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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