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Indian Navy continues cooperation with Arkhangelsk

Indian Navy continues cooperation with Arkhangelsk 13.03.2008
The Indian Navy has agreed with the increased costs for the aircraft carrier “Admiral Gorshkov”, currently under modernization in Severodvinsk, Arkhangelsk Oblast.

Head of the Indian Navy, Admiral Sureesh Mehta, admits that the higher costs for the vessel will be “inevitable”. Mr. Mehta has earlier refused the Russian demand for a refit of the contract conditions, agreed upon in 2004.

The costs linked with the extensive reconstruction if the vessel have become far higher than anticipated. The Sevmash shipyard has also announced that it will not be able to complete the vessel in line with the original time schedule.

The “Admiral Gorshkov”, or the “Vikramâditya” as it is called in India, was originally to be sold together with 16 MIG-29K fighter jets and six “Kamov” helicopters to India for 1,5 billion USD.

It is now expected that the vessel will be completed by mid-2010. After that, it will undergo 18 months of extensive sea testing by the Russian Navy to ensure all systems are working properly. The Indian Navy expects to take over the ship in early 2012.

The defense ministry does not mention any figures, but according to The Times of India, New Delhi is willing to pay another 600-800 million USD for the 44,570-ton aircraft carrier.

Source: www.barentsobserver.com, photo: militaryparitet.com

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