Which way will warship Admiral
Nov 22 (RIA Novosti) The transfer of the aircraft carrier
Vikramaditya, formerly known as Admiral Gorshkov, to India
has been planned for several years already.
the warship, under refurbishment since 2004, was to join the
Indian Navy in 2008, the carrier's update is behind schedule.
heavy increase in the costs of both labour and components
and Russian shipbuilding complex Sevmash's lack of experience
in dealing with large surface ships have all contributed to
spring 2007, the announcement that the transfer of Admiral
Gorshkov to India would not take place before 2010 was followed
by protracted talks on the price and terms of the contract.
Verbal agreement on major issues was announced several times,
though no final agreement has yet been achieved.
Nov 13, Sevmash's announcement that the updated carrier would
soon be afloat was followed by a notice that the warship could
join the Russian navy if no agreement on costs is reached.
deputy chief Sergei Novoselov said at least $2 billion are
needed to complete the work on the ship.
India reported that it is prepared to allocate no more than
a few hundred million dollars for the project. It is unclear
when and how this argument will end. Most likely a decision
will be taken before the end of this year.
will it mean for Russia if the ship does not end up in India?
On the one hand, a failure to meet commitments to a foreign
partner would hit Russia's reputation. On the other, a possible
decision to provide funding to complete overhauling of the
ship and return it to the Russian navy would favour both the
country's defence industry and the navy, which needs an aircraft
current state of the Russian armed forces requires an immediate
increase in hardware even by reducing military exports, as
was the case with the Iskander tactical missile system.
Iskander is not to be sold abroad until the country's army
receives the required number of these launchers.
the Admiral Gorshkov, what will this ship be like once completed?
It will have a 38,000, 48,000 and 53,000 ton unloaded, standard
and laden tonnage, respectively, and a 273-metre long flight
deck. The vessel will carry 16 to 20 MiG-29 fighters and six
to eight Kamov Ka-28/Ka-31 helicopters.
sold to India, the ship will also be able to carry Tejas trainer
aircraft and Dhruv light helicopters, both made by the country's
aeronautic giant Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.
aviation, the warship will be fitted with Kinzhal air defence
missiles and Kashtan air defence gun/missile systems.
updated ship will be closest in performance to the French
nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, which
has a slightly lower laden tonnage of 43,000 tons and a higher
endurance thanks to its power plant.
more rational design of the latter also provides more room
on the hangar deck, 4,600 sq m compared to 2,900 on the Admiral
Gorshkov, enough to contain up to 40 aircraft.
Russian ship, however, will be faster and, according to some
experts, will have higher sea worthiness, ensuring aircraft
operation in adverse weather.
significant advantage of the Admiral Gorshkov returning into
service with the Russian navy would be that it could take
to the sea as soon as early next decade, while an advanced
aircraft carrier, if put into production in December 2008,
would not be completed until 2014 or 2015 at best.
destiny of the aircraft carrier will be clear soon. It's hard
to tell, though, which of the two possible outcomes will be
best for Russia.