Russia and India agreed to begin sea trials of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (former Admiral Gorshkov) in Nov 2011. According to The Tribune, Indian Navy will receive the carrier in Dec 2012.
Having displacement of 45,000 tons and length of 283 meters, the aircraft carrier is being presently outfitted at JSC Sevmash shipyard (Severodvinsk). According to India’s requirement, the ship will be specially redesigned for deck-based fighters MiG-29 stationed at Goa air base.
Part of the carrier’s crew is currently trained in St. Petersburg. Expectedly, they will arrive in Sevmash to attend the sea trials. As was earlier reported, the ship’s mooring trials started in March 2011. Operation of all onboard systems including Russian/Indian-built electronics and air-technical facilities were tested then.
The delivery contract for Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov was signed in 2004. According to the document, Russia handed over the carrier’s hull to India for free providing that the ship would be modernized by Sevmash. Besides, the Indian party was obliged to equip the carrier with Russian-built aircrafts. The contract cost $1.5 bln. However, in 2008 India suspended payments and Russia demanded to revise scope of works and increase costs. New agreement was signed in March 2010, and the contract cost increased up to $2.3 bln.
Admiral Gorshkov will not be the first aircraft carrier in Indian Navy. At present, it operates INS Viraat and builds domestically designed INS Vikrant.
Source: rusnavy, June 22, 2011; Image:solid-msk