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ARKHANGELSK, January 14. /ITAR-TASS/. Around 100 Russian specialists, who participated in the crossing of Vikramaditya aircraft carrier, formerly known as Russian cruiser Admiral Gorshkov, to India, will come back to homeland, and 75 specialists will stay in the country for guaranteed maintenance of the warship at the Indian naval base in Karwar. This the press service of Severodvinsk-based military shipyard Sevmash, at which the warship was refurbished, told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.“After successful arrival of aircraft carrier Vikramaditya in Karwar on January 7 several Sevmash specialists and contracting organizations are coming back to the homeland,” the press service said. “Seventy-five specialists will stay in Karwar for guaranteed maintenance, they are accommodated at comfortable hotels,” the press service reported. The Vikramaditya has sailed more than 10,000 nautical miles in the crossing. Head of guaranteed repair team Igor Leonov noted that the command of the aircraft carrier had praised highly the warship, which was tested not only in a long voyage, but also in storms and noted efficient cooperation between Indian crew and Russian specialists.
Vikramaditya aircraft carrier was handed over to the Indian Navy at Sevmash shipyard on November 16, 2013. On November 26, the aircraft carrier unmoored and headed for its permanent naval base. For safe guaranteed operation of the warship at sea a team of 177 shipyard’s specialists, who participated in the trials of the warship, are onboard. Guaranteed maintenance will be provided in the course of this year, after that Sevmash plans to conclude a contract with India for maintenance of the aircraft carrier for a period from 20 to 40 years.
According to the package intergovernmental agreement was signed in New Delhi in January 2004 India has received a hull of Russian aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Gorshkov gratis under the condition of its upgrade at Sevmash military shipyard and arming her with Russian deck warplanes. Russia has also assumed the liability to train the Indian crew of the aircraft carrier. Total cost of the contract was estimated at $1.5 billion at first.
Gorshkov aircraft carrier was planned to be converted in a full-fledged aircraft carrier in 2008. However, the deadlines of the contract have moved. Russia stated about underestimated works and the need of additional allocations for overhaul of the warship. On March 12, 2010, during Vladimir Putin’s visit in India an additional agreement with changed cost of repair and modernization of the Vikramaditya was signed. India noted that the country would buy the Russian aircraft carrier for 2.33 billion dollars.
After the repair and reequipping the full water displacement of the aircraft carrier has reached 45,000 tonnes, maximum length — 283.5 meters, maximum width — 59.8 meters (it was increased by 8.8 meters).
The Vikramaditya was provided with a modern takeoff deck and a takeoff ramp for fighters, navigation and radar systems, communications and aviation control systems, other special equipment and units. The warship can carry 30 aircraft, including fighters MiG-29K and helicopters Kamov Ka-27 and Ka-31. The crew is around 2,000 strong.
An absolutely new warship was actually created as a result of refurbishment, Sevmash noted.