Topic: Russia-India partnership
MOSCOW, October 2 (RIA Novosti)
- China Rejects Russian Blame for Carrier Snags
- Russia to Explain Carrier Trials Failure to India in Oct.
- Yard Boss Blames Boilers for India Carrier Trials Snags
- India's Russian Carrier on Rocks Again After Sea Trial Snags
The refurbishment of an Indian Navy aircraft carrier has hit further snags, with handover delayed to fall 2013, Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation said on Tuesday.
The previous official handover date for the carrier Vikramaditya had been December 4, 2012, but sea trials in September revealed the ship's boilers were not fully functional. This delay is the latest in a saga of hold-ups, cost overruns and mismanagement in a procurement program disaster for Russia's shipbuilders, with the original completion date of 2008 now a distant memory.
A state commission held last week at the Sevmash shipyard, which carried out the refit, assessed the period necessary to fix the ship's propulsion system.
"The commission came to the conclusion it was necessary to extend the handover date to fall 2013 due to the need to fix all the faults found, including the insulation of the ship's boilers," a source told RIA Novosti.
The handover date issue has been discussed with the customer, the source added.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who has special responsibility for the defense industry, said on Tuesday the matter of the handover of the ship would be discussed in October and early November at a series of Russia-India summit meetings.
“We are sure that all these complex problems will be sorted out at the summit,” he said.
The source of the problem, which reduced the ship's maximum speed from a design 29 knots to just 27.9 knots, was due to use of low-grade Chinese-made firebricks in the boiler insulation instead of asbestos, he said.
Last week, the Chinese Defense Minister Yan Yujun flatly denied any such locally-made firebricks had been exported to Russia.
"We checked this, and found that Chinese enterprises which make such firebricks for naval propulsion systems have never exported such products to Russia," Yan said in remarks quoted by local daily Beitsin Chenbao.
India and Russia signed the original $947 million dollar deal in 2005 for the purchase of the carrier, formerly the Russian Navy's Admiral Gorshkov, but delivery has already been delayed twice, pushing up the cost of refurbishing the carrier to $2.3 billion.
Sevmash shipyard director Vladimir Pastukhov was fired in 2007 over his poor management of the project.
The Vikramaditya was originally built as the Soviet Project 1143.4 class aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov. The Project 1143.4 carriers and a class of destroyers with the same engines suffered a history of boiler failures during their lives.
The ship was laid down in 1978 at the Nikolayev South shipyard in Ukraine, launched in 1982, and commissioned with the Soviet Navy in 1987.
It was renamed after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. In 1994, the Gorshkov sat in dock for a year for repairs after a boiler room explosion. In 1995, it briefly returned to service but was finally withdrawn and put up for sale in 1996.
The ship has a displacement of 45,000 tons, and an endurance of 13,500 nautical miles (25,000 km) at a cruising speed of 18 knots. It will have an air wing consisting of Russian-made MiG-29K jet fighter planes and Kamov Ka-31 early warning radar helicopters.
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- rochefortfrancoisbla bla bla...13:22, 02/10/2012heads should roll...inspection and calibration is part of the contract I am sure. Indian specification where very well known I am sure.
- shanksinhaSelf goals and Sensationalism13:59, 02/10/2012Gorshkov deal has suffered from mismanagement and misreporting from day one. United Shipbuilding incorrectly assessed the required work and projected deliberately reduced time and cost figures to clinch the deal. Result was the painful renegotiation of the contract later on. Lack of trained labour and substandard quality controls has only added to their woes. This Penny wise and pound foolish policy of Russian Shipbuilders, has soiled their goodwill amongst the most important customers, the Indian military.
Similarly, reporting on the deal by Russian news agencies (including RIA Novosti) has acquired the colours of rumor mongering. Unreliable and shady "sources" are often quoted, resulting in a totally distorted picture. For example, when the latest boiler problems were first reported, a figure of 7 boilers out of 8 failing was quoted by the "source". Later RIA reported a max speed of 23 knots achieved during the trial. Now a figure of three boilers and 27 knots are being given. Where does the truth lie? Its better not to report than to report incorrectly. The sensationalist manner in which such problems are reported (dubbing the trials as failure, when the air trials were going on satisfactorily) only provides ammo to detractors of Russian arms industry. Complex defense systems suffer setbacks, slippages and cost overruns everywhere. However, they cannot be declared as failures at the first signs of problems. The whole purpose of trials is to identify and rectify such problems before delivery. Unfortunately, irresponsible reporting by Russian news media, has enabled vested interest in India (funded sometimes by western arms manufacturers and their cronies) to malign the image of Russia as a capable arms supplier. This self-destructing practice on the part of Russian arms manufacturers and media must stop, before it permanently damages the time tested Indo-Russian military relationship.
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