Russia rejected India's claims on modernization of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (former Admiral Gorshkov), reports Defense News referring to a source in Indian defense ministry. Moreover, the Russian party declared about unlawfulness of India's sanctions for delayed delivery of the carrier saying Indian Navy had purchased low-grade components.
India planned to claim compensation from Russia for delayed delivery of Vikramaditya at the meeting of Russian and Indian defense ministers Anatoly Serdiukov and A.K. Antony. Earlier on, Russian news agencies reported that India had not made any claims and agreed with the need to improve the ship's powerplant and delivery schedule update.
According to Defense News, India did raise the compensation matter at the talks, but the Russian party rejected it saying the powerplant had broken down due to low-grade components purchased by Indian Navy. This information has not been officially confirmed.
Failures in seven out of eight steam boilers were found during sea trials of INS Vikramaditya in the Barents Sea. The aircraft carrier's speed was not higher than 23 knots. The reason was wreckage of firebricks which were put instead of asbestos materials being provided by the ship's project.
President of United Shipbuilding Corporation Andrei Diachkov said late in Sept that refrigerating machines and nitrogen generators had also broken down during the sea trials. That equipment was purchased from NATO countries. According to Diachkov, that was Indian party who had chosen manufacturers of that equipment.
According to Defense News, India is put into a corner. On the one hand, it cannot claim for compensation; on the other hand, it cannot deny modernization of the $2.3 bln ship. Indian Navy does need an aircraft carrier; national industry can manufacture such ships not early than 2019-2020.
India signed a $1.5 bln contract for INS Vikramaditya in 2004; cost of works grew up to $2.3 bln in 2009. India will receive the ship for free, paying only for refurbishing works, deck-based fighters MiG-29K/KUB, helicopters Ka-31 and Ka-27. According to preliminary estimates, India would receive the ship in May or June 2013. Earlier on, it was planned to deliver the ship late in 2012.
It should be noted that both parties considered the Vikramaditya modernization as a unprofitable project since the very beginning.