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Russia says funding for Admiral Gorshkov not sufficient
Posted On: Nov 14, 2008
File photo of Admiral Gorshkov which is under modification for Indian Navy
RUSSIA (BNS): The Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier could be handed over to the Indian Navy in 2012 if New Delhi provides sufficient funding for the project, director of a Russian shipyard has said.
“Construction of the ship will be completed in 2010 and tests will start in 2011 and in 2012, it will be transferred to the Indian Navy,'' General Director of Russian shipyard Shevmash Nikolai Kalistratov was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.
''It would only be handed over if New Delhi provided sufficient funding to complete the construction of the carrier,'' Kalistratov said.
Another senior-level official of the shipyard said the market dictated that India should pay a further two billion dollars for the carrier.
''The market price of such an aircraft carrier varies between three billion dollars and four billion dollars. The ongoing maintenance and upgrade makes up 60-70 per cent of the new carrier's cost. This is about two billion dollars,'' Deputy General Director of Sevmash Sergei Novoselov said.
A source in Russian Defence Ministry said if India failed to foot the bill, the carrier could be given to the Russian Navy. "If India does not pay up, we will keep the aircraft carrier," he said.
Kalistratov said the aircraft carrier was 49 per cent complete and would be floated out before the end of this week so that construction could be completed in a wet dock.
The original $750 million contract, which Russia's state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport signed with Indian Navy in 2004, had projected that the work would be completed in 2008.
However, Russia later claimed it underestimated the scale and the cost of the modernisation and demanded an additional $1.2 billion, which New Delhi termed as "exorbitant."
After long-running delays and disputes, Russia and India agreed in February this year to raise retrofit costs for the aircraft carrier, docked at the Sevmash shipyard in northern Russia for the past 12 years, by at least $800 million.
The current contract covers a complete overhaul of the ship and equipping it with modern weaponry, including MiG-29K Fulcrum aircraft and Ka-27 Helix-A and Ka-31 Helix-B anti-submarine helicopters.
The 45,000-ton Admiral Gorshkov is to be commissioned in the Indian Navy as INS ‘Vikramaditya’.
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