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Russia to meet 2012 delivery deadline of Admiral Gorshkov to India

A file photo of Admiral Gorshkov.

MOSCOW (BNS): The repairing and retrofitting work on aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov will be further expedited so as to make its delivery to India on time in 2012, a senior Russian official in the shipping industry said on Tuesday.

“Under an agreement with India, the aircraft will be delivered in 2012. Almost 2,000 highly-qualified workers are currently involved in the overhaul (of the ship),” Vladimir Pakhomov, president of Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation, told the Vremya Novostei newspaper in an interview.

Pakhomov further said that more workers would be employed in the overhauling work of the warship so that work would progress at faster pace without compromising quality.

“We will increase the number of workers and speed up the work, making sure that it does not affect the quality. We are continuing talks with Indian officials about the additional financing of the project,” he was quoted by Ria Novosti news agency which quoted the Vremya Novostei.

As per the revised contract, Russia will deliver the modernized Admiral Gorshkov to Indian Navy in 2012. The original $750 million contract between Russia's state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport and Indian Navy had set 2008 as the delivery time of the warship.

The two countries were negotiating for last one year over Russia’s demand for $2 billion over and above the $1.5 billion that New Delhi paid it in 2004. However, Russia demanded $1.2 billion more for the aircraft carrier and pushed its delivery date to 2012.

After long-running delays and disputes, the two sides agreed in February 2008 to raise retrofit costs for the aircraft carrier, docked at the Sevmash shipyard in northern Russia for last 12 years, by at least $800 million.

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

The carrier will be renamed Vikramaditya after being inducted in the Indian Navy.

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