The exAdmiral Gorshkov was initially expected to be handed over to the Indian Navy in August 2008, renamed as INS Vikramaditya. But in February 2009 Press Trust of India reported that Russia was seeking an additional US$700 million for the refitting, repairs and delivery of INS Vikramaditya (Admiral Gorshkov) aircraft carrier. The Russian decision to seek USD 700 million dollars was conveyed to India on 10 February 2009 during a bilateral meeting to re-negotiate the Russian demand for additional payment. Sevmash Shipyard was stressing on an immediate release of USD 190 million for continuing the repair work. The US$700 million was over and above the additional INR 1.2 billion the Russians were already demanding for the warship, which had been "bought" by India in 2004 for US$974 million. Russia would now agree on a "final" price of US$2.9 billion, a bargain as the cost of building a new aircraft carrier of this size would be in the region of $4 billion.
Chandragupta II (380 to 413 AD) tried to be better than his father Samudragupta, and most historians agree, he was certainly successful. Vikramaditya is THE LEGENDARY emperor of India. More stories/legends are associated with him than any other ruler of India. It was during his (and his son Kumargupta) reign, India was at the pinnacle of prosperity and opulence. Although named after his grandfather Chandragupta, he took a title of Vikramaditya, which became a synonym for sovereign of tremendous power and wealth. This title was later taken up by scores of other sovereign rulers of India. Vikramaditya succeeded his father Samudragupta (possibly there was another prince, or his elder brother who ruled briefly, and according to legends slayed by Shakas), and carried on the policy of `world conquest' of his predecessors. Vikramaditya's reign was perhaps THE most prosperous and progressive reign in the ENTIRE Indian history.
Negotiations between Russia and India began in 1994 for the sale of the Admiral Gorshkov, which had been inactive since 1991. In 1998, India and Russia agreed in principle on the sale of the Admiral Gorshkov. India would get the hull for free, but would finance the refurbishing of the warship by Russia's defense industry.
On 11 January 1999 Indian Minister of Defense George Fernandes acknowledged that agreement had been reached on the sale. But it took another five years to work finalize a price and terms. The Gorshkov reportedly would be extensively modified at a cost of between $500-650 million to accommodate conventional take-off and landing aircraft [possibly either the Su-27K Flanker-D or the smaller MiG-29K Fulcrum-D]. The refit would include addition of a bow ski-jump take-off ramp, and removal of the missile launchers to make room for the ramp. The refit at Severodvinsk was expected to take up to three years.
An Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) was signed on October 04, 2000 with the Government of the Russian Federation which, inter-alia, provides for the acquisition of 'Admiral Gorshkov', an aircraft carrier, from Russia and its refit and modernisation. The Russian Side had furnished a Detailed Project Document (DPD), which, inter-alia, defines the package for refit and modernisation of the ship. Technical discussions on the package are, presently, being held between the experts of the two Sides. An investment decision on the acquisition of 'Admiral Gorshkov' had not yet been taken as of March 2002.
As of early 2001 negotiations continued, with Russia offering to donate the ship itself if India paid the conversion costs [which India was reluctant to do]. By late 2000 India had rejected the Russian offer of 22 new MiG-29K shipboard fighters, which remained unproven for naval service.
On 20 January 2004, it was announced that India and Russia had signed a $1.6 billion deal finalizing the sale of the Admiral Gorshkov to India. According to the deal, half of the money would spent at the Northern machine-building factory in Severodvinsk, to refurbish the carrier with the other half being spent on MIG 29-K fighter jets and anti-submarine helicopters. When the ship was part of the Soviet fleet, it used vertical take-off aircraft. Now it will use MiG-29K planes, and the deck must be refurbished to accommodate the installation of a landing strip and a catapult. The rest of the money is going to the acquisition of 16 MiG-29K fighter jets, and up to 10 helicopters that can fit onto the ship. Gorshkov is slated to join the Indian navy in 2008 after a refit. The Navy looke at equipping the carrier Gorshkov (INS Vikramaditya) with the E- 2C, but decided not to.
The navy agreed to buy the Russian aircraft carrier, the Admiral Gorshkov, for a nominal fee. But it requires a $670m refit and will eventually have between 18 to 20 Mig 29 fighters which will cost in excess of $1bn. Gorshkov, which was slated to join the Indian navy in May 2008 after a refit.
The conversion plans for the aircraft carrier see all the armament, including the P-500 Bazalt cruise missile launchers and the four Antey Kinzhal surface-to-air missile launchers fitted on the front of the carrier, removed to make way for a 14.3º bow ski-jump. Two restraining stands will also be fitted, allowing combat aircraft to reach full power before making a ski-jump-assisted short take-off. The ability to launch only one aircraft at a time, might prove to be a hindrance. Under the modernization plan, the 20-ton capacity elevator beside the ship's island superstructure will remain unchanged, but the aft lift will be enlarged and its lift capacity increased to 30 tons. Three arresting gears would be fitted on the aft part of the angled deck. Navigation and carrier-landing aids would be refitted to support fixed-wing STOBAR (Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery) operations including the LAK optical-landing system.
The eight boilers are being renewed and converted to take diesel fuel instead of furnace fuel oil and modern oil-water separators as well as sewage treatment plant are being incorporated to meet international standards. She is also being fitted with six new Italian-made Wärtsilä 1.5 MW diesel generators, Global Marine communications system, Sperry Bridgemaster navigation radar, a new telephone exchange, new data link and IFF Mk XI system. Hotel services are being improved with new water-producing plants as well as York International refrigeration and air conditioning. A new galley is being installed together with improved domestic services and accommodation for 10 female officers.
Though the official expected life span of the ship is 20 years, experts suggest it could actually be a minimum of 30 years from the time of commissioning. On completion of the modernisation, 70 per cent of the ship and its equipment will be new and remainder will have been refurbished.
In late 2008 the Russian government loaned the Sevmash shipyard $250 million to continue the rebuilding work on Gorshkov without interruption. Although the Russian government had demanded an additional US$ 1.2 billion from India for the carrier, it extended the credit to the shipyard as an interim step until an agreement with India is finalized. Russian officials indicated that Gorshkov would be ready in 2011, and after a year of sea trials, it would be operational sometime in late 2012.
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