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India signed a $500 mn deal with Russia to locally manufacture two stealth frigates with technology transfer. The agreement was signed between Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) and Rosoboronexport of Russia.

What is a stealth frigate?

Stealth Frigate is a type of war ship which is built using Stealth technology (Stealth technology also termed low observable which corresponds to military Multi-spectral camouflage).

India currently deploys Shivalik class (Project 17 class) and Talwar class ( Project 1135.6) using stealth technology

What is this deal all about?

  • In October 2016, India and Russia signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for four Krivak or Talwar stealth frigates — two to be procured directly from Russia and two to be built by GSL.
  • India recently signed a $1 bn deal with Russia for direct purchase of two frigates
  • After the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) accorded approval for the deal, GSL was selected for the project in February 2017.
  • Following this GSL completed the price negotiations with Russia as well as the Defence Ministry and the Indian Navy.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has already cleared the deal.
  • The $500 mn deal is for material, design and specialists assistance from Russia for the two ships.
  • Balance work will be done by GSL, and it will have a whole lot of Indian equipment including BrahMos missiles
  • While the ships are built by Russia, the engines are supplied by Zorya Nashproekt of Ukraine
  • Work on the two frigates will start in two years by mid-2020 and is expected to be completed by 2026- 2027

What is the impact of this deal for India?

1.CAATSA Effect:

  • The CAATSA is a US federal law that imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia.
  • India is in talks with the US to secure a waiver from the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), arguing that its military is heavily dependent on Russian equipment and the two countries share a unique, time-tested relationship.
  • India is simultaneously exploring ways to bypass the US sanctions including an alternative payment route for Russian equipment.
  • The CAATSA legislation passed earlier this year does provide some flexibility for countries such as India that are dependent on Russian equipment, but Washington wants India to diversify its suppliers of military equipment and reduce dependence on Russian military hardware

2.Capabilities:

It would rise India’s Navy Capabilities and would help India to have a check on A Navy-centric Chinese military posture in the Indian Ocean region
India’s ties with Russia is on a growing spear inspite of US threats and it makes it much necessary for India to improve the ties to counter the Sino-Pak nexus.

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