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Construction of Russian Next-Generation Warship Delayed by Ukraine Export Ban

Admiral Gorshkov-class frigate

Russian military shipbuilding is being stalled by Ukraine's refusal to deliver engine turbines to drive a new class of Russian naval frigates, a senior official at one of Russia's shipbuilders said in an interview published Wednesday by industry news site FlotProm.ru.

The first of the new Admiral Gorshkov-class frigates was delivered to the Russian navy last year, but construction on the second ship stalled for lack of an engine to power its propellers.

"Ukraine refused to supply the turbines … even though the money has already been paid," Valery Ryzhov, chief designer of the Kolomensky engine plant, said in the interview with FlotProm.  

The Kolomensky plant is now working with Russian aircraft engine firm Saturn to build a domestic replacement.

The set-back, however, throws a wrench in plans to quickly build Russia's next-generation of frigates, vessels which are used to escort larger ships and hunt submarines. The frigates are a key part of Russia's ambition to revitalize its navy following a long period of post-Soviet decay.

Ukraine banned export of military equipment and components last year in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea.

The move has had a resounding effect throughout the defense industry, prompting the Russian  government to begin organizing a massive import substitution program. Efforts to replace Ukrainian imports with Russian production have gotten off to a slow start, and are expected to take several years.

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