Admiral Gorshkov joining Indian Navy fleet on Nov 15 Featured

  • Wednesday, Sep 18 2013

The much-delayed Russian-origin Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier is all set to join the Indian Navy fleet on November 15. Ministry of defence has announced the window of likely commissioning of the carrier between 15 Nov. and 20 Nov. , which will take place  at Sevmash Shipyard, Severdovinsk Russia

The warship completed all trials, including the flight test of its combat planes, helicopters and flight deck systems components.

The 45,000-tonne warship will join the Indian Navy as INS Vikramaditya, had sailed out of the Sevmash shipyard in northern Russia in July this year for the trials and after testing of its ‘sustained full power’ it would now return to the shipyard for final touches, sources said. 

The trials were held in the White Sea and the Barents Sea.

When the warship reaches the Indian shores after a delay of nearly five years -- it was scheduled for delivery in December 2008 -- it would be based in Karwar, Karnataka.

The warship, which would come to India without some of its critical weapons, including close-in air defence systems, was to be handed over on December 4, 2012. During the trials in the sea, Russian technical team, however, identified a fault in the boilers, due to  which it could not attain full combat-mode speeds of over 30 knots.

The trouble had been caused by the low-grade Chinese-made firebricks used in the boiler insulation, instead of the usual asbestos.

The warship had to be taken back to the shipyard for replacing the same. The trouble was rectified and the sea trials were repeated for all on-board systems.

Now, a 1,000-member Indian Navy crew and technical team, headed by a two-star officer, is already in Russia to take delivery of the warship.

India bought Vikramaditya in 2004 for Rs 4,500 crore and sent it to Sevmash in Severodvinsk port-city for a refit in the same year. Since then, the shipyard haggled for a price hike for the refurbishing work and forced New Delhi to pay it nearly Rs 13,000 crore in 2010 after a three-year negotiation.

India had also bought 45 MiG-29K combat planes  that would operate from aboard Vikramaditya and the first batch of 16 such planes have already been delivered and are currently based at the INS Hansa Naval Air Base in Goa.


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