Trials of Russia’s aircraft carrier for Indian navy in 2011June 3rd, 2008 - 7:01 pm ICT by IANS
St. Petersburg, June 3 (RIA Novosti) Russia’s Sevmash shipyard said Tuesday it planned to test in 2011 an aircraft carrier currently being modernized for the Indian Navy. India contracted the $1.5 billion Admiral Gorshkov in 2004.
After long delays and disputes, Russia and India agreed in February to raise refit costs for the aircraft carrier, berthed at Sevmash in north Russia for the past 12 years.
The carrier, renamed the Vikramaditya, is to replace India’s INS Viraat aircraft carrier, which, although currently operational, is now 50 years old.
“The successful solution of all the financial issues will enable the ship builders to sail the aircraft carrier out into the Barents Sea for trials, Sevmash said.
By the end of 2012, the aircraft carrier is expected to be handed over to the Indian navy in accordance with the schedule approved by the Russian Navy, Sevmash said.
The contract to deliver the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier to India, which state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport signed with the Indian navy, covers the modernization of the ship and equipping it with modern weaponry, including MiG-29K Fulcrum aircraft and Ka-27 Helix-A and Ka-31 Helix-B anti-submarine helicopters.
After being refitted, the Gorshkov is expected to be seaworthy for 30 years.