20 Juni 2011
Admiral Gorshkov/INS Vikramaditya (photo : Militaryphotos)
Delivery of the warship as per schedule in Dec 2012
India and Russia ended their high-level defence cooperation meeting at Moscow late on Thursday with Russia assuring that the sea-based aircraft carrier, Admiral Gorshkov will start sea trials off the Russian coast by November this year. Delivery of the ship to India will be as per schedule in December 2012.
The 45,000 tonne, 283-metre aircraft carrier will fly the naval version of the MiG 29 off its deck. The fighters are already in India and based at Goa. At present, the Indian Navy has one aircraft carrier, the INS Viraat and is building one of its own at Kochi that is to be named INS Vikrant. The development of an craft carrier is crucial as China is set to launch its first-ever such ship which is also a old Russian carrier being re-fitted.
MiG-29K naval fighter (photo : Max Bryansky)
Sources said the Indian Defence Ministry team led by Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar visited the ship yard at Sevmash in North-Western Russia to see the development. Gorshkov is being re-fitted as per the Indian requirements. Teams at the shipyard are working overtime and around the clock to meet the schedule. The cost escalation and delay in the ship had caused a strain on the 50-year-old Indo-Russian ties. It needed the intervention of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev who himself took care that all contracts are signed.
Meanwhile, a section of the Indian delegation was also shown a test flight of the fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) that the two countries are co-developing. The development of design alone will cost close to $ 6 billion.