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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia to deliver Admiral Gorshkov to India after 2011

RIA Novosti

05/09/2008 14:17 GELENDZHIK (South Russia), September 5 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will deliver the modernized Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier to India after 2011, Russia's state-run arms exporter said on Friday.

"We are planning to deliver the aircraft carrier to India after 2011, but an addendum to the original contract must be signed," Mikhail Zavaliy, a Rosoboronexport official told reporters at an air show in the Krasnodar Region.

The original $750-million contract to deliver the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier to India, which Rosoboronexport signed with the Indian Navy in 2004, projected the work would be completed in 2008.

However, Russia later claimed it underestimated the scale and the cost of the modernization and demanded an additional $1.2 billion, which New Delhi said was "exorbitant."

After long-running delays and disputes, Russia and India agreed in February to raise refit costs for the aircraft carrier, docked at the Sevmash shipyard in northern Russia for the past 12 years,

by at least $800 million.

The current contract covers a complete overhaul of the ship and equipping it with modern weaponry, including MiG-29K Fulcrum aircraft and Ka-27 Helix-A and Ka-31 Helix-B anti-submarine helicopters.

The carrier, renamed the Vikramaditya, is to replace India's INS Viraat carrier, which, although currently operational, is now 50 years old.

The Sevmash shipyard said on June 3 it planned to sail the aircraft carrier out into the Barents Sea for trials in 2011. In early 2012, the ship is expected to be finally refitted and trials will continue into the summer of that year.

At the end of 2012, the aircraft carrier is expected to be fully prepared for its handover to the Indian navy, the company said.

After it has been refitted, the Gorshkov is expected to be seaworthy for 30 years.

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