The Baltic Con­nec­tion

Vayu’s An­gad Singh vis­ited a num­ber of Rus­sian ship­yards on the Baltic Sea, re­port­ing on sev­eral key pro­grammes rel­e­vant both to In­dia and the broader Rus­sian ship­build­ing in­dus­try.

Vayu Aerospace and Defence - - News - (All pho­tos by the au­thor un­less noted other­wise)

Vayu’s An­gad Singh vis­ited a num­ber of Rus­sian ship­yards on the Baltic Sea, re­port­ing on sev­eral key pro­grammes rel­e­vant both to In­dia and the broader Rus­sian-ship­build­ing in­dus­try.

Goa is a pop­u­lar tourist des­ti­na­tion in In­dia, par­tic­u­larly among Rus­sian trav­ellers, so it was not sur­pris­ing to hear that Yan­tar Ship­yard’s Gen­eral Direc­tor, Ed­uard Efi­mov, was en­thused at the pos­si­bil­ity of co-op­er­at­ing with Goa Ship­yard Lim­ited (GSL) on pro­duc­tion of frigates for the Indian Navy. In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­ac­tion with Vayu at Yan­tar, in the strate­gic Rus­sian ex­clave of Kalin­ingrad, he spoke at length about the work his ship­yard has al­ready done with the Indian Navy, and shared de­tails about the pro­posed deal for four new war­ships.

“Dis­cus­sions are be­ing held,” said Efi­mov, “and we do hope that by the end of this year we have some clar­ity [on this or­der].”

Yan­tar has built the sec­ond batch of three Tal­war- class frigates for the Indian Navy : INS Teg, Tarkash and Trikand, distin­guished by their pri­mary ar­ma­ment of BrahMos cruise mis­siles in place of 3M54 Klub mis­siles on the first three ships, and AK630 close-in weapon sys­tems in­stead of the larger Kash­tan CIWS. Th­ese ves­sels are sig­nif­i­cantly mod­i­fied vari­ants of the ven­er­a­ble Soviet-era Kri­vak- class frigates, and the Rus­sian MoD was suf­fi­ciently con­vinced of their util­ity to or­der a six-ship run of frigates based on the Tal­war- class.

Pro­duced un­der Project 11356R/M (Rus­sian/Mod­ernised), the class is named for the lead ship, Ad­mi­ral Grig­orovich, dif­fer­ing only slightly from the Indian boats with two 12-cell ver­ti­cal launch­ers for its 3S90 Shtil sur­face-to-air mis­siles in­stead of the older sin­gle-arm train­able launcher that is in­ca­pable of rapid fir­ing. Cru­cially, the Rus­sian frigates have re­tained the same gas tur­bine pow­er­plant, sup­plied by Ukraine’s Zo­rya Mash­proekt. The first ves­sel was laid down in De­cem­ber 2010 at Yan­tar, and by the time the Ukrainian cri­sis had boiled over into the an­nex­a­tion of Crimea by Rus­sia, con­struc­tion of five of the six boats was in full swing. How­ever, only three sets of engines had been de­liv­ered by that time, and Ukraine’s em­bargo then left Yan­tar and the Rus­sian MoD with three frigates un­der con­struc­tion with­out any re­al­is­tic hope of get­ting pow­er­plants.

While an am­bi­tious im­port sub­sti­tu­tion pro­gramme was put in place across all sec­tors of Rus­sian in­dus­try, it be­came rapidly clear that it would be quite some time be­fore Rus­sia’s tur­bine man­u­fac­tur­ers would be able to du­pli­cate the Zo­rya pow­er­plant for the Grig­orovich- class ves­sels. The Rus­sian gov­ern­ment elected to find a buyer for th­ese ves­sels, one that Ukraine would be amenable to do­ing business with. In­dia was the nat­u­ral first choice as an ex­ist­ing op­er­a­tor of the type, and on the side­lines of the BRICS sum­mit at Goa in Oc­to­ber 2016, the two na­tions an­nounced an agree­ment on four Grig­orovich- class frigates in ad­di­tion to a mul­ti­tude of other pro­cure­ments ( see Vayu VI/2016).

Since then, talks on the frigates have rapidly pro­gressed, with Efi­mov lead­ing a Rus­sian team to eval­u­ate the fa­cil­i­ties at state-owned GSL in March 2017, and re­ceiv­ing a GSL team for a fa­mil­iari­sa­tion visit in June.

“I per­son­ally be­lieve GSL is able to han­dle con­tracts for war­ships of this class,” stated Efi­mov. “If I am not mis­taken, they plan to erect a new work­shop for hull assem­bly, and the tech­no­log­i­cal base ap­pears broadly suf­fi­cient, but there may be a need to cre­ate spe­cialised ‘branches’ of the com­pany, and em­ploy cer­tain spe­cial­ists for equip­ment in­stal­la­tion and in­te­gra­tion. The hull and propul­sion is no prob­lem at GSL.”

“Ex­ist­ing bi­lat­eral pro­to­cols al­ready en­able train­ing of such spe­cial­ists,” he con­tin­ued. “[Indian Navy flag­ship INS] Vikra­ma­ditya was an ex­am­ple, in terms of crew train­ing but also ship­build­ing spe­cial­ists. Should In­dia place the or­der, a sim­i­lar pro­gramme for train­ing could cer­tainly be im­ple­mented with Yan­tar.”

With two frigates to be com­pleted at Yan­tar and two built from scratch at GSL, Efi­mov was con­fi­dent the pro­gramme could be run smoothly. “Af­ter the con­tract is signed, the first ship will be com­pleted within three years. Af­ter that it will take six months for the sec­ond ship to be built,” he stated. This tracks with the build rate of the first six Tal­war- class ships, ac­count­ing for the fact that the ves­sels will not need to built from the keel up.

On the other hand, given that con­struc­tion at GSL would en­tail all the pit­falls of build­ing a ‘first-of-class’ ves­sel at that yard, Efi­mov es­ti­mated that “from keel-lay­ing to de­liv­ery, GSL should be able to de­liver their first ship in five to seven years.” With the two sets of frigates be­ing built es­sen­tially in par­al­lel, this trans­lates to only a slightly stag­gered rate of de­liv­ery for all four. “At this time we are ne­go­ti­at­ing, so noth­ing is firm,” cau­tioned Efi­mov, be­fore of­fer­ing a so­lu­tion to fur­ther shorten the de­liv­ery pe­riod. “We could de­liver parts [to GSL] and are ready to do so. It could, in the­ory, re­duce the con­struc­tion time at Goa.”

Yan­tar is a 73-year old yard, with a his­tory stretch­ing back to the turn of the 20th cen­tury. In­deed, there is func­tional ma­chin­ery be­ing used for present- day projects dat­ing back to the early 1900s! Apart from reg­u­lar war­ship re­pair con­tracts, key projects at the yard in­clude frigates, large land­ing ships (Project 11711 Ivan Gren- class), ocean ex­plo­ration ves­sels, and large fish­ing trawlers. The yard has de­liv­ered nearly 700 ships in its his­tory, with over 160 of th­ese be­ing naval war­ships for do­mes­tic and ex­port cus­tomers. Efi­mov is con­fi­dent in the work of his or­gan­i­sa­tion, and ex­pressed a will­ing­ness to ac­com­mo­date cus­tomer-spec­i­fied equip­ment on the Indian frigate or­der, to pro­duce ships to the Indian Navy’s spec­i­fi­ca­tions, which he said “would not im­pact the build rate.”

From com­bat to res­cue

Fresh from stand­ing un­der the bows of 4000- tonne frigates in Kalin­ingrad, we moved fur­ther up the Baltic Coast to Saint Peters­burg, this his­toric ship­build­ing city and its yards now fa­mil­iar to Vayu and its readers ( see Vayu IV/2015).

Ad­mi­ralty Ship­yards has pro­duced the vast bulk of In­dia’s sub-sur­face fleet, from the first Kal­vari- class (Project I641, NATO re­port­ing name: Fox­trot) to the mod­ern Sind­hughosh-class (Project 677EKM, NATO re­port­ing name: Kilo). Alexan­der Buza­kov, Direc­tor Gen­eral of Ad­mi­ralty Ship­yards, noted that “In­dia is the na­tion with which Ad­mi­ralty has had the long­est re­la­tion­ship.”

From fifty years of sub­ma­rine co­op­er­a­tion, the Rus­sian firm is now in talks with Indian Navy for an ad­vanced res­cue ves­sel to aid sub­marines in dis­tress. “Project 21300 from the Al­maz de­sign bu­reau has a special div­ing com­plex to en­able divers to go down to 400m. It also comes equipped with a Bester sub­mersible to en­able res­cue op­er­a­tions down to 700m, and can carry un­manned sub­mersibles that can op­er­ate as far as 1000m be­low the sur­face,” said Buza­kov. The first ship of this class, Igor Belousov, is al­ready in ser­vice with the Rus­sian Pa­cific Fleet, and even stopped by at Visakha­p­at­nam dur­ing its long tran­sit from the Baltic to Rus­sia’s Far East ( see Vayu V/2016).

The Indian Navy’s need for a sub­ma­rine res­cue ca­pa­bil­ity has taken on ur­gent di­men­sions now that it em­ploys mul­ti­ple nu­clear sub­marines, which will op­er­ate in deep wa­ters far from home shores. In fact, dur­ing dive test­ing of the in­dige­nous nu­clear-pow­ered bal­lis­tic mis­sile sub­ma­rine Ari­hant, the Indian Navy had to turn to the Rus­sian Navy in or­der to have a res­cue ship avail­able, the ves­sel in ques­tion be­ing RFS Epron, an older Prut- class boat ( see Vayu II/2016).

Re­gard­ing the Rus­sian offer it­self, Buza­kov re­vealed that there had ini­tially been “some tech­ni­cal is­sues” to iron out with the IN, but that “they have been over­come and now we are dis­cussing pric­ing.” De­signed for op­er­a­tions in vir­tu­ally all con­di­tions and up to sea state 7, Buza­kov stated that the issue was not to do with the res­cue ship it­self, but rather its res­cue equip­ment, specif­i­cally the sub­mersible car­ried on board. The Navy has al­ready or­dered two Bri­tish-made James Fisher De­fence LR5 manned sub­mersibles for its deep­wa­ter res­cue needs, and only needs a ship to carry them. “The Indian side wanted to know if ad­di­tional [third party] res­cue equip­ment could be added

to the ship. We have now con­firmed that the Bri­tish sub­mersible ves­sel can be in­te­grated,” said Buza­kov.

Even as the Indian con­tract is be­ing ne­go­ti­ated, Buza­kov also an­tic­i­pates ad­di­tional or­ders for the class from the Rus­sian Navy. “Igor Belousov has gone to Pa­cific Fleet, and we plan to have one such ship with each op­er­a­tional fleet [th­ese are the North­ern, Baltic and Black Sea fleets]. The or­ders are not yet placed be­cause the new state ar­ma­ment pro­gramme [ for 2018- 2025] is be­ing pre­pared. Mean­while, Igor Belousov is be­ing ex­ten­sively tested in the Pa­cific Fleet to en­sure it meets the stan­dards re­quired by the Navy, af­ter which ad­di­tional or­ders are more likely.”

On the sub­ject of the ship­yard’s tra­di­tional area of ex­per­tise – sub­marines – Buza­kov was more cir­cum­spect, given the un­clear na­ture of the Indian Navy’s Project 75 ( In­dia) and the MoD’s re­cently-no­ti­fied pol­icy on pri­vate sec­tor strate­gic part­ner­ships (SPs). He noted that the Navy’s ex­pe­ri­ence with Project 75 ( Kal­vari/Scor­péne- class) should lead to a more grad­ual lo­cal con­struc­tion pro­gramme, with greater OEM in­volve­ment in the phys­i­cal build process, but that the fi­nal de­ci­sion would rest with the MoD. On the pos­si­ble re­quire­ment to in­te­grate the in­dige­nous DRDO AIP as cus­tomer-spec­i­fied equip­ment, Buza­kov high­lighted his yard’s close work­ing re­la­tion­ship with the Ru­bin de­sign bu­reau: “If Ru­bin does the in­te­gra­tion – we can build it!” he said with a smile, be­fore point­ing out that Ad­mi­ralty has built a wide va­ri­ety of sub­marines, from nu­clear to con­ven­tional.

Ru­bin and the Amur-1650(I)

As the lead de­sign agency for the Rus­sian ef­fort for P- 75( I), the Ru­bin de­sign bu­reau was able to offer ex­ten­sive brief­ings on tech­nol­ogy readi­ness and the rough con­tours of Rus­sia’s pro­posal for the project, par­tic­u­larly in the con­text of the new Strate­gic Part­ner­ship pol­icy.

Vayu spoke with Ru­bin’s Deputy Direc­tor for For­eign Af­fairs, An­drey Bara­nov and Chief De­signer Igor Molchanov at the In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime De­fence Show (IMDS) at Saint Peters­burg, where Bara­nov re­vealed that af­ter “two years for al­most no com­mu­ni­ca­tion from the [Indian] Navy on P-75(I), we re­sumed con­tact in May this year.”

Bara­nov vis­ited NHQ as part of a Rus­sian del­e­ga­tion in­vited by the Navy, and dis­cussed the tech­nol­ogy trans­fer el­e­ments of the Rus­sian offer for P-75(I). “At that time, SP was in the fi­nal stages of ap­proval and we were in­formed that the tech­ni­cal re­quire­ments of P-75(I) had been fi­nalised and were only await­ing the no­ti­fi­ca­tion of the chap­ter.”

Dur­ing the Saint Peters­burg In­ter­na­tional Eco­nomic Fo­rum in June 2017, Bara­nov met with Indian del­e­gates and was in­formed that the SP chap­ter had been ap­proved, and that L&T and Re­liance De­fence were among the pri­vate sec­tor firms un­der con­sid­er­a­tion to build sub­marines. “Now we are wait­ing for cer­tain steps and ac­tions to be taken in In­dia be­cause we un­der­stand [from the SP chap­ter] that th­ese firms will have to meet cer­tain re­quire­ments and this process might take sev­eral months,” said Bara­nov. “We hope the is­sues will be fi­nalised by end-2017 or early next year, so the ten­der process for P-75(I) can begin.”

Although the RFP has yet to be is­sued, Bara­nov in­di­cated that there might still be some flex­i­bil­ity on the AIP, with the Navy pre­fer­ring a proven mod­ule over the DRDO AIP cur­rently un­der de­vel­op­ment. He re­vealed that Ru­bin has al­ready opened di­a­logue with the DRDO, with Ru­bin spe­cial­ists vis­it­ing the Naval Ma­te­ri­als Re­search Lab (NMRL) in Mumbai ear­lier in the year.

“All shore tri­als [of the Ru­bin AIP] are com­plete. We have met all the re­quire­ments of the Rus­sian Navy for this AIP plant, and are now pre­par­ing for the next stage of tri­als for our Navy,” stated Bara­nov. “To reach the sta­tus of a plant that is con­sid­ered ‘proven’ by the IN, we have to com­plete this next stage, and we have no doubt we can achieve this in the short­est time and that the Rus­sian Navy will ac­cept the plant.”

Bara­nov also re­vealed that DRDO head Dr S Christo­pher had vis­ited Ru­bin’s AIP test stand in March 2017 and ob­served the plant in oper­a­tion. “He was sat­is­fied with what he saw and we made a plan for cer­tain ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion, with the aim of bring­ing the Indian AIP to a state where it can be in­stalled on board a sub­ma­rine,” he said. “Right now we have ex­ten­sive in­ter­ac­tions between Ru­bin and DRDO, and I can say that we are hop­ing to sign some con­tracts on co­op­er­a­tion be­fore the end of this year.”

Ru­bin has also been en­gag­ing with pri­vate sec­tor firms vy­ing for the sub­ma­rine strate­gic part­ner­ship – from legacy is­sues such as Kilo- class re­fits to fo­cused dis­cus­sions on Project 75 (In­dia). “All th­ese dis­cus­sions were more or less in­for­mal be­cause of the neb­u­lous na­ture of the pro­grammes at the time. Of course, we plan on meet­ing with th­ese com­pa­nies again,” said Bara­nov.

By his assess­ment, “L&T al­ready have cer­tain sub­ma­rine con­struc­tion ca­pac­i­ties, par­tic­u­larly a very good hull con­struc­tion ca­pa­bil­ity in Hazira and a world- class ship­yard in Katu­palli. So they need less in­vest­ment to start sub­ma­rine build­ing. But this is not for us to de­cide – we await a de­ci­sion from the IN and MoD. If they de­cide to work with an­other SP, we are ready to work with them.”

On the pos­si­bil­ity of a DPSU yard be­ing nom­i­nated, Bara­nov said, “We un­der­stand that MDL is best pre­pared for sub­ma­rine build­ing in In­dia. In prin­ci­ple we are ready to co­op­er­ate with them, but if we look at

the sit­u­a­tion re­al­is­ti­cally, MDL is fully equipped and ‘ori­ented’ to­ward French sub­ma­rine tech­nol­ogy. DCNS (now Naval Group) is also ac­tively par­tic­i­pat­ing in the P-75(I), and it is dif­fi­cult to imag­ine how we can co­op­er­ate with MDL, as they are not likely to es­tab­lish a separate Rus­sian line – they don’t have space and it would be very ex­pen­sive.”

Per­haps most cru­cially, Chief De­signer Igor Molchanov in­di­cated that the Indian Navy’s tech­ni­cal re­quire­ments for P-75(I) would re­quire Ru­bin to de­sign a new sub­ma­rine, with the Amur-1650 serv­ing as a ‘proof of con­cept’ pro­to­type for the pro­gramme. De­pend­ing on the ex­tent of cus­tomi­sa­tion re­quired for the Indian or­der, de­sign work alone could take up to four years, with con­struc­tion of the lead sub­ma­rine over­lap­ping with the fi­nal year of the de­sign process and tak­ing a fur­ther two-to-three years. Sub­se­quent boats would be built at in­ter­vals of no more than a year.

Bara­nov stated that Ru­bin was ab­so­lutely open to the in­volve­ment of the Direc­torate of Naval De­sign’s Sub­ma­rine De­sign Group (DND SDG) in the de­sign process, and that this would in­deed be “log­i­cal,” but also ad­mit­ted that the pro­gramme RFP would de­cide the or­gan­i­sa­tions in­volved in trans­fer of de­sign and build know-how and the ex­tent of trans­fer re­quired. The de­sign for In­dia would lever­age lessons from not only the Lada- and Amur- classes, but also from the in-de­vel­op­ment Kalina- class, to be Rus­sia’s next gen­er­a­tion of con­ven­tional sub­marines. The new type would re­ceive a vari­ant let­ter ‘ I’ ( for In­dia), and be des­ig­nated Amur-1650(I) at Ru­bin.

“If In­dia buys the Amur-1650 as-is, it can be de­liv­ered in four years,” said Bara­nov. “But with re­quire­ments for ‘Make in In­dia,’ trans­fer of de­sign author­ity, and so on, the de­sign and build time will be stretched out and a quick re­sult can­not be ex­pected. A decade would be op­ti­mistic!”

Why then is Ru­bin still keen to par­tic­i­pate in the pro­gramme? It all hinges on the AIP and the tech­nol­ogy used therein, ac­cord­ing to Bara­nov. The new trend in AIP tech­nol­ogy is fuel- re­form­ing to gen­er­ate hy­dro­gen, thereby ob­vi­at­ing the need to store the gas on board, sig­nif­i­cantly im­prov­ing safety as well as al­le­vi­at­ing space con­straints. Bara­nov be­lieves that the Indian Navy will in­sist on fuel-ref­or­ma­tion based AIP tech­nol­ogy, be­cause if not, “they would have com­pleted P-75(I) with Ger­many long ago! Their hy­dro­gen fuel cell AIP is proven in ser­vice across mul­ti­ple plat­forms.” On the other hand, he be­lieves Rus­sia has a clear lead in fuel-re­form­ing AIP tech­nol­ogy, not­ing that while most other coun­tries, in­clud­ing Ger­many with their proven fuel cell AIP, have be­gun work­ing on diesel-re­form­ing AIP, none are as far into de­vel­op­ment as Ru­bin’s prod­uct.

In a later in­ter­ac­tion, Ru­bin CEO Igor Vil­nit was sim­i­larly san­guine about P-75(I), de­spite the chal­lenges. “Our for­eign com­peti­tors will par­tic­i­pate in this ten­der, and I re­spect their tech­ni­cal ca­pa­bil­i­ties; they are strong com­peti­tors. They force us to pro­vide more ad­vanced pro­pos­als, and as a re­sult of past dis­cus­sions, I view our chances pos­i­tively. If I thought dif­fer­ently, we wouldn’t bid at all,” he stated !

“Tech­ni­cal pa­ram­e­ters of con­ven­tional sub­marines world­wide are broadly sim­i­lar, and we have a good un­der­stand­ing of th­ese. Nev­er­the­less, there are dif­fer­ences and I am pos­i­tive about this ten­der be­cause our offer is based on the lat­est-gen­er­a­tion Lada- class sub­ma­rine, the first of which has passed all tri­als,” ex­plained Vil­nit. “As of to­day, this boat is the lat­est de­sign. Other coun­tries’ of­fers are based on sub­marines de­vel­oped much ear­lier, while we are of­fer­ing a fu­ture Indian sub­ma­rine based on the lat­est tech­nolo­gies, so this is very im­por­tant.”

“The prin­ci­ple of oper­a­tion [of Ru­bin’s AIP] is ac­knowl­edged world­wide as the most promis­ing, be­cause both the French and Ger­mans are now mov­ing in this di­rec­tion. We started work much ear­lier than them, how­ever, so I be­lieve we hold the ad­van­tage. This ad­van­tage will be put into action with P- 75( I), along­side Indian sys­tems,” he con­cluded.

Elab­o­rat­ing on the de­tails of Ru­bin’s offer and the pos­si­bil­ity of us­ing Indian-nom­i­nated sys­tems, Vil­nit ex­pressed his open­ness to work­ing with the DRDO. “We con­sider this part of the project as a ‘Make in In­dia’ el­e­ment,” he said. “I am sure that In­dia would like to have its own AIP on th­ese sub­marines and the Indian Gov­ern­ment would be jus­ti­fied in in­sist­ing that that [the DRDO AIP] plant is to be in­stalled. We en­vis­age as­sist­ing In­dia in in­te­gra­tion of their AIP into our plat­form or in help­ing com­plete de­vel­op­ment and in­te­gra­tion of the AIP mod­ule it­self. Given the sim­i­lar­i­ties between our sys­tems, we are also open to trans­fer­ring tech­nol­ogy to im­prove the plant or ac­cel­er­ate de­vel­op­ment and in­te­gra­tion.”

State of the Union

USC Pres­i­dent Alexey Rakhmanov also spoke to Vayu at IMDS 2017, pro­vid­ing some in­sight into the Rus­sian ship­build­ing in­dus­try as well as pro­grammes in­volv­ing In­dia.

He re­vealed that the Rus­sian en­gine man­u­fac­turer NPO Saturn “is work­ing on a com­plete sub­sti­tu­tion” of the COGAG M7N power plant built by Ukraine’s Zo­rya Mash­proekt, with the in­ten­tion of de­liv­ered “a more ef­fi­cient and re­li­able plant over­all. The first com­plete pro­to­type will be tested be­fore the end of 2017 and the first pro­duc­tion power plant will be ready by 2018,” he said. This first set of gas tur­bines would be tested on a Gor­shkov- class (Project 22350) frigate at the Sev­er­naya (North­ern) Ship­yard. Fu­ture tur­bine- pow­ered ship classes would all in­cor­po­rate Saturn engines, mak­ing Rus­sia self-re­liant in this field.

In the mean­time, said Rakhmanov, USC was com­mit­ted to work­ing to­ward a con­tract that would al­low its stalled Project 11356 frigates to en­ter ser­vice with the Indian Navy. The goal, he said, was to sign a con­tract in the fourth quar­ter of 2017 so as to com­mence work as soon as pos­si­ble. Indian re­quire­ments for do­mes­tic weapons and equip­ment are key stick­ing points in the ne­go­ti­a­tions, and are adding to the en­gi­neer­ing costs and ex­tend­ing time­lines.

An­other issue is the com­ple­tion and test­ing of the ves­sels. Fi­nal de­liv­ery of all four ships is likely to be done from Indian shores, ow­ing to the pre-de­liv­ery test­ing and train­ing re­quire­ments, which will re­quire Indian ranges, teleme­try and crews. Dis­cus­sions are un­der­way re­gard­ing the best way to de­liver the two Yan­tar-built frigates – whether to trans­port nearly-com­plete hulls by barge to Goa or to com­plete the ves­sels en­tirely in Rus­sia and sail un­der their own power to In­dia for de­liv­ery tri­als and com­mis­sion­ing.

Rakhmanov also high­lighted an in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ter­is­tic of USC that he be­lieves could help with P-75(I). De­scrib­ing the pro­gramme it­self as “still a mys­tery” in terms of process, he pointed out that the USC struc­ture of sep­a­rated de­sign bu­reaus and ship­yards would al­low closer par­al­lel co­op­er­a­tion on both the de­vel­op­ment and con­struc­tion sides of the pro­gramme.

“We are the old­est friends of In­dia,” said Rakhmanov, shar­ing a Rus­sian say­ing : “one old friend is bet­ter than two new ones !”

A hy­draulic press at one of Yan­tar’s pro­duc­tion work­shops

One of Yan­tar’s Waldrich Siegen shaft-ma­chin­ing lathes, dat­ing back to 1941!

Vayu had un­prece­dented ac­cess to a num­ber of yards

Work­shop No.12 at Ad­mi­ralty Ship­yards is solely equipped for ma­chin­ing, cut­ting, treat­ing and bend­ing tubes and pipes

Un­der the bow of the fourth 11356R/M frigate un­der con­struc­tion at Yan­tar

Work­shop No.1 at Ad­mi­ralty is where steel plates ar­rive and are fash­ioned into hulls for ships and sub­marines

The slip­way at Ad­mi­ralty Ship­yards, with a sur­face ves­sel un­der con­struc­tion

A plasma cut­ter in action at Ad­mi­ralty’s Work­shop No.1

A Kilo-class sub­ma­rine moored at the Ad­mi­ralty Ship­yards

Shaft sets for a num­ber of Indian war­ships have been de­liv­ered by the Baltic Ship­yard, with a P-15B (Visakha­p­at­nam-class) shaft seen un­der pro­duc­tion in this im­age

Part of IMDS in­volves an ex­cur­sion to the nearby Rzhevka

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