Russia's military shipyard, Sevmash, has agreed to continue providing technical service for the Indian navy's Soviet-built aircraft carrier, Vikramaditya.
The INS Vikramaditya, the aircraft carrier's one-year manufacturer's warranty expired last year. It is India’s biggest ship, and with little experience servicing such a large vessel.
India is looking to secure a long-term warranty from Russia and it has proposed a 40-year contract, Sevmash officials were quoted as saying by Mascow Times on Wednesday.
The agreement, which covers repair work for various Russian-made hardware aboard the Vikramaditya is the first step in a larger set of negotiations for a comprehensive long-term warranty for the vessel.
The Vikramaditya is already an old ship. Originally named the Admiral Gorshkov when it was built by the Soviets in the 1980s, the vessel was mothballed in the 1990s after it was crippled by a boiler room explosion.
India received the aircraft carrier for free in 2004, but agreed to pay Sevmash almost $1 billion to completely overhaul and modify the ship to military needs.
The project took nine years which was supposed to take only. The price of the project had grown to almost $3 billion by the time the vessel was handed over to the Indian navy in November 2013.