Indian Navy Begins Sea Trials Of Russian-Built Aircraft Carrier

The Indi­an Navy’s Russ­ian-built air­craft car­ri­er Vikra­ma­ditya (for­mer­ly Admi­ral Gor­shkov) began sea tri­als ear­ly on Fri­day morn­ing in the White Sea — four years after it was orig­i­nal­ly due to take to sea again. The ship was refit­ted at the Sev­mash ship­yard in north­ern Rus­sia. It was orig­i­nal­ly sched­uled to begin sea tri­als, which will last 120 days, on May 25.

Air­craft Car­ri­er Vikra­ma­ditya (for­mer­ly Admi­ral Gorshkov
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Refit­ted at the Sev­mash ship­yard in north­ern Rus­sia, the ship is car­ry­ing a mixed Russ­ian-Indi­an crew is on board the ves­sel, with the Indi­an sailors learn­ing how to oper­ate the vessel. 

The ship will sail to the Bar­ents Sea for exer­cis­es with the mil­i­tary air­craft after sea tri­al in the White Sea have been concluded. 

The pur­chase of the car­ried was signed in 2005 for an esti­mat­ed $947 mil­lion but deliv­ery has been delayed twice thus tak­ing the refur­bish­ing cost up to $2.3 billion. 

India has already begun induct­ing MiG-29K naval fight­er air­craft for the Russ­ian-made car­ri­er which has a dis­place­ment of 45,000 tons, a max­i­mum speed of 32 knots and an endurance of 13,500 nau­ti­cal miles (25,000 km) at a cruis­ing speed of 18 knots. 

The MiG-29K was report­ed­ly select­ed over the larg­er and more-capa­ble Su-33 naval fight­er because India also hopes to oper­ate them from its small­er, indige­nous “Project-71 Air Defense Ship” carriers. 


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