Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Severodvinsk shipbuilders prepare INS Vikramaditya for mooring trials

Defense shipyard Sevmash (Severodvinsk) launched preparations for mooring trials of INSVikramaditya (former Russian aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Gorshkov), reported Friday ITAR-TASS referring to the shipyard's press service. 

Mainly, what is to be done in the nearest time is assembly of auxiliary steam pipeline system and air conditioning system. "Completion of these works will mark the beginning of mooring trials", specified the shipyard's press service. Basically, all interior works are almost completed. 

According to the package intergovernmental agreement signed in New Delhi in Jan 2004, the hull of Russian aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Gorshkov was handed over to India for free, providing that the ship would be retrofitted at Sevmash shipyard and equipped with Russian-made air wing.
 Russia will also train about 1,500 Indian crewmembers and construct basing infrastructure in the Indian Ocean. Overall cost of the contract was initially evaluated as $1.5 bln, and all works were planned to be completed in 2008. However, deadlines were postponed. Russian party complained about underestimating of the scope of works and demanded additional payments. A supplement agreement specifying revised costs of repair and upgrade works on INSVikramaditya (stands for "Almighty") was signed on March 12, 2010 during a visit of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to India. According to Indian party, purchase of the Russian aircraft-carrier will cost $2.33 bln.

Sevmash plans to complete modernization and start mooring trials this year. Late in 2012 the aircraft carrier must be delivered to Indian Navy. Presumably, lifetime of the ship would make 30 years.
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