Moscow: Claiming that Russia is no longer dependent on Ukrainian engines to power its frigates, the head of Russian United ShipBuilding Corporation (USC) Monday said they are willing to invest in India as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative.
“I don’t know why India went in for a Ukrainian engine when we have now built our own capability and capacity. We are no longer dependent on Ukraine for engines,” USC President Alexei Rakhmanov said, speaking on the sidelines of the Army 2022, Russia’s defence exhibition being held in Moscow.
The top Russian official, who is in charge of the country’s shipbuilding industry, was referring to the gas turbine engines that India bought from Ukraine to power the four stealth frigates that it is building with Russian help.
As reported by ThePrint earlier, India had procured gas turbine engines from Ukraine and handed over to Russia to install them on the Admiral Grigorovich-class guided-missile stealth frigates that are being made for the Indian Navy by a Russian shipyard as part of a $2.5 billion deal.
While two ships are being built in Russia, two others are to be built at the Goa shipyard with Russian help.
India had ordered Ukranian engines for the ones being built in Goa, but it is learnt that the delivery had not taken place yet. One of the targets of the Russian missile attacks on Ukraine was the production facility of these gas turbine engines.
It is not yet known what will happen to the two frigates that are to be built in Goa, with the engines being undelivered and the factory hit.
‘Trying to fast-track delivery of frigates’
Speaking about the delivery schedule of the two frigates, Rakhmanov said the first would be delivered by November 2023 and the next within six months of it.
He said that the original delivery schedule was hit by the Covid pandemic as well as the ongoing war with Ukraine.
“We are trying to fast track the delivery and fill up the gap,” Rakhmanov said.
According to the original delivery schedule, the first ship was to be handed over by the end of this year.
Talking about further plans, the top Russian defence official said that the USC is keen on investing in India and are looking at possible shipyards for the same. He also said that Russia wanted to invest in the Pipavav shipyard but it has gone into an insolvency procedure.
“We want to be part of the Make in India initiative,” he said.
(This reporter is in Russia as a guest of United Aircraft Corporation.)