Gorshkov price finalised on Putin visit`s eve

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 22:30

New Delhi: After a three-year long
renegotiation, the fresh price of Admiral Gorshkov aircraft
carrier was on Wednesday finalised at USD 2.35 billion by the
government, a day ahead of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir
Putin`s two-day visit to India.

"The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), which met here
today, has given its approval to the fresh price for
Gorshkov," a Defence Ministry official said here.

India and Russia are likely to conclude the fresh
contract for the aircraft carrier, bought by the Navy in 2004
and rechristened INS Vikramaditya, during Putin`s stay in the
capital.

The warship, purchased originally at a price of USD 974
million, is currently undergoing a refit at the Russian
Sevmash shipyard.

Since 2007, the shipyard sought a hike in the price for
the warship`s refit programme and had revised the cost of the
project twice to demand USD 2.9 billion.

However, India had conveyed that it would not go beyond
USD 2.2 billion as a revised price for the project.

After renegotiation of the price for three-long years,
the two sides finally arrived at a figure for the refit
programme six months ago, but it had to go to the CCS for a
final stamp of approval, which it received today.

Along with the warship, India had also bought 16 MiG-29K
naval fighter aircraft for USD 526 million. The first four of
these fighters were delivered to India on December 4 last and
were inducted into the Navy on February 18 this year.

The delivery of Gorshkov, which was originally scheduled
for December 2008, has already witnessed a delay due to the
price negotiations for the refit project and India had to push
the Sevmash shipyard to hasten the programme for rescheduled
delivery in 2013.

During Putin`s visit, the two sides are also expected to
sign a few more defence deals worth USD four billion,
including the final agreement for joint manufacture of fifth
generation fighters, additional MiG-29K fighters for USD 1.2
billion and joint development of a multirole transport
aircraft.

India is also expected to place orders for 40 more Sukhoi
Su-30MKI multi-role fighters for the Indian Air Force.

PTI




comments powered by Disqus