Photo: Press service of JSC Sevmash
Indian defense ministry named the end of 2013 as a deadline for delivery of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya modernized in Russia, reported Defense News referring to Indian defense minister A.K. Antony. As for him, commission of the aircraft carrier has been already delayed for 5 years. The minister did not specify whether any sanctions would be imposed on Russia in case of further delays.
The contract for aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (former Russian Project 11434 aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Gorshkov) was signed by Russia and India in 2004. Then the contract cost $1.5 bln. India received the carrier for free but paid that money only for the ship's repair and modernization, as well as air wing consisting of fighters MiG-29K/KUB and helicopters Ka-28/31. The parties revised contractual terms in 2009, and the contract cost increased up to $2.3 bln.
It was initially planned that Indian Navy would receive the ship upgraded under Project 11430 in Aug 2008, but delivery dates were postponed many times then. According to the latest agreement, the ship was supposed to arrive in India in Dec 2012, but Russia deferred the ship's delivery to the first half of 2013. The reason was failed trials of Vikramaditya in the Barents Sea when seven out of eight steam boilers broke down due to low-grade thermal insulation.
Indian authorities were planning to impose a $115-mln penalty on Russia for delayed delivery of the aircraft carrier. However, no official claims were made.