9 hours ago
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Russian-built aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya ready to sail, finally
It is without doubt the largest warship ever to be operated by the Indian Navy. But if there is a record for the longest time spent by an Indian warship in a shipyard, the INS Vikramaditya would hold that too. After a long a painful process of renegotiations, price escalations and delays, India's new aircraft carrier finally seems to be on its way home.
The refurbished ship — it was originally the Gorshkov, launched in 1982 — is currently undergoing an exhaustive series of trials in the Barents Sea to test its weapon systems, flight operations, propulsion and communications.
If things go well — they did not last year when its steam boilers malfunctioned during what were then considered to be final tests — the warship will be ready for handing over to the Indian Navy on November 15, after which it begins its long journey to India for the formal commissioning. This, nine years after the order was placed in 2004.
Its designers and refurbishing engineers are confident that it will exceed expectations during the trials, with the head of the Sevmash shipyard — where it underwent the refit — going as far to say that it will achieve a top speed of 30 knots, against the required 28. - From a a very entertaining story by Manu Pubby in The Indian Express.
The Barents Sea is part of the Arctic Ocean, North of Finland and Norway.
75 photos illustrating the conversion from cruiser to carrier