Indian Navy hopeful of getting INS Vikramaditya by April 2013 (Lead)

September 17th, 2012 - 11:25 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi/Moscow, Sep 17 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Amid reports of another delay in the delivery of INS Vikramaditya, the Indian Navy said Monday it was hopeful of getting the refurbished aircraft carrier by April next year.

The Indian Navy is hopeful that Russia can still meet the contractual obligation for delivery of the aircraft carrier, that includes the leeway period of three-four months, Indian Navy spokesperson Commander P.V.S. Satish said in New Delhi.

We are hopeful of getting the aircraft carrier by April, he added.

He clarified that the contract for the refurbished carrier envisaged the delivery to India by December, but also spelt out a leeway clause of another 3-4 months.

The Indian Navy’s clarification came amid reports published in the influential Russian daily Kommersant which quoted unnamed Russian official saying that malfunctions detected during trials of INS Vikramaditya, previously the Admiral Gorshkov, will delay the vessel’s handover to India.

According to the latest agreements, it was to have been handed over Dec 4, but the deadline has been postponed again until October 2013, Kommersant reported.

“Seven out of eight steam boilers of the propulsion machinery were out of order,” an official told Kommersant.

The official, who prepared the INS Vikramaditya for sea trials, said the reason for the boilers’ failure was that India refused to use asbestos as a means to protect the boilers from heat, fearing that the material was dangerous for the crew.

He said the boilers’ designer had to use firebrick, which proved not sufficiently heatproof, the official said.

According to reports in sections of the Russian media, repairs can only start next spring because of harsh winter conditions in the Arctic seaport of Severodvinsk, where the ship has been retrofitted. Well-placed sources in New Delhi acknowledged that some defect in the boiler of the aircraft has been detected, but added that three to four months are enough to rectify it.

The sources added that the aviation trials of the aircraft carrier would be concluded by mid-October

–IANS/RIA Novosti
mc/vm

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