INS Vikramaditya undergoes sea trials
The Indian Navy's aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya, has successfully completed extensive sea trials in Barents Sea in Russia.
During the trials, the aircraft carrier successfully reached a maximum speed of around 32k in adverse weather conditions, according to the Press Trust of India (PTI).
An agreement between the Indian Navy and Russia was signed in 2004 for purchase of the 130m-long carrier, with its initial delivery due in 2008.
The delivery of 45,000t vessel was later scheduled to 4 December 2012, but has now has been postponed until October 2013.
The final price of the ship has doubled from $947m to $2.3bn, due to refurbishment and repeated delays.
The 130m-long aircraft carrier has a range of more than 4,000m, can cruise at a maximum speed of 32k and is armed with eight SS-NX-26 Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles, a new 130mm gun mount system, and Medvedka-2 ASW and Hurricane medium-range air defence missile systems.
Equipped with long-range surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, the modified Kiev-class ship can attack multiple targets simultaneously in multi-threat environments.
The short takeoff but arrested recovery (STOBAR) aircraft carrier can carry a variety of aircraft such as MiG 29K multirole deck fighter jets, Sea Harriers, Sea Kings, KV-28 anti-submarine warfare helicopters and the locally built ALH.
Following completion of further testing, including Mig-29K fighter aircraft's landing and take-off trials onboard the aircraft carrier in the White Sea, the vessel will be delivered to the Indian Navy by the end of 2013.
The navy is scheduled to formally induct INS Vikramaditya in the early 2014.
Image: Indian Navy's Gorshkov-class ship performing missions at sea. Photo: courtesy of Pibwl.