Russian shipbuilder Yantar has launched the fifth and sixth Improved Krivak-class (Project 11356) frigates Admiral Istomin and Admiral Kornilov earlier this month.
The launch of the frigates was confirmed to Russian news agency Interfax by Sergey Mikhaylov, a Yantar Shipyard representative.
Admiral Istomin and Admiral Kornilov are the final two vessels in a batch of six Project 11356 frigates ordered for the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet in 2010.
The first two frigates in the class, Admiral Grigorovich and Admiral Essen, are already in Russian Navy service while the third one, Admiral Makarov, is expected to be commissioned by the end of the year.
What will happen with the remaining three frigates which are now all in the water (Admiral Istomin and Admiral Kornilov joined Admiral Butakov which was launched in March 2016) is not completely clear.
Their construction was halted in the wake of the Crimea-conflict after which Ukrainian gas turbine-builder Zorya-Mashproyekt refused to deliver further turbines to Russia. Ukrainian refusal to deliver the turbines also forced Russia to postpone construction of Project 22350 frigates and consider selling Project 11356 ships.
Reports said the Indian Navy would acquire the frigates from Russia but there is no official confirmation on the exact number of ships that will be transferred.
According to a RIA News report, India is expected to acquire two of the six ships.
Reflecting on the gas turbine issue, India’s defense minister told reporters in October 2016 that Ukraine had agreed to provide gas turbine engines for Project 11356 frigates once they are in India.