INS Vikramaditya, the Indian Navy's aircraft carrier, has set sail for its final sea trials, following successful completion of refit programme at Russia's Sevmash shipyard, according to a senior Russian defence industry official.
An agreement between the Indian Navy and Russia was signed in 2004 for purchase of the 130m-long carrier, with initial delivery due in 2008.
The delivery of 45,000t vessel was later scheduled to 4 December 2012, but has now been postponed until October 2013. Due to refurbishment and repeated delays, the final price of the ship has doubled from $947m to $2.3bn.
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, and Medvedka-2 ASW and Hurricane medium-range air defence missile systems.
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 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 helicopter and the indigenously built ALH.
Equipped with combined gas turbine and gas turbine (COGAG) propulsion systems, the vessel also features a 30mm close-in weapon system (CIWS) gun and provision for 21in torpedo tubes to carry torpedoes.
Image: Illustration of Admiral Gorshkov-class ship. Photo: file image.