The Indian Navy's Russian-built aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, formerly named Admiral Gorshkov, has set sail for the second-stage of sea trials in the Barents Sea.
The trials are being conducted as part of the Sevmash shipyard refit programme, which involved upgrades to allow the frigate to undertake a short take-off, but assisted recovery (STOBAR) operations with MiG-29K naval fighter aircraft.
Additional upgrades to the frigate also include new air defence, communications and navigations systems, according to RIA Novosti.
Serga said that during the second sea trials, INS Vikramaditya will demonstrate its main systems, principle and secondary power systems, as well as communications and navigation systems.
Equipped with long-range surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, the modified Kiev-class frigates are capable of attacking multiple targets simultaneously in multi-threat environments.
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, as well as a Medvedka-2 ASW system and a Hurricane medium-range air defence missile system.
In addition to 3D air search radars and Puma fire control radars, INS Vikramaditya features sonar suites with hull-mounted LF sonar and LF VDS sonar, as well as Garpun-BAL SSM targeting and SAM control systems.
The Indian Navy originally signed an agreement for the procurement of the 45,000t INS Vikramaditya from Russia in 2004, with delivery initially due in 2008.
Due to repeated delays, the final price for refurbishing the ship doubled from $947m to $2.3bn and is now scheduled for delivery to the Indian Navy by December.
Image: Gorshkov class frigates are armed with eight SS-NX-26 Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles. Photo: courtesy of Pibwl.