Russia has said that a further US$700 million would be required for the ‘Admiral Gorshkov’.
‘When the Indian Navy decided in January 2004 to acquire the former Soviet aircraft carrier, Moscow agreed to hand over the 1143 Kiev-class vessel for free, however Indian agreed to pay US$480 million for an extensive upgrade and retrofit of the ship. It also agreed to buy Russian aircraft and weapon systems worth US$1 billion. Since then, however, Russian shipyard Sevmash has run into a series of problems. The carrier’s refit program was delayed for three to four years due to an underestimation of technical problems discovered on the ‘Admiral Gorshkov’. India agreed to pay an extra US$1.2 billion for Russia to install new systems. The Russian aircraft carrier was supposed to replace the Indian Navy’s only aircraft carrier, INS “Viraat’. Launched in 1953, this vessel’s life can no longer be extended and if Russia were to further delay the delivery of the vessel, Indian may have to go without an active-duty aircraft carrier. Moscow has now asked for an additional US$700 million from India. This will bring the total cost to US$2.9 million. The vessel will be renamed INS ‘Vikramaditya’.