Russia says it will float out the first of the three frigates for the Indian Navy, being built at Yantar shipyard in Kaliningrad by the end of this month.

Russia signed a $1.6bn contract to build three Project 11356 modified Krivak III Class or Talwar Class guided missile frigates for the Indian Navy in July 2006.

Yantar shipyard spokesman Sergei Mikhailov said that the company was required to carry out post-construction work on the first frigate which will begin sea trials in 2010.

“All the three guided missile frigates will be delivered to the Indian Navy in 2011-2012,” he said.

The 4,000t Talwar Class frigate can cruise at a maximum speed of 30kt executing a wide range of missions, primarily destroying large surface enemy ships and submarines.

The new frigates will each be equipped with eight BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, a 100mm gun, a Shtil air defence system, two Kashtan air defence missile systems, two twin 533mm torpedo tubes, and an anti-submarine warfare helicopter.

Russia previously delivered three Talwar Class frigates INS Talwar, INS Trishul and INS Tabar, armed with 3M-54E Klub-N anti-ship missiles. All the three vessels are currently in active service with the Indian Navy.