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Boost to navy

St. Petersburg, June 18 (PTI): India today entered the stealth warfare era with the induction of INS Talwar, a Krivak-III class frigate, which navy chief Admiral Madhavendra Singh said would be the “sharpest sword” of the nation’s maritime forces.

“This ship has a much larger range and sensor capability than any ship in the Indian Navy. It will enable India to target more further away,” Admiral Singh said after the formal commissioning of the frigate at a ceremony here.

INS Talwar is first to be inducted among the three new generation stealth frigates India had ordered from Russia under a $ 900-million deal.

The second frigate, INS Trishul, will be inducted on June 25, when defence minister George Fernandes is expected to visit St Petersburg to attend the International Maritime Salon 2003. The third frigate, Tabar, is currently undergoing sea trials and is expected to be delivered by the end of this year.

The Indian naval chief noted that Krivak-III class frigates of the project 1135.6 are the example of new trend in Indo-Russian naval cooperation, which has now confidently moved to joint designing, production and technology transfer.

A large number of new generation systems, including Sonar Hans, fitted on the Talwar class Indian frigates are designed and developed in India, admiral Singh said.

He said that India is firm on its policy of self-reliance in defence and the country’s three main shipyards have build 90 ships and vessels for the navy.

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