Russia and Sri Lanka have re-started negotiations on a loan for the purchase of the frigate “Gepard-5.1”
(February 13, 2018, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Currently, the issue of granting a loan to Sri Lanka for financing the delivery of the Gepard-5.1 ocean patrol ship continues to be considered, local media in Moscow has reported.
The approval of the draft intergovernmental agreement on the granting of a loan for the purchase of the Russian frigate Gepard-5.1 by Sri Lanka may be completed in the near future.
“At present, the issue of granting a loan to Sri Lanka for financing the delivery of the Gepard-5.1 ocean patrol ship continues to be studied, and the experts of the parties are preparing the documents necessary to solve this problem,” Mikhail Petukhov, Deputy Director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) of Russia, said.
“We hope that in the near future the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka will strengthen protection of their borders by another modern ship, ” Petukhov who heads the official Russian delegation at the Singapore Airshow 2018, which runs from February 6 to 11 in Singapore, said.
According to the Director-General of Zelenodolsk Shipbuilding Plant named after A.M. Gorky, Renat Mistakhov, the frigate “Gepard-5.1” for Sri Lanka will be an ocean patrol ship, developed by the Zelenodolsk Design Bureau (ZPKB) on the platform of the classic frigate “Gepard-3.9”.
A group of people from Sri Lanka including allegedly corrupted intermediator of this defence deal have held a discussion with Russians in Singapore recently, reliable sources said.
However, the ship will be constructed in a different layout of the superstructure from the usual patrol ship “Gepard-5.1”. Instead of the strike missile system “Caliber-M” it will be equipped with artillery weapons, as well as a landing site with a hangar for the helicopter.
According to Mistakhov, the plant expects Rosoboronexport to exit in 2017 to sign a contract for the supply of one frigate.