‘Aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov shaping up for sea trials’

July 20th, 2011 - 11:25 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) The aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov that India bought in 2004 is shaping up well to begin its sea trials in a couple of months, Indian Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma has concluded after a six-day visit to Russia, where the warship is undergoing a refit.

Verma, who visited the aircraft carrier for which India has agreed to pay $2.34 billion, returned to India Monday, a navy press release issued Wednesday said.

He had gone to the Sevmash shipyard and taken a tour of Gorshkov, a 45,000 tonne warship of the Kiev class that has already been rechristened INS Vikramaditya by Indian Navy.

Apart from the shipyard, the navy chief also visited Vladivostok, Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad.

“Admiral Verma took an extensive tour of Vikramaditya on his visit to the Sevmash Shipyard, where he observed that significant progress had been made and the ship was shaping up well for the preliminary sea trials,” the release said.

During his visit to Kaliningrad, he reviewed the progress of the Talwar class follow-on frigates, under construction at the Yantar shipyard. He was reassured that the first ship INS Teg would commence trials shortly and be delivered in six to eight months, it said.

The admiral made a first hand assessment of all projects and held vital discussions with officials at the highest leadership levels of the Russian armed forces and defence industry.

“Reviewing ongoing projects, he observed that they were progressing satisfactorily and had reached critical stages of maturity. He also expressed satisfaction with the quality of construction and repairs,” the release added.

In his discussions with the Russian Navy commander-in-chief on operational exchanges between the two navies, they agreed that the Indra naval war exercises series formed an important aspect of their bilateral relationship, and would need to be continued and extended in scope and participation.

They also discussed possible avenues of co-operation including anti-piracy operations, the release said.

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