Russia and India will discuss in October the situation around technical failures found in sea trials of an aircraft carrier refitted for India by a Russian shipyard.
The carrier Vikramaditya, formerly the Russian Navy’s Admiral Gorshkov, was supposed to be handed over to the Indians on December 4, after a refit which has suffered a series of cost and time overruns and frequently caused disputes between the customer and supplier.
The ship experienced problems with some of its new replacement boilers during sea trials in the White Sea last month, and will now need yet more repairs, Russian shipyard managers said this week.
The carrier is to be repaired by May 2013, United Shipbuilding Corporation President Andrei Dyachkov said.
“In our estimate, it will take from five to seven months to complete the repairs. The work is to be finished in May 2013,” he said, adding that the ship’s handover will be tentatively postponed by nine months.
There are a number of proposals for India that will help compensate for that, he said without elaborating.
In addition to the boilers, the sea trials showed other problems, including the ship's refrigerators and nitrogen generators, Dyachkov said.
He also said Chinese materials, specifically refractories that were used in manufacturing the boilers, were partially damaged during the trials.
“We plan to discuss our further cooperation in this project with our Indian colleagues at a meeting of the Russian-Indian intergovernmental commission on military-technical cooperation which will he held in Delhi in early October,” Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said.
No assessment has yet been made of the extent of the damage caused to the ship’s propulsion systems, he said, but added: “The fact that our quality is getting worse really is a problem.”