INS Vikramaditya (Admiral Gorshkov), the $2.33 billion Russia-built aircraft carrier which will be delivered to Indian Navy on November 15 after a delay of nearly five years, will only have a one-year guarantee.
Victor M. Komardin, Deputy Director-General of Rosoboronexport, Russia’s state-owned arms exporter, told media persons here that during the guarantee period, a team of Russian engineers would be stationed in India to take care of “every single screw of the ship.”
Komardin said the warship which would be handed over at the Sevmash shipyard near Moscow, will arrive in Mumbai in February.
Asked about retrofitting the ship with LR-SAM (long-range surface to air missiles) being built jointly by India and Israel, he said Vikramaditya was already an Indian Navy’s asset and that the Navy was free to do whatever it wanted to. But it would have to conform to the Russian design parameters.
Komardin said for Russia defence co-operation and arms supplies are a part of its politics of friendship. “For us, politics comes first, then comes economics,” he stressed. Though regimes had changed in Russia, politics had not. Indo-Russian exports and imports had been going up every year all along. Russia’s engagement with Indian industry was much stronger and wider than other countries,” he claimed.
He said India and Russia were “genetically friendly” and that the Russian side wanted to carry on the current defence co-operation. He noted that though Russia had traditionally been India’s largest supplier of defence requirements, India was now increasingly sourcing its needs outside of Russia.
He said Russia appreciated India’s efforts to indigenise defence production.
Hindu Business Line