INS Vikramaditya undergoes repairs before final sea trials
Moscow: The aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, to be delivered to the Indian navy in December, has been put in a dry dock at a Russian shipyard for "cosmetic" repairs ahead of final sea trials.
"The work is underway to repaint the hull under the waterline," Sergey Novoselov, head of defence export projects at Russia's Sevmash shipyard, said.
In addition, much of the interiors has yet to be completed, the official was quoted as saying by Ria Novosti.
Special attention will be dedicated to the cabins for the commanding officers of the vessel, which will be refitted with better DEX-O-TEX fireproof flooring, new wall panels, more comfortable furniture and sophisticated audio and video equipment.
The Vikramaditya is scheduled to begin sea trials in the White Sea in July. The warship will continue the trials in the Barents Sea in August-September to be delivered to India in early December.
The warship, previously known as the Admiral Gorshkov, is a Project 1143.4 or modified Kiev class aircraft carrier commissioned by the Soviet navy in 1987 and decommissioned in 1996 as it was too expensive to operate on a post-Soviet budget.
India and Russia signed the USD 947 million deal in 2004 for the purchase of the carrier, but the original 2008 delivery deadline has already been delayed twice, pushing up the cost of refurbishing the ship to USD 2.3 billion.
India has already started taking delivery of MiG-29K naval fighter aircraft for the Vikramaditya.