Cru­cial dis­cus­sions on ex­tend­ing Rus­sian sup­port to INS Vikra­ma­ditya

SP's MAI - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES -

The In­dian Govern­ment has pro­posed that Rus­sia con­tinue to ex­tend sup­port to main­tain the INS Vikra­ma­ditya even af­ter the one-year war­ranty pe­riod ex­pires on Novem­ber 16 this year. A Rus­sian del­e­ga­tion headed by Sev­mash Gen­eral Di­rec­tor Mikhail Bud­nichenko was in Mum­bai and Kar­war last month to take dis­cus­sions for­ward and to in­spect progress made by the Rus­sian war­ranty team em­bed­ded with the 44,500-tonne air­craft car­rier now on op­er­a­tional de­ploy­ment in the In­dian Ocean. The Rus­sian team dis­cussed the modal­i­ties of a war­ranty ex­ten­sion and the pos­si­bil­ity of the Rus­sian team stay­ing longer at Kar­war to en­sure a smoother tran­si­tion into full op­er­a­tional sta­tus. The In­dian Navy has be­gun the process to iden­tify and con­firm ar­ma­ments for the Vikra­ma­ditya, which sailed from Severod­vinsk to In­dia with­out any air de­fence weapons. Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of Naval Projects (Mum­bai) Vice Ad­mi­ral Ashok Sub­hedar pre­sented the vist­ing Sev­mash del­e­ga­tion with a list of work that had been com­pleted by the Rus­sian team, in­clud­ing com­pletely re-lay­ing the air­craft deck and other jobs by the paint-in­sul­ta­tion and as­sem­bly teams. Navy Chief Ad­mi­ral R.K. Dhowan re­cently re­vealed that the INS Vikra­ma­ditya was suc­cess­fully on op­er­a­tional de­ploy­ment. It has separately been con­firmed that the Navy’s MiG-29Ks have be­gun op­er­at­ing on the ship deck suc­cess­fully too with a first land­ing by an In­dian pi­lot tak­ing place on Fe­bru­ary 7.

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