Saturday, March 17, 2012

Indian carrier in Barents Sea trials

MOSCOW -- An aircraft carrier the Indian navy purchased from Russia is about to undergo testing in the Barents Sea.

The Indian navy bought the Soviet-era carrier Admiral Gorshkov in 2004. The vessel has been reworked at Russia's Severodvinsk White Sea shipyard and, this month, the craft, renamed the INS Vikramaditya, will be taken for tests in the Barents Sea.

INS Vikramaditya is to be transferred to the Indian navy in December.

The refurbished INS Vikramaditya will be able to deploy 16 MiG-29K fighter aircraft modified for naval use, as well as a number of MiG-29KUB jet fighters and up to 10 helicopters in its aircraft wing.

As part of the INS Vikramaditya upgrade contract, India also ordered 29 MiG-29K/KUB fighter jets.

The 45,000 ton Kiev class Admiral Gorshkov was launched in 1982 from the Soviet Union's Chernomorsky shipyard in Nikolayev, Ukraine. It was decommissioned in 1996 and sold to India eight years later for $947 million.

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