ST. PETERSBURG, June 29. /TASS/. The Soviet aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov renamed as the Vikramaditya after its upgrade and transfer to India is in an excellent condition and the Indian Navy is content with its operation, Nevskoye Design Bureau CEO Sergei Vlasov told TASS on Thursday.
"As for the aircraft carrier’s design, the Indian side did not have and does not have any questions. The ship is in an excellent condition; it has undergone docking and its underwater part is also in a very good condition. Its operation will determine the possibility of extending its service life," the chief executive said.
"The Vikramaditya’s docking has shown that the aircraft carrier can withstand almost a five-year inter-docking period of work in warm seas," the Nevskoye design bureau chief stressed.
"If it is normally maintained and timely repaired, it can serve for 40 and 50 years," Vlasov added.
India signed an agreement with Russia on acquiring the aircraft carrier in January 2004. The Indian side received the hull of the Admiral Gorshkov for free on condition that the aircraft carrier would be upgraded and equipped with Russian-made aircraft. At the same time, Russia committed itself to training the Indian crew.
During the upgrade, the displacement of the aircraft carrier Vikramaditya grew to 45,000 tonnes.
The aircraft carrier designed by the Nevskoye design bureau received an advanced flight deck, a ski-jump ramp for fighter jet takeoff, radars, navigation, communications and aircraft control systems and other equipment.
The ship can carry 30 planes and helicopters, including Mikoyan MiG-29K (NATO reporting name: Fulcrum) fighter jets that are delivered for Russia’s aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov as well.