The ceremony handing over to India of the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (formerly the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov), which is being modernised in Russia, will take place in December, Press Trust of India news agency reported on Tuesday with reference to a source in the Indian Defence Ministry.
The biggest export contract to date in Russian-Indian military-technical cooperation, envisaging modernisation of the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, sold to India, was signed in 2004. The original estimated for the modernisation was $616 million, and the ship was supposed to be delivered to the customer in 2008; however, because of an increased scope of work, the delivery date was postponed, and the Russian side said that the contract price had to be increased. In 2010, Russia and India signed the final agreement on modernisation of the Admiral Gorshkov, which would have to be delivered to India in late 2012 under the new name of INS Vikramaditya.
“The handing over ceremony will take place on 4 December”, the agency reports.
Sources in the ministry also told the press that the INS Chakra nuclear-powered attack submarine (formerly the Russian Nerpa), which was leased to the Indian Navy, would be recommissioned at Visakhapatnam Navy base on 5 April 2012.
The Nerpa heads off to India manned by an Indian Navy crew, trained by Russian specialists, who continue providing assistance as required. Russia had planned to lease the submarine to the Indian Navy back in 2009; however, a fire broke out aboard the Nerpa on 8 November 2008 during sea trials in the Sea of Japan. The accident caused the deaths of twenty crew members and 21 more were taken to hospital, affected by freon, which was used in the fire extinguishing system. A total of 208 people were on board at the time of the accident.
After repairs, in December 2009, the boat entered service with the Russian Navy.
The Nerpa, a third-generation submarine, was laid down at the Amur Shipbuilding Plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur in 1991. In the mid-1990s, the construction was suspended and the submarine was completed only with the help of Indian funding.
source : RIA NOVOSTI