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India puts pressure on Arkhangelsk

India puts pressure on Arkhangelsk 07.12.2007 India is not prepared to re-negotiate terms on the takeover of Russian aircraft carrier “Admiral Gorshkov”, Head of the Indian Navy Sureesh Mehta says. The aircraft carrier, which is under construction at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk, Arkhangelsk Oblast, is several years delayed and has become more than two time more expensive than anticipated.

Russia and India in 2004 signed a contract worth 1,5 billion USD on the construction of the aircraft carrier, as well as 20 MIG-29K fighter jets. In addition, the new vessel will be equipped with the new Russian-Indian cruise missile “BraMos”.

The military order was to be fulfilled in the course of 2008. However, now the Sevmash plant says the aircraft carrier – now named Vikramaaditya – will be completed only in 2012, and become more than two times more expensive than anticipated. Originally, the vessel was to cost 800 million USD. The new price is now set to 1.9 billion USD.

According to newspaper Gazeta, the information about the aircraft carrier has stirred discomfort in the Indian Defence Ministry. India is among Russia’s strategic partners and has already paid more than 400 million USD for the “Vikramaaditya”. Head of the Indian Navy Sureesh Mehta says India already considers the vessel part of its fleet and that it does not intend to renegotiate the contract with Russian Armed Forces.

Source: www.barentsobserver.com, photo: The Admiral Gorshkov (Sevmash.ru)

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