Delivery of Aircraft Carrier INS Vikramaditya to India Scheduled for December

The handing-over ceremony of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya being modernized in Russia for India will be held in Dec 2012, reported information agency Press Trust of India referring to sources in Indian defense ministry.

The Russian-Indian largest-ever military export contract on modernization of aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Gorshkov sold to India was tied in 2004. Initially, the modernization was evaluated as $616 mln, and the ship was supposed to join Indian Navy in 2008. However, due to increased scope of works the deadlines were postponed, and Russia asked for additional financing. In 2010 Russia and India signed a definitive agreement on Admiral Gorshkov‘s modernization providing that the carrier would be delivered to India in the end of 2012. When commissioned into Indian Navy, the ship will obtain the name of Vikramaditya.

INS Vikramaditya will be handed over on Dec 4, reports the news agency.

Sources in Indian defense ministry also said that commissioning ceremony of nuclear-powered submarine INS Chakra (Russian name – Nerpa) leased from Russia would take place in Visakhapatnam naval base on Apr 5, 2012.

Currently, SSN Nerpa is heading for India operated by Indian crew. The submariners was trained by Russian instructors which are continuing to assist Indian colleagues. Russia planned to lease SSN Nerpa to India in 2009, but the accident happened to the submarine on Nov 2008 during sea trials in the Sea of Japan. Twenty men died and 21 were intoxicated by freon used in onboard firefighting system. In total, there were 208 persons on board when the incident occurred.

After appropriate repairs, the submarine was commissioned into Russian Navy in Dec 2009.

SSN Nerpa was laid down at Amur Shipyard (Komsomolsk-on-Amur) in 1991; she is a third-generation submarine. The sub’s construction was suspended in mid-90′s. Nerpa was completed only thanks to India’s financial assistance.