SEVERODVINSK, November 15, (ITAR-TASS) - All the scheduled trial tests of the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier passed as required and did not evoke any remarks this year, and this fully applies to the testing of the ship’s stoker division, Igor Ponomaryov, the Vice-President of the United Shipbuilding Corporation /OSK/ told reporters Friday.
“All the trial testing was done strictly as required, was smooth and didn’t evoke any remarks,” he said.
“We did a huge amount of work this year and the heavy-duty aircraft-carrying cruiser was transformed into a full-fledged aircraft carrier as a result,” he said, adding that the ceremony of the Vikramaditya’s handover to the Indian side would be held in Severodvinsk, a coastal city on the White Sea in the north of European Russia November 16.
The Vikramaditya was the first ship of Russian manufacture to become the site of a takeoff and landing of a MIG-29K multirole fighter jet and the site of first nighttime landings.
“The ship confirmed all the tactical and technological properties featured in its contract specifications,” Ponomaryov said. “As we look back at last year’s failures /with the stoker division - Itar-Tass/, we should take account of the fact it was just an accident but it is to be reckoned with.”
“Generally speaking, we were ready to hand the ship over to the customer back last year but a small delay allowed us to do an additional testing of technology and to remove all the small equipment faults,” he said.
Under provisions of the agreement, a group of Russian warranty experts will stay on the base of the Vikramaditya’s deployment, since the ship is a highly complicated technological unit and its operational life is expected to last a minimum of 25 years, Ponomaryov said.
“We’re working with the Indian Naval Forces now on signing a framework contract for the post-warranty servicing of the ship,” he said. “An agreement on this was signed back in 2004 in a package with the contract for modernization of the aircraft carrier but now we’re working out the details.”
“A group of Russian experts for the maintenance of technological readiness of the ship will be permanently located close to the deployment base and separate specialists will be summoned as need be,” Ponomaryov said.