The aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya has been put in a dry dock at Russia’s Sevmash shipyard for “cosmetic” repairs ahead of final sea trials and delivery to the Indian navy later this year, the company said.
“The work is underway to repaint the hull under the waterline,” said Sergey Novoselov, head of defense export projects at Sevmash. In addition, much of the interior finish has yet to be completed, the official said.
Special attention will be dedicated to the cabins for the commanding officers of the vessel, which will be refitted with better DEX-O-TEX fireproof flooring, new wall panels, more comfortable furniture and sophisticated audio- and video equipment.
The Vikramaditya is scheduled to begin sea trials in the White Sea in July. The warship will continue the trials in the Barents Sea in August-September to be delivered to India in early December.
The warship, previously known as the Admiral Gorshkov, is a Project 1143.4 or modified Kiev class aircraft carrier commissioned by the Soviet navy in 1987 and decommissioned in 1996 as it was too expensive to operate on a post-Soviet budget.
India and Russia signed the $947 million deal in 2004 for the purchase of the carrier, but the original 2008 delivery deadline has already been delayed twice, pushing up the cost of refurbishing the ship to $2.3 billion.
India has already started taking delivery of MiG-29K naval fighter aircraft for the Vikramaditya.