GORKI, October 14 (Itar-Tass) - Vice-premier Dmitry Rogozin said the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier will leave Russia’s territorial waters on November 30 and set for India.
Speaking at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday, Rogozin said, “The Indian defence minister will be in Severodvinsk on November 16. The ship will leave the Russian territorial waters on November 16 and set for India.”
Medvedev said, “To end the construction of the ship is the prestige of our shipbuilding. Despite many difficulties it is important that the work will be ended to allow our Indian colleagues to put the aircraft carrier into service.”
Rogozin said the sea trials were successful. All shortcomings, which were revealed earlier, were removed, the vice-premier said.
“Now a week before the Russian-Indian summit we can say the ship will be prepared in a moth and handed over to India,” he said.
Rogozin told Medvedev: “During the sea trials, the aircraft carrier demonstrated the performances, which exceeded those, which had been earlier declared.”
“The speed of the aircraft carrier is of over 29 knots. The vessel is big and includes over 2,000 crewmembers, 30 aircraft - 24 Mig-29 and six Ka helicopters. I can say the vessel is very good,” the vice-premier said.
“I joked when I contacted the Indian Defence Ministry leaders - it’s pitiful to give vessel to India,” he added.
A contract to give the Vikramaditya to India was signed in 2004. Under the agreement, the vessel is supplied gratuitously. India paid for the repair and modernisation in Russia, as well as supplies of the MiG-29K/KUB fighters, the Ka-27 and Ka-31 helicopters.
Earlier, Rosoboronexport director-general Viktor Komardin told journalists that on the way to India the aircraft carrier would put into 14 ports and arrive in the Indian city of Mumbai by February.