October 10, 2012 - 14:29 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Russia plans to deliver the overhauled aircraft carrier Vikramaditya to the Indian Navy in the fourth quarter of 2013, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Wednesday, Oct 10, after an intergovernmental meeting in New Delhi, RIA Novosti reported.
The Vikramaditya, formerly the Russian Navy's Admiral Gorshkov, which is already years past its original 2008 delivery date, was supposed to have been handed over on December 4, 2012, but sea trials in September revealed the ship's boilers were not fully functional.
“The flaws in the boilers are expected to be fixed at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk by summer 2013,” Serdyukov told reporters in New Delhi.
“The ship will then undergo sea trials and will be delivered to the Indian Navy in the fourth quarter of 2013,” he said.
Indian Defense Minister A. K. Antony said after the meeting with Serdyukov that the ship's prompt delivery to India was a priority.
“All entities involved in modernizing and testing the ship must work hard to complete the work and trials as soon as possible,” he said.
The Indian media have speculated New Delhi may seek more than $100 million in penalty payments from Russia for the latest delays in handing over the refitted aircraft carrier.
India and Russia signed the original $947 million dollar deal in 2005 for the purchase of the carrier, but delivery has already been delayed twice, pushing up the cost of refurbishing the ship to $2.3 billion.