Moscow, May 15 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Indian aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya has been put in dry dock at Russia’s Sevmash shipyard for cosmetic repairs, ahead of final sea trials and delivery to the Indian Navy later this year, the company said.
“The work is underway to repaint the hull under the waterline,” said Sergey Novoselov, head of defence export projects at Sevmash.
In addition, much of the interior finish has yet to be completed, the official said.
The Vikramaditya is scheduled to begin sea trials in the White Sea in July. The warship will continue the trials in the Barents Sea in August-September before it is delivered to India in early December.
The warship, previously known as the Admiral Gorshkov, is a Project 1143.4 or modified Kiev-class aircraft carrier commissioned by the Soviet Navy in 1987 and decommissioned in 1996 as it was too expensive to operate on a post-Soviet budget.
India and Russia signed the $947 million deal in 2004 for the purchase of the carrier, but the original 2008 delivery deadline has already been delayed twice, pushing up the cost of refurbishing the ship to $2.3 billion.
India has already started taking delivery of MiG-29K naval fighter aircraft for the Vikramaditya.