia has left the final three without their turbines.
Saturn was to build alternative M90FP turbines for the class under Russia's import substitution programme. However these cannot be completed before 2019-2020, with this further delay to an already delayed build programme not suiting the Russian Navy.
While Ukraine will not supply the engines to Russia, the option is open for an export customer to acquire the vessels from Russia and the engines separately from Ukraine.
The Indian Navy has expressed an interest in receiving three Admiral Grigorovich-class vessels, which are based on its six Russian-built Talwar-class frigates. However, in July India noted it was looking to licence-build the design in India, rather than to purchase them already built. It is not clear whether India has now changed its aims to licence-build the vessels, or whether it may look to do both.
The first-of-class Admiral Grigorovich is currently conducting state sea trials, and is expected to be delivered to the Russian Navy's Black Sea Fleet in November (two years behind schedule).