Indian aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya will undergo scheduled maintenance and upgrade to some of its systems in 2020 which will be carried out by Russian shipbuilding firm, Sevmash.
“Since ship delivery in 2013, its crew has been provided with qualified technical support in the maintenance and repair of shipboard equipment, regular supply of the necessary spare parts has been organized, and retrofitting of the corresponding onshore infrastructure has been underway,” Alexander Mikheev, head of Russian arms exporting agency, Rosoboronexport said.
“In 2020, Rosoboronexport and Sevmash, which is prime contractor, will take an active part in the upcoming scheduled maintenance of the aircraft carrier and upgrade of some its systems and complexes,” he added, according to a Rosoboronexport statement.
Rosoboronexport sees the growth and deepening of market interest in integrated servicing of the supplied weapons and military equipment, including naval hardware, the release said.
The focus on maintenance is a new thrust area for Russian arms exporters. Earlier, customers such as India have had to approach third parties as there was no organized post-sales support as the Russian arms industry was recovering from disarray of the Soviet Union’s break-up.
In January 2004, India signed a contract with Russia for the modernisation of its aircraft carrier, the Admiral Gorshkov. The refurbishment works were commenced at Sevmash shipyard in April 2004. The cost for repair and refit of the carrier, spares, infrastructure augmentation and documentation was estimated to be $974 million.
The modernised warship was initially scheduled to be delivered by August 2008 but was delayed due to cost overruns. In December 2009, India finally signed a contract to purchase the upgraded carrier for $2.33 billion.
Sevmash delivered the carrier to the Indian Navy on November 16, 2013 on condition of a one-year warranty servicing. The company was also obliged to perform the Vikramaditya’s life-cycle support.
The displacement of the warship after upgrade was increased to 45,000 tons. The carrier was fitted with an up-to-date flight deck and a ski-jump ramp for ramp-assisted takeoff, navigation, radar, communication and aircraft control systems, etc. The ship carries 30 fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, including MiG-29K combat aircraft.