The three-month fight for the order worth $1.4 billion will be officially won once the intergovernmental agreement, expected to be signed before the end of April, gives the contract legal force. The destroyers are due in 2006.
Despite the signed agreement, the conflict is not over. Director General of Baltiisky Zavod shipyard sent a letter to Russian Prime Minster Kasyanov saying that without his company's participation the destroyers cannot be possibly built. But being a mere spare parts supplier for the project does not benefit the shipyard.
Rosoboronexport singed the contract for two destroyers on January 3, 2002. The Russian Shipbuilding Agency appointed Severnaya Verf as the executor, considering that in 2000 the shipyard had built two similar destroyers. But on January 19, 2002, the tender session chaired by Ilya Klebanov, and attended by representatives of Rosoboronexport, the Russian Shipbuilding Agency and the Committee for Military and Technical Cooperation with Other Countries, recommended that the order be placed with Baltiisky Zavod. The proposal was met with opposition from the Russian Navy, the main counterargument being that Baltiisky Zavod had never before built such a destroyer.
The 956 EM destroyers were designed at the Northern Design Bureau. The current project differs from the previous ones in armament. The destroyers are intended for destruction of ships, assault landing crafts, air and missile ship and vehicle defence, for landing party fire support and for patrolling on its own or together with other ships.
News source: Rosbalt
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