Apex panel formed to monitor refit of Gorshkov

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 - 13:16

New Delhi: India and Russia have constituted
an apex monitoring committee to supervise the Admiral Gorshkov
aircraft carrier refit programme at the Sevmash shipyard, even
as work on the warship has gained pace in the last six months
with additional manpower deployed.

The committee, to be headed by Russian shipyard`s
corporation chief, was formed recently, with a Russian
official personally visiting the shipyard to supervise the
work on the warship, to ensure its timely delivery to India by
December 2012.

The progress report on the refit programme for the
45,000-tonne aircraft carrier that India bought in 2004 comes
in the wake of a visit by Navy`s Controller of Warship
Production and Acquisition Vice Admiral N N Kumar to Russia in
the middle of last month, a Navy spokesperson said here today.

"The delegation observed a lot of progress in the refit
work since September last year. Russia has put in significant
efforts to ensure delivery of the aircraft carrier within the
deadline," he said on the visit of Kumar and his team to
Sevmash shipyard.

India`s decision to pay USD 2.34 billion for the warship
early this year helped in expediting work on the warship.

India had originally bought the ship at USD 974 million,
which also included its repair, refit and trials cost.

Now, with the work progressing well, the Russians have
assured the Navy that the warship would be ready for harbour
trials by early next year, with all the work on the ship
completed before December this year.

Already, the shipyard has completed all structural and
hull related work and half of the cable laying work on the
warship, the team lead by Kumar had noticed during the visit.

The shipyard had also significantly increased the number
of men working on the warship -- a substantial number compared
to what it was last year, the spokesperson said.

They had also completed the installation of all large
equipment such as engines, gear box, alternators, and
generators.

"The warship is in an advanced state of of being sealed.
Only the minor equipment, piping, ventilation and
air-conditioning work is left to be done, apart from another
50 per cent of cabling work," he said.

India had also bought 16 MiG-29K naval fighter jets for
USD 526 million to operate on board Gorkshkov and these
aircraft have been delivered to the Navy.

Though the warship itself is yet to arrive, Naval pilots
have started their practise runs at a shore-based training
facility at a naval air base in Goa.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 - 13:16

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