Topic: Russia-India partnership
NEW DELHI, October 10 (RIA Novosti)
- India May Seek $100 Mln Fine Over Carrier Delay
- Indian Carrier Handover Delayed - Builders
- Russia to Explain Carrier Trials Failure to India in Oct.
- Yard Boss Blames Boilers for India Carrier Trials Snags
- INS Vikramaditya Begins Sea Trials
- Vikramaditya Carrier to Start Sea Trials in May
Russia plans to deliver the overhauled aircraft carrier Vikramaditya to the Indian Navy in the fourth quarter of 2013, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Wednesday after an intergovernmental meeting in New Delhi.
The Vikramaditya, formerly the Russian Navy's Admiral Gorshkov, which is already years past its original 2008 delivery date, was supposed to have been handed over on December 4, 2012, but sea trials in September revealed the ship's boilers were not fully functional.
“The flaws in the boilers are expected to be fixed at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk by summer 2013,” Serdyukov told reporters in New Delhi.
“The ship will then undergo sea trials and will be delivered to the Indian Navy in the fourth quarter of 2013,” he said.
Indian Defense Minister A. K. Antony said after the meeting with Serdyukov that the ship's prompt delivery to India was a priority.
“All entities involved in modernizing and testing the ship must work hard to complete the work and trials as soon as possible,” he said.
The Indian side did not raise the issue of a possible penalty for the delivery delay during a meeting of the Russian-Indian Intergovernmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation attended by both defense ministers on Wednesday.
The Indian media have speculated New Delhi may seek more than $100 million in penalty payments from Russia for the latest delays in handing over the refitted aircraft carrier.
India and Russia signed the original $947 million dollar deal in 2005 for the purchase of the carrier, but delivery has already been delayed twice, pushing up the cost of refurbishing the ship to $2.3 billion.
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 service 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.
Some of the MiG-29K fighters have already been delivered to India.
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- shanksinhaBetter late then never?14:59, 11/10/2012India has waited 7 years for Vikramaditya/Gorshkov. It can wait for a year more. Patience however, is running thin, and steps should be taken to complete the project in the shortest time possible. Every year that the carrier gets delayed it is doing immense harm to Russian goodwill in India. The layman doesn't understand the complex task of refurbishing and modernizing an old carrier and public opinion is swayed by malicious reports planted in English news media in India by vested interests. The Russian side has also not helped its cause by needless rumor mongering (like seven boilers failing and ship loosing all power etc. Russian Govt. should clamp down hard on such damaging speculation by the uninformed and ensure that work on the ship is done on war footing to ensure speedy delivery.