New Delhi (PTI):
Moving a step closer towards its induction in the Navy, aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya has completed all its trials in Russia, where it is presently undergoing refit.
Vikramaditya, formerly known as Admiral Gorskhov, was undergoing trials during the last two months in the Barents Sea and the White Sea.
The carrier is on course to be handed over to the Indian Navy in November, sources said.
Once inducted, it will be the second aircraft carrier in the Navy after INS Viraat and give it an strategic advantage in the Indian Ocean.
Vikramaditya, which is already years past its original 2008 delivery date, was supposed to have been handed over on December 4, 2012, but sea trials in September that year revealed the ship’s boilers were not fully functional.
It then returned to the shipyard to fix the problems that were detected during the sea trials.
The ship had demonstrated excellent seaworthiness, speed of 27.9 knots (about 52 km per hour) and manoeuvrability during the three-month sea trials.
India and Russia had signed a USD 947 million deal for 45,000-tonne Gorshkov in 2004. The deal amount was revised later to USD 2.3 billion.