New Delhi: The long-delayed aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov will begin its final acceptance trials in Russia on Thursday as the Indian Navy prepares to induct the warship, rechristened INS Vikramaditya, by the end of 2013.
The final acceptance trials of the Admiral Gorshkov, which are expected to last three months, are scheduled to begin with the officials of Indian Navy on-board the carrier, Navy sources said here.
The warship was slated to be handed over to India in 2008 but after seeing several cost and time overruns, the Russian side last year informed India that it would be able to hand it over to the Indian Navy by the end of 2013.
Along with the warship-overseeing team, the Navy has sent specialised officers to look after the trials, sources said. There will be parameter checks during the trials before the force gives its approval for the warship to be ready for induction, they said.
India had signed the contract for the 44,500-tonne Kiev Class Gorshkov in 2004 for USD 934 million but the Russian side kept increasing the price of the warship and ultimately, it was finalised at USD 2.33 billion.
India has signed contracts with Russia for procuring 45 MiG-29 naval combat aircraft for being deployed on the aircraft carrier and started taking deliveries of the planes much before the due date of the arrival of the warship.
The aircraft carrier would be based by the Navy off the coast of Karwar in Karnataka and it has already started preparing the base for stationing the ship. The Karwar base has Navy's Project Seabird where a large number of warships, surveillance aircraft and aircraft carriers would be based.