Gorshkov to come only after 2011

Russia would deliver the modernized Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier to India after 2011, Russia's state-run arms exporter said .“We are planning to deliver the aircraft carrier to India after 2011, but an addendum to the original contract must be signed,” Mikhail Zavaliy, a Rosoboronexport official told reporters at an air show in the Krasnodar region.The Sevmash shipyard where the vessel is being refitted said it planned to sail the aircraft carrier out into the Barents Sea for trials in 2011. In 2012, the ship is expected to be finally refitted and trials will continue into the summer of that year. The carrier, renamed the Vikramaditya, is to replace India’s currently operational INS Viraat carrier, which is now 50 years old.At the end of 2012, the aircraft carrier is expected to be fully ready for its handover to the Indian Navy, the company said. After it has been refitted, the Gorshkov is expected to be seaworthy for 30 years. The original $750-million contract to deliver the Admiral Gorshkov to India, which Rosoboronexport signed with India in 2004, projected the work would be completed in 2008. However, Russia later claimed it underestimated the scale and the cost of the modernization and demanded an additional $1.2 billion, which New Delhi said was “exorbitant”. After long delays and disputes, Russia and India agreed in February to raise refit costs for the aircraft carrier, by at least $800 million. The current contract covers a complete overhaul 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.

No comments: