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MOSCOW, November 29 (Itar-Tass) — The Vikramaditya aircraft carrier will be handed over to India at the end of 2013, Rosoboronexport spokesman Vyacheslav Davidenko told Itar-Tass on Thursday.
The works on making up the former Soviet aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov should be completed at the end of 2013 and then the aircraft carrier will be handed over to India, Davidenko said.
“The Russian and Indian sides have finally coordinated and approved the list and the schedule of works to make up the construction of the aircraft carrier,” the spokesman said.
“At present, these works continue and should be ended at the end of 2013. Then the ship will be handed over to the Indian side,” the Rosoboronexport spokesman said.
An official from the military-industrial complex told Itar-Tass that after the boiler house was repaired the Vikrmaditya put to the sea for tests. “At present, the works to repair the boiler house are underway. The Sevmash navy shipyard has begun supplies of repaired equipment. All works are done in compliance with the schedule. By the summer of 2013 all repairs will be over and the aircraft carrier will put to the sea for tests,” the official stressed.
Indian mass media quoted Defence Minister A.K. Antony as saying on Wednesday that the ministry had determined the year 2013 the latest date for handing over the aircraft carrier to India’s Navy. The handover of the aircraft carrier was delayed for five years. “The latest date is the end of next year,” the defence minister said.
The contract was signed in 2004. Its initial price reached 1.5 billion U.S. dollars. Under the agreement, India got the ship in gratis, but it paid the repairs and modernisation in Russia, as well as supplies of MiG-29K/KUB fighters, the Ka-27 and Ka-31 helicopters. In 2009 the parties revised the terms of the contract and increased the sum of the deal to 2.3 billion U.S. dollars.
Initially, the ship was expected to be handed over in August 2008. Then the terms changed. Under the latest agreement, the Vikrmaditya should have to arrive to India in December 2012. However, due to the failure of sea trials the parties decided to hand over the aircraft carrier in 2013.