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    Russia may build more Krivak class frigates for India

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    Russia and India are negotiating a new contract on the delivery of additional Project 11356 frigates for the Indian navy, the head of Russia's arms exporter said on Wednesday.

    MOSCOW, February 4 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and India are negotiating a new contract on the delivery of additional Project 11356 frigates for the Indian navy, the head of Russia's arms exporter said on Wednesday.

    The talks are being held despite disruptions in the construction of the ships.

    Russia is building three Project 11356 Krivak IV-class guided missile frigates for the Indian navy at the Yantar shipyard in Russia's Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad under a $1.6 billion contract signed in July, 2006.

    "The contract deadlines are very tough and there were indeed some disruptions in the construction," Rosoboronexport's general director Anatoly Isaikin said in an interview with Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

    "It took some time to deal with the problems. After additional work and testing were carried out, there were no complaints with regard to the frigate. Moreover, talks are being held for an additional order of this type of combat vessel," Isaikin said.

    The official said most of the problems were related to advanced weaponry and electronics installed on the frigates to meet the requirements of the Indian navy.

    A delegation of Indian military officials, led by India's deputy chief of the naval staff, Vice Adm. Raman P Suthan, visited the Yantar shipyard in October last year and said it was satisfied with the pace and the quality of the construction.

    Russia previously built three Krivak-class frigates - INS Talwar, INS Trishul and INS Tabar - for India, and delivered them all in late 2004.

    The final vessel of the current batch is due to be delivered to India by 2011-12. All of the frigates will be armed with eight BrahMos supersonic anti-ship cruise missile systems and not the Club-N/3M54TE missile system, which was installed on previous frigates.

    The Krivak-class frigate has deadweight of 4,000 metric tons and a speed of 30 knots, and is capable of accomplishing a wide range of maritime missions, primarily hunting down and destroying large surface ships and submarines.

    "In terms of firepower it [the Krivak IV class frigate] has no rivals in the world in its class," Isaikin said.

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