A Talwar class frigate being built for the Indian Navy at the Yantar Shipyard in Russia’s exclave of Kaliningrad has begun dock trials, the shipyard said.
The Trikand is the last in a series of three frigates built under a $1.6-billion contract with India. The first frigate, the Teg, was delivered to India in April 2012, while the second, the Tarkash, has completed sea trials and will be delivered in November.
“The Trikand started dock trials at the Yantar shipyard on September 15,” Yantar spokesman Sergei Mikhailov told reporters on Tuesday. “They will continue until mid-January next year.”
The sea trials of the frigate will be held in the Baltic Sea and the delivery of the warship to the Indian Navy is expected in summer 2013.
The new frigates are each armed with eight BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles.
They are also equipped with a 100-mm gun, a Shtil surface-to-air missile system, two Kashtan air-defense gun/missile systems, two twin 533-mm torpedo launchers, and an antisubmarine warfare (ASW) helicopter.
India announced in 2011 that the Yantar shipyard had delayed the delivery of the frigates for over a year due to a shortage of skilled labor and flaws in the production chain.
In a separate development, the delivery of the Vikramaditya, formerly the Russian Navy's Admiral Gorshkov, to the Indian Navy has been put back from December 2012 to at least October 2013 after propulsion failures occurred during the ship’s sea trials in the White Sea last month.
A string of delays on the delivery of military equipment has drawn sharp criticism by Indian authorities and soured traditionally strong bilateral military-technical ties.
Moscow has recently lost several large tenders on the delivery of weaponry to India, which used to be a major buyer of Russian-made military equipment.