Press Trust of India
Severodvinsk (North Russia),
The long-delayed and much awaited $2.3 billion aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya will be inducted into the Indian Navy here tomorrow, enhancing India&’s maritime capabilities.
Defence Minister A K Antony, who is arriving here this evening, will be inducting the aircraft carrier into the force in the presence of Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin and senior government and naval officials of the two countries.
The aircraft carrier will be inducted in the Indian Navy at the Sevmash Shipyard, which is Russia&’s nuclear submarine building centre.
INS Vikramaditya is a Kiev class aircraft carrier which was commissioned by Russian Navy in 1987 under the name Baku.
It was later renamed as Admiral Gorshkov.
It last sailed in 1995 in Russia, before being offered to India.
The 44,500 ton warship with a length of 284 metres will have MiG-29K naval combat aircraft along with Kamov 31 and Kamov 28 anti-submarine warfare and maritime surveillance helicopters.
The MiG 29-Ks would provide a significant boost to Indian Navy with their range of over 700 nautical miles, extendable to over 1,900 nautical miles with mid-air refuelling and an array of weapons like anti-ship missiles, beyond visual range air-to-air missiles and guided bombs and rockets.
After almost nine years of negotiations the initial $1.5 billion contract for retrofitting the aircraft
carrier and buying 16 MiG-29K, K/UB deck-based fighters was signed in 2004.