Last Russian origin frigate INS Trikand commissioned

Last Russian origin frigate INS Trikand commissioned

The sixth and last Russian origin frigate, INS Trikand, was commissioned in the Navy on Saturday, showcasing the Navy's reduced dependence on foreign shipyards for front line warships.

The INS Trikand was commissioned at Kaliningrad, Russia by Vice Admiral R K Dhowan, the Vice Chief of Navy in the presence of Indian ambassador Ajai Malhotra. Trikand’s sister ships INS Teg and INS Tarkash were commissioned last year and are now part of the Western Fleet.

The keel of the INS Trikand was laid in 2008 and the ship was launched in water in 2011. Extensive acceptance trials were conducted in the Baltic Sea in April and May 2013.

The aircraft carrier INS Vikraditya (Admiral Gorshkov) remains the only ship in a foreign dockyard.

It is scheduled to be inducted later this year, after a delay of almost 12 months due to the technical problems with the boilers.

Indigenisation

Indigenisation helps saving crucial foreign exchange.

The first three Russian stealth frigates-Talwar, Trishul and Tabar-came at a price of Rs 3,800 crore. But the cost went up to Rs 5,200 crore for the second batch of three ships
Teg, Tarkash and Trikand. Both Teg and Tarkash were inducted in 2012.

For indigenous warships, the import content is now negligible (10 per cent) for hull and associated equipment. But there is significant (40 per cent) import on propulsion machinery and very large amount of import (70 per cent) in weapons and sensors that are used to arm a ship.

The Navy has as many as 42 ships and submarines under constructions in various Indian shipyards in a clear demonstration of coming out of age at least on ship building technology.

But project management and adherence to the delivery schedule remains a problem. Mazgaon Dock Ltd, for instance has delayed the delivery of the first Kolkata-class indigenous destroyer (Project-15A) by months.

The first of the three ships in Rs 45,000 crore P-15A will now be ready only in 2014 though originally it was scheduled to be delivered to the Navy by 2013 end, sources said.

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