Shipyard's sea trials of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya being retrofitted under Indian Navy's order will start on May 25, 2012. On that day, the 45,000-ton carrier will take the sea for the first time, said Igor E. Leonov who is in charge of the carrier's delivery.
Shipbuilders of Sevmash will have to accomplish several complicated and important tasks. One of them is preparation of main propulsion plant for the yard's sea trials. "Preparation of main propulsion plan takes several stages; one of them is starting-up of turbines. We have rotated one of four turbines using steam taken from coastal source. In the next few days we're going to test second stern turbine, and late December or early January we'll test bow turbines", said Igor Leonov at the press conference held on board the aircraft carrier.
"Second task is to start up all eight boilers. Steam test of the first one is scheduled on December 26. We're going to test others by the end of January. Diesel fuel for boiler heating has been already taken on board. So, late in January we can start testing of turbines with onboard-produced steam", said the official.
The next task is preparation of the ship for crew lodging. According to rules, crew must settle in a ship no later than 90 days prior to first sortie in order to familiarize with duty stations and hold appropriate drills. Given that the carrier is supposed to take the sea on May 25, Sevmash does not have much time to finish 2,350 interior premises. At present, adjustment works on numerous radio electronic systems are in progress. Expectedly, in Feb-March 2012 they would be over.
According to I. Leonov, schedule of works is very tight, and there is no time for running. Basic works must be finished by early April when the carrier would begin wiping to measure magnetic field. The first sortie will start right after that.
Shipyard's sea trials will be conducted during first two or three weeks in the White and the Barents seas, said A. Leonov. Aviation systems and 'aircraft-ship' complex in general will be tested then. That will take 3.5 months and must finish no later than in Sept 2012. Acceptance trials will be conducted along with sea ones. Then the ship will be dry-docked in floating dock PD-50 and in Nov 2012 the ship will return to Sevmash for maintenance inspection. After elimination of defects revealed during trials, the aircraft carrier will be handed over to Indian Navy early in Dec 2012.
Delivery of INS Vikramaditya in 2012 is a very difficult mission, but Igor Leonov is sure that Sevmash will cope with it.